My beautiful bread with rye

My beautiful bread with rye

Scandinavian Baking
2 round loaves
Columbus Leth

You may ask why this bread is not in the rye bread chapter and I wouldn’t blame you! The reason is that it only contains 30 per cent rye, so is made by the same method as non-rye breads, using yeast and biga. In my Scandinavian world this is not considered a rye bread; rather a bread with rye. I love all breads with rye flour, it just has such a wonderful flavour.


Quantity Ingredient
200ml Wheat-rye biga
or 200ml Wholemeal biga
800ml cold water
20g fresh yeast
300g stoneground rye flour, plus more to dust
550g strong white flour
10g salt
coarse polenta, to dust


  1. Mix the biga and the water, crumble in the yeast and mix well, then add the flours and salt. Mix very well, using either a food processor fitted with a dough hook or a wooden spoon. The dough will be very sticky. Cover with cling film and place in the refrigerator overnight, or for at least eight hours.
  2. Tip the dough out on to a floured work surface and, kneading it as little as possible, fold it into two round loaves. Place each in a well-floured 21cm bread proving basket (or in similar-sized colanders or bowls lined with well-floured tea towels) and leave to rise at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 240°C, or to as hot as it will go. Place a baking stone or a sturdy, heavy-based baking sheet lined with baking parchment inside the oven. Take a flat baking sheet dusted with the coarse polenta and tip the first loaf out on to it, so the basket pattern is visible on top of the bread. With a razor blade or a sharp knife, slash the top of the bread. Spray or throw cold water into the oven to create steam inside.
  4. Now quickly put one bread on the baking stone or lined baking sheet, using the flat baking sheet and a jerking motion. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 200°C and bake for another 25–30 minutes. Repeat to cook the second loaf. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
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