Molasses Fennel Rye Bread
Bread with a strong character, lovely with cheese and great with a nice hot bowl of soup!
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1.5 teaspoons active dry yeast
1.75 cups water, room temperature
1 tablespoon whole fennel seed
1 cup rye flour, 1kg
1/2 cup wheat germ
2 cups all purpose unbleached spelt flour, 1kg
up to 1/2 cup all purpose unbleached spelt flour, for kneadingShop this recipe
1. Mix yeast and water
2. Meanwhile, in a bowl large enough for the dough to double, pour the rest of the water. Stir in sugar and molasses. (If the molasses is stiff because of a chilly kitchen, use warm water instead of room temperature.) Add fennel seeds and ground ginger. Dump in flours, wheat germ and salt and stir with a wooden spoon until the flour is mostly absorbed.
3. Add the yeast mixture. Cover the bowl with a plate and let sit on the counter for about 20 minutes.
4. Kneading Scatter a little of the flour for kneading onto a wooden board. Turn the dough out onto the board.
5. Wash and dry the mixing bowl. (Please do not be tempted to skip this step.)
6. Hand knead the dough 10 to 15 minutes, adding the smallest amounts of additional flour if dough is sticky. You don’t have to use up all the flour. When the dough is springy and silky to the touch, knead in raisins.
7. Proofing Form the dough into a ball and put it in the clean bowl; cover it with a plate. Let the dough rise in a no-draught place at room temperature (or in the oven with only the light turned on if you want) for about an hour or until it has doubled in size. Gently deflate dough. Recover with the plate and allow to rise until doubled again.
8. Gently turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board; cut it in half.
9. Shape into two round balls and place them (not touching) on a parchment papered pan or a cornmeal dusted peel. Dust the tops with flour. Cover with a clean tea towel followed by a large plastic bag overtop let rise until double in size.
10. Baking Place a breadstone, if you have one, on the middle to second from the top rack and preheat the oven to 205°C/400°F.
11. If you want, slash the top of the rounds with a very sharp knife. Liberally spray the tops with water. Put bread in oven and immediately turn the oven down to 175°C/350°F. Bake the bread on the middle to second from the top rack for 35-40 minutes.
12. Remove to cool on racks. Please wait until the bread is cool before cutting it. It’s still baking inside! If you like to eat warm bread, reheat the bread after it has cooled.