On to the plate

Experimenting with flavours, colours and style of food served at our place

Rye Bread–a Craftsy Artisan Bread

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After making the Sour Milk Bread (well Mr Fussy played the leading role) I had rye flour and caraway seeds that I didn’t really know how I’d use.

We arrived home from Nelson mid afternoon yesterday meaning I didn’t have time to make a loaf of bread in the breadmaker, as I usually do on a Saturday, and again on Sunday. I decided I’d make a Rye loaf as my second loaf, and bake this at the same time as the usual 50/50 Wholemeal loaf was baking in the breadmaker today.

This post is a story of making a bread I’ve never made before, by hand. I can’t share the recipe or the techniques (which are likely standard techniques for today’s bread baker) since it’s a paid for class. If you’re keen to see what is on offer on the class, then this link will take you to a preview and you can look to see what lessons are included.

I was making a marbled bread, again something I’ve never done before. The difference in the two doughs is 2 tablespoons of Dutch processed cocoa.


I started with the non-cocoa dough paying close attention to the tacky feeling since I needed both doughs to be the same, to ensure they rose at the same pace.

Even though the second dough felt the same to me, in fact I was certain, during the stretch and fold (instead of kneading on the bench), the darker dough seemed to be a little more stiff, not that it was stiff, but the stretch had a little more resistance when folding it into the middle of the dough.

You can watch a YouTube of the stretch and fold technique, it’s demonstrated by Peter Reinhart who is the Craftsy course instructor so this is the very same thing I was doing.

B&A Rising

The above photo, on the left, is after 4 stretch and folds and on the right after the first rise, 90 minutes. Yes I poked my fingers into the dough to see if it would bounce back, an indication of being ready.

Because the darker dough appeared to be a little less flexible I decided I would marble the bread by cutting up the dough into little bits and then mashing it all together. I had been keen to try out a 4 strand braid but I was put off by having a lumpy dough on top when I wanted to use the bread for sandwiches. I like order Smile


What I couldn’t work out from the recipe I was following, was just how many loaves the dough would produce. I had just over 1.2kg of dough. I decided it was enough for two loaves and I was right. I had two tin loaf pans, one that expanded and your usual stock standard loaf pan. Initially, while I was undecided, I was going to have the 2nd loaf bake straight onto parchment, then I remembered the 2nd loaf pan.

I cut slits into the one loaf when it was on parchment, which made it significantly easier to slice through. You’ll soon see the difference in how they rose for the second time.

Marbled Bread

This loaf was probably the better of the two, only because the slits made while the loaf was out of the pan meant the dough was cut through from one side to the other nicely.

I really wasn’t expecting the dough to continue to rise during baking, but it did. For some reason this loaf also rose more than the next one I’m about to show. I can only put it down to the slits since by this stage, they were both the same.

Marbled Bread2

Actually I do see another difference. The loaf directly above was thicker at one end than the other. It was also the slightly heavier loaf by around 20gm and it was baked in the standard loaf tin where as the first one was in the expanding loaf pan which was slightly narrower but longer.

They both baked up just fine and I was pleasantly surprised at just how soft the loaves were. The egg wash on the top helped keep the crust from being too crisp.

We ate some of the bread tonight with dinner.

Talking of dinner, and seeds used in the Sour Milk Bread, I used the fennel seeds in the meat I ground using my new KitchenAid Mincer attachment. It was a birthday present. I re-made the meatloaf I blogged about here.

The fennel seeds certainly were noticeable. I thought they made the meat quite a bit spicier, a heat as well as the added flavour.

KA Mincer

And Mr Fussy said he couldn’t work out if the Rye bread should be a sweet bread or not, there was something he liked about it, but he couldn’t quite put his finger on it. The caraway seeds can be omitted from the dough, I wasn’t sure if I wanted them in there or not. I munched on one before deciding to throw caution to the wind and add them. I live life on the edge Winking smile

I really enjoyed making the Rye Bread, I learnt a lot from the Craftsy class (and I haven’t finished all the lessons yet).


Ok so you don’t think I’m being a prude, I Googled the recipe and found this one which is “adapted” from the one I used. The adapted recipe has increased the measurements of almost all the ingredients (not the Molasses) and uses Virgin Oil where the recipe I followed uses normal Vegetable Oil, but other than that I don’t see any other significant difference. The amount of bread flour in the recipe I followed was 227gm or 1.75 cups. That will give you a head start as to how the recipe was adapted.

Marbled Rye Bread by Peter Reinhart, adapted by A Bread A Day.


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