Rye bread is inedible. No arguments. Dense and unyielding. Made in Bavaria only to punish the bakers’ enemies. So why am I using rye flour in this tin loaf? Flavour and only flavour. Making up a mere 20% of the total flour, it makes itself known without demanding attention (unlike some people I know). I’ll be creating a preferment sponge at the first stage then adding wheat flour as I go on. I suppose a list of ingredients would be a good idea now…

  •  For the preferment – 100g rye flour, 100g strong white bread flour, approximately 250ml quality cider, 5g fast action yeast. The rye and the wholemeal flours absorb more liquid than wheat flour hence the 250ml cider. Get a mixing bowl then using a fork combine the flours and yeast then add the cider. The preferment will be batter like, not dough. Cover bowl and place somewhere warm (20°c) for at least six hours. The mixture should be good for up to 24 hours but 12 hours works for me. I always know the preferment is active by the smell (deep yeasty whiff) and of course by the bubbling surface. Better and quicker than sourdough starters…
  • Next step is to add 5g salt and 5g fast action yeast to 300g strong white bread flour. Stir this in to the preferment then begin to knead to form dough. I find that a little more cider or water is needed depending on the flour I use… Work the dough for five minutes, shape into a ball, put it back in the bowl and cover again. Repeat once more after half an hour. Now comes the cheese!
  • Roll the dough to a circle and cover with 200g strong Cheddar cheese. Yes it looks like a pizza but reform the cheesey dough into a ball and knead to distribute the filling.Let the dough rest for another hour. As it rises you can get a deep sided cake pan ready.Grease and flour the inside (even with non stick finishes). 
  • Roll out the dough with your hands until it resembles a very long sausage, say 36 inches (90 cm). The dough should coil at least three times in the tin, more if you roll thinner. Let the whole twisted mass rise for a final 30 minutes…I just about got four rings in here and, yes, the dough has over proved by about a third because I had go out unexpectedly. All is not lost: gently tuck the overflow back inside and get it in the oven @220°c for 35/40 minutes.What do you think?

But the flavour…

A little tangy and sweet from the cider, a little earthy from the rye flour and very cheesey  from, astonishingly, a pile of Cheddar. If you like it (and if you don’t) let me know in the comments…

Score 4/5


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