You may have seen my last blog post about the Sourdough I made in Firehouse Bakery & Bread School last weekend. Well while between the 6 of us we made 24 types of bread and a few cakes, I now have an abundance of bread recipes to keep my inspired, but I felt this particular recipe I had to share too. Rye is probably my favourite bread (along with my mother’s brown soda of course), and I was quite keen to learn how to make a nice rye. I find they can often be dense like a block of concrete when you buy them in bakeries, and so I was looking for the perfect light, moist rye bread. While this isn’t a 100% rye bread, it’s really nice and full of flavour and bite thanks to the figs and walnuts. It’s lovely and moist and perfect with some soft goats cheese. I enjoyed mine with a round of soft Ardsallagh goats cheese and cranberry roulade.
In my last blog post you can see how our day in Firehouse started off, and in this one how it ended. After a great day of learning, a bit of craic and lots of eating we all sat down together to enjoy a delicious meal of quiche, breads, salads, cheeses, meats and wine which Laura had prepared, and had a chat about our day. We finished off with a sampling (feast) of the cakes we had made that afternoon. After lunch we divided up the bread we had made, (and when they say you can leave with as much bread as you can carry they mean it, we had about three bags of bread each!), and set off back on the boat to the mainland just as the sun was setting!
We had such a great day in Firehouse and learnt so much, I’d highly recommend the course to anyone with an interest in food. It caters to all level, so really don’t be intimidated! It has demystified bread for me, and I’ll definitely be making a loaf this weekend! For now, enjoy Patrick’s recipe for his Walnut & Fig Rye bread below, and let me know what you think!
200g rye flour
10g fresh yeast or 5g dry yeast (not the fast acting kind)
300g strong white flour
1 tbsp honey
75g figs chopped
1. In a clean bowl combine the water, flour, and yeast for the sponge. Mix the ingredients together to form a thick batter consistency. Set to one side and leave to stand for about 30 minutes. The mixture should rise and then collapse. A sponge allows the yeast to get to work without the presence of salt. A sponge helps give your dough a bigger lift and is particularly useful when using doughs that have a lot of weight to carry.
2. To form the dough, combine the flour and salt together and add the sponge and honey. Combine all the ingredients to form a rough dough. Turn out onto a clean work surface and knead for approximately 10 minutes until the windowpane effect has been achieved (When you hold a piece of dough up it supports its own weight and the dough appears translucent as the weight pulls it downwards, instead of ripping and falling apart.) Once the windowpane effect has been achieved add the walnuts and figs to the dough and knead for one or two minutes until the walnuts and figs have been evenly distributed. (Patrick added a dash of water to my dough when I added the nuts and figs, to keep the moisture that the figs might drink out of the dough.)
3. Place the dough in a clean oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth and allow to prove for 60-90 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size. Turn the dough out on to a clean work surface and knock back the dough, allow it to prove again for a further 60 minutes. It’s ready to bake when pushed lightly with your finger, it quickly springs back.
4. Pre-heat the oven to 230C/ Gas7 and place a roasting tray in the bottom of the oven. Place the dough into the preheated oven and pour a boiling kettlle of water into the seperate preheated roasting tray to release steam into the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Check on the dough after 12 minutes, if the dough is colouring to quickly (due to the honey in the dough) reduce the oven temperature to 200C and continue to bake.