Cider Rye Bread

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


  1. Wonderful let me know when you make it nest and I will dart east 🙂 with some Frank Hederman smoked salmon, finest echire butter and bottle of bubbly !

  2. Foodallovermyface

    Sounds like an optimal ratio of effort to taste. I will be baking this for sure.

  3. sounds and looks lovely – clocked this first in the Guardian but this is the push I need to actually make it!

  4. Beautiful bread there! Have heard much about Dan Lepard’s fabled no-knead technique, looks like you’ve nailed it…

  5. Absolutely beautiful bread. Have you tried Jim Lahey’s no knead bread? His recipes are incredibly easy and the resulting breads delicious:

  6. Oh this looks like a great recipe for cooking in a Dutch oven when camping, I look forward to giving this a go. We normally make damper bread sometimes with dried fruit but this will be a nice change.

  7. Cor this is music to my ears. I always love the idea of making bread, but the reality never quite matches up does it?!

    It’s a really nice lookin’ fella as well isn’t it… very ‘artisan bakery costs at least four quid’ – I will definitely be investigating this recipe – thanks for the tip off!

  8. In a saucepan! You bake it in a saucepan! It looks ace but I can’t get past the saucepan. That’s brilliant. Dan is such a baking legend.

  9. You made that bread in the picture Rej? Bloody hell, that looks impressive. I’ve dabbled with bread a bit in the past, but never made anything that looks remotely as good as that.

  10. That is a booooooooootiful loaf!

  11. That loaf looks amazing. I think I might have a go at that this weekend, sounds delicious.

  12. Mm, Lepard, what a name for a baker…

  13. I am tempted to make a really terrible pun about hunting and bread. But you’ll be relieved to hear that I won’t.

  14. I’m sure you’re not rubbush at baking bread…. and this looks great 🙂

  15. Looks beautiful – you’ve converted another lazy baker x

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