This delicious recipe is from Wild Honey and Rye by Ren Behan, and it gives its name to the book itself.
Honey & Rye Loaf (Chleb Żytni Z Miodem)
I have to confess that I am not a regular baker of bread, though it is a skill I would love to incorporate into daily life. I particularly like sourdough breads and most Polish bread begins with a zakwas, or sourdough starter. This simple honey and rye loaf, however, is for times when I just want to use store-cupboard ingredients. It is particularly good with butter, twaróg (Polish soft cheese) or cream cheese and honey, but it is equally good when served with eggs, and it can be toasted. I like to use a mixture of rye and white bread flour, and I also add a sprinkle of caraway seeds, as is traditional in Polish baking; the caraway seeds are optional. ~Ren Behan
- 125 ml / 4fl oz / ½ cup lukewarm water
- 125 ml / 4fl oz / ½ cup lukewarm whole milk
- 2 tbsp runny honey
- 7 g (1 packet) fast-action yeast
- 250 g / 9oz / 2½ cups rye flour, or use wholemeal or spelt flour , plus extra for dusting
- 250 g / 9oz / 2 cups strong white bread flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp caraway seeds (optional)
- 1 tsp vegetable oil, for greasing
Mix the water and milk together, add the honey and stir until dissolved. Tip in the yeast, whisk and leave to stand in a warm place for 10 minutes.
Put the flours and salt, and caraway seeds if using, into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and stir in the liquid yeast mixture until the dough comes together.
Dust a work surface with rye flour. Tip the dough onto the surface and knead it for 10 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball.
Grease a clean bowl with oil and put the dough into the bowl. Cover with clingfilm (plastic wrap) and leave in a warm place until the dough has roughly doubled in size. This may take up to 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6.
Tip the dough out onto the work surface, knead it briefly, then shape into an oval loaf and place on a large oiled baking sheet. Slash the top with a sharp knife and bake for 45 minutes or until it is golden brown all over.
Leave the loaf on a wire rack to cool before slicing.
A selection of savoury and sweet recipes from Wild Honey & Rye:
- Apple pancakes (Racuchy) at Family Friends Food
- Blackberry Flavoured Vodka at Hedgecombers
- Blueberry Crumble Squares at Feeding Boys
- Buckwheat and Beetroot Salad at Coffee and Vanilla
- Cherry Crumble Cake at Jo’s Kitchen
- Curd Cheese, Honey & Walnuts on Toast at Tin and Thyme
- Easy Lemon Mini Babkas at Veggie Desserts
- Hunter’s Stew (Bigos) at Kitchen Sanctuary
- One-Pan Polish Breakfast at Farmersgirl Kitchen
- Plum And Poppy Seed Traybake at Domestic Gothess
- Polish Christmas Cookies (Świąteczne) at Recipes from a Pantry
- Polish Forest Mushroom Soup at Foodie Quine
- Potato Pancakes with Mushroom Sauce at Natural Kitchen Adventures
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Kavey Eats received a review copy of Wild Honey and Rye by Ren Behan (RRP £20) from publisher Pavilion Books. Recipe extracted with permission from Pavilion Books.