Apple & Cider Rye

I’m quite happy putting together wheat flour recipes but rye always seems to have it’s own culture that’s a bit alien to me so I am quite pleased to have created my first rye, simple though it might be.

The rye starter is at 100% hydration and should be refreshed 24 hours before mixing the final dough.

Grate the apple, skin and all, into the cider and allow it to macerate a few hours or overnight.

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, squeezing it through your hands. No need to knead. Cover and ferment for an hour.

Oil a 1lb bread tin. Wet your hands well. Scoop the dough out of the bowl and squeeze it one way and the other to eliminate any air bubbles. Squeeze it to roughly the shape of the tin and drop it in, gently pushing into the corners and smoothing the surface. Cover and leave for about three hours.

It will appear to be doing nothing but, fear not, it will eventually start to rise, probably no more than an inch. Once it’s peeping over the top of the tin it’s ready.

Heat the oven to 240-250C. Bake for 15 minutes, reduce the temperature to 180C and bake for a further 45 minutes. Turn the oven off, remove the bread from the tin and return it to the cooling oven with the door slightly ajar for about 20 minutes. Cool.

When absolutely cold, wrap and leave at least overnight before cutting.

Proving and Baking sequence:

After 45 minutes fermentation, dough roughly shaped with wet hands, dropped into the tins and smoothed with a wet spatula.

Three and a half hours later, clearly risen, just peeping over the tops of the tin. Decide to give it another 30 minutes.

30 minutes later, risen just a little more:

The tiny holes in the top show that more proving will leave it on the verge of collapse. When you don’t have oven space for another hour this is when you start to worry!

Into the oven at 240C reduced to 180C after 15 minutes.

Baked after a total of 50 minutes. Note: no oven spring.

De-tinned and returned to the oven for 20 minutes, heat off, door wedged slightly open.

Fully baked and cooling.

Cool completely and wrap at least overnight.