Saturday, October 28, 2006

Breakfast Friday 27 October - Homemade Seeded Rye Bread

I love rye bread and my favourite is without doubt, Levy's Jewish Rye, which you only seem to be able to get in and around New York City.

I have been trying to come up with a good "Levy's like" rye bread recipe for ages. Levy's is a soft, light rye loaf. I think the do seeded and without, but rye bread MUST have caraways, as far as I am concerned.

I decided to make some bread so I could take a loaf along to L's when I visited on Friday.

When I was walking through Chapel Market recently, I noticed that the baked potato stand there had the large catering size Heinz Baked Bean tins - I think they are 2kg tins. It reminded me of when I used to bake bread in old juice tins, back before Tetra-Paks were invented and
juices came in enormous tins.

I always liked the look of the round loaves and had had my eye open for a suitable sized tin, but the only thing that even came close were large sized dog food tins, and it seemed wasteful to just chuck out the dog food for the tin.

Anyway, I asked the woman if she would keep and empty tin for me and she said sure. Went back on Wednesday, but they were not there as it was a rainy day. So went back again Thursday and she had kept 2 large tins for me, so I decided to try the rye bread in tins.

Seeded Rye
350ml warm water
2 tablespoons (20g) dried yeast
80 g honey (about 4 tablespoons)
10g salt
1 egg
4 tablespoons dried milk powder
2 tablespoons caraway seeds
500g very strong bread flour ( I used Allinson's Very Strong White Bread Flour)
225g rye flour (I used Doves Farms Organic Rye Flour)

Mix the honey and warm water. Sprinkle the yeast on top and leave to "bloom", about 10-15 minutes.

Add 1/2 the white flour and mix well. Add the milk powder, salt, caraway seeds, egg and the rye flour and mix well. You should have a soft dough. This is what my Nan called a "sponge" and her standard bread recipe always called for the first rising to be a sponge rising, so I did that here.

Leave the sponge to rise until double in bulk, about 1 hour. Stir down and gradually work in the remaining flour, kneading well, until the dough is smooth and elastic.

I wanted one large loaf in a round tin for me and a smaller one for L. I divided the dough about 3/4 in one piece and 1/4 in the other. The smaller section I punched down, kneaded and formed into a loaf which went into a small tin. The larger section also got punched down, kneaded and formed into a loaf which went into a baked bean tin.

Both loaves were then left to rise overnight in the fridge.

Next morning, pop the loaves into the oven and set at Gas Mark 4 or 5. No preheating is necessary. Bake until browned and hollow sounding when tapped - about 45 minutes in the case of the large loaf.

This is the best rye I have made so far. It could use a little more rye flour, so next time I will use 300g rye and less white.


Levy's had a brilliant ad campaign back in the 1970's. The slogan was "You don't have to be Jewish, to love Levy's ."

They even got Buster Keaton to do one: