I’m rubbish at making bread. Cakes, quiches, pies, I can happily churn out these things with varying degrees of confidence, but bread? Forget it. I can’t even do it using a machine (my crust is inevitably anaemic and the texture all dense and doughy). As for the “longhand method”, I can’t be done with all that kneading and proving and knocking back – life’s too short. So I was dead chuffed to find this recipe from Dan Lepard. Involving no kneading whatsoever and just a few ingredients I’ve made it about five times now, each time with great success. And I just adore the fact that you bake it in a saucepan.
For the overnight mixture
200ml dry cider
1 tsp cider vinegar
1 tsp dry instant yeast
150g rye flour
For the dough
150ml warm water
1½ tsp salt
300g rye flour, plus a little extra for shaping
- The night before, mix the cider, vinegar, yeast and 150g of rye flour in a bowl, cover with a cloth and leave until the next day.
- The following day, stir in the warm water and salt, add 300g of rye flour, mix to a smooth, firm paste, then set aside for 30 minutes to rest.
- Scrape the dough on to a floured patch of worktop, pat into a smooth ball – not too flat, mind, because it spreads during baking – and sit it in the middle of a large sheet of non-stick baking paper.
- Cut a cross in the top of the dough, then lift the dough, paper and all, and lower it into a suitably sized ovenproof pot. Leave for two hours to rise.
- Pop the lid on the pot (or cover with foil) and place in a cold oven.Turn the oven to 200C (180C fan-assisted)/390F/gas mark 6, bake for 30 minutes, then remove the lid (or foil) and bake for 15 minutes more