- 500g (1lb 2oz) rye flour, plus extra for dusting
- 10g (⅓oz) salt
- 10g (⅓oz) instant yeast
- 20ml (¾fl oz) black treacle
- 350ml (12fl oz) cool water
- olive oil, for kneading
- Tip the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the salt to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other. Add the treacle and three-quarters of the water and turn the mixture round with your fingers.
- Continue to add the remaining water, a little at a time, until you’ve picked all of the flour from the sides of the bowl. You may not need to add all the water, or you may need to add a little more – you want dough that is soft, but not soggy. Use the mixture to clean the inside of the bowl and keep going until the mixture forms a rough dough.
- Coat a clean work surface with a little olive oil, then tip the dough onto it and begin to knead. Keep kneading for 5-10 minutes. Work through the initial wet stage until the dough starts to form a soft skin. You will find the dough feels different from conventional wheat flour dough – less smooth and stretchy.
- Form the dough into a smooth, round cob shape by turning it on the surface and tucking the edges underneath until the top is smooth and tight. Generously dust the inside of a large, round proving basket with rye flour. Put the dough into it, placing the smooth top-side down. Cover with a tea towel to protect the dough and prevent a skin forming on the top.
- Leave to prove for about eight hours or ideally overnight. The dough will double in size eventually, but will take considerable longer than wheat-flour breads.
- Preheat the oven to 425F and put a roasting tray in the bottom to heat up. Line a baking tray with parchment or silicone paper.
- When the roasting tray is hot, half fill it with boiling water and return it to the bottom of the oven (this will create steam and help form a good crust).
- When the loaf is risen, invert it carefully onto the prepared tray. The basket should have left a pattern on the surface of the dough. Slash a deep crosshatch pattern on the top with a sharp knife. Bake for 30 minutes. To test, tap the base of the loaf – it should sound hollow.
- Remove from the oven to cool and serve in slices.
Tips/TechniquesNote: This recipe contains U.K. measurements and may require conversions to U.S. measurements. It has also not been professionally tested.