what? bread?

a blog about making bread at home

Cherry, fennel and rye loaf

My second Mellow Baker’s loaf from Dan Lepard’s The Handmade Loaf – page 106 since you ask.

Into this goes:

strong white flour, fine rye flour (didn’t have this so just sieved a bit of regular rye flour), salt, fennel seads, rye leaven, water, fresh yeast, dried cherries, cooked and soaked rye grains and white poppy seeds for dusting on the top (didn’t have them so used some golden linseeds).

The recipe is reasonably easy to follow but you have to start the day before to cook and soak the rye grains. Rye grains aren’t the easiest of thing to buy but I managed to find some in London yesterday, in an emporium where they charge £2.49 for a small sourdough loaf. The rye grains were only £1.39 and 500g will go a long way. Dried cherries are the most expensive ingredient in this loaf and I think as such might be the restricting element to making it again, so I might practise with raisins until it improves.

So pictures of what happened are down below. The dough was never soft as described in the recipe, being quite hard and resistant, and also cold to the touch. I did put it in the oven with the ‘dough rising’ setting on for a few minutes to raise the temperature while it rested for the first hour, but not enough to heat the dough. It was left to rise on the baking tray for longer than the recipe said, but I don’t think that’s inhibited it in any way.

Soft evenly combined dough…. I don’t think so, it was quite tough at this stage

After kneading after first 10 minute rest, a bit smoother

After leaving for about 2 and a half hours


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3 thoughts on “Cherry, fennel and rye loaf

  1. I’m baking this tomorrow though I am using wheat grains and am cooking them as i write. I like the idea of soaking them overnight in wine! I have made wheat grain salads before and I like the chewy texture. what did you think of the taste of the bread?

    I was in this middle eastern shop trying to get ingredients and when I mentioned cherries the guy behind the desk told me that they have frozen sour cherries in stock as they are popular at this time of year with Iranians as they are part of some festive foods. The cherries are delicious and I’m using some of the juices to soak the grains and drying them out a little in the oven on a low temp.

    We shall see!

    • Ha! – FINE rye flour. (Didn’t spot that) Dove’s Farm, and any other I have seen, is always wholemeal rye. But when I sieve it the whole lot goes through the sieve .

      The white poopy seeds are no big deal. I toyed with the idea of using sesame seeds, but decided against as they have a distinctive flavour. White poppy seeds are also known as Kashmiri poppy seeds – but have no narcotic effect (as far as I am aware).

      Thank you for your post. It reassures me that we are following the same recipe.

    • Re the taste – not wildly interesting except when you get a cherry or a hard fennel seed. The rye grains weren’t noticable.

      Not lucky enough to have ethnic stores where I live so I have to try supermarkets or go online or make a trip to where there are some. On reflection I think I shouldn’t have followed the recipe for the temperature of the ‘warm water’ at the start and just gone with my usual 1/3 boiling to 2/3 tap water to give it a bit of a zizz off at the start.

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