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100% rye, cider and walnut bread

>> Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Rye cider bread 4

I haven't been baking bread lately. My sourdough passed away and my efforts to resuscitate it weren't successful. Maybe it's because of this year's neverending winter and my kitchen being the coldest room in the house. And being that I've become a real bread snob, using commercial yeast doesn't seem an elegant option anymore... it would be sooo totally unlike me... ahem. The thing is that I should already be feeding a new sourdough, but the mere thought of it makes me very lazy... However I recently found this recipe and I couldn't resist making it with commercial baker's yeast (yikes!), even renouncing my principles. Let's roll in the mud.

Mr. Lepard man publishes a new recipe every weekend in the British newspaper The Guardian. His recipes are always original; I love them. This recipe was published last February 6th and it caught my eye for various reasons: the first is that it's a 100% rye bread, which I love, the second is that includes cider, and the third is that the baking starts in a cold oven. I wanted to try the cold-oven-thing. I guess that as rye breads hardly exhibit any oven spring, a high start temperature is not as critical as for wheat breads, which need a sudden increase in ambient temperature to rise properly. To spice up the bread a bit, I added a large handful of walnuts, a good match with rye.

100% rye, cider and walnut bread adapted from Dan Lepard


  • 200g dry cider
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • 5g fresh yeast (the original calls for 1 tsp active dry yeast)
  • 150g rye flour
  • 150ml warm water
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 300g light rye flour, plus some more for shaping
  • 2 handfuls walnuts
Use organic flour if possible, with germ.

Rye cider bread 1
  1. The night before baking, mix the cider, vinegar, yeast and flour in a container, then cover and let it ferment at room temperature.
  2. The next day add the rest of the ingredients to the preferment and mix well till you get a smooth paste. A 100% rye mixture can't really be called a dough... you can't knead it. Cover and let it rest for half an hour. The dough smells of cider... if you close your eyes you can imagine you're in a cider brewery.
  3. Place the dough on a floured counter and pat it into a ball, not too flat, as it will expand horizontally when fermenting and in the oven. Prepare a nice piece of parchment paper, flour it and lay the ball on it.
  4. Score a cross on top of the bread, grab the paper, lift the paper awith the bread on and place the whole thing into a Dutch oven or a similar ovenproof pot, large enough to hold the bread. Cover with the lid and leave to rise.
  5. When doubled in bulk (my bread took 1 1/2 hours), put it into the cold oven. Turn the heat on to 200ºC (180ºC convection type like mine) and bake for 30 minutes. Then take out the lid and bake for another 15 minutes. After the first half hour my oven hadn't reached the instructed temperature, so I waited for 5-8 additional minutes for the oven to get to 180ºC. I took the lid off then and baked for somewhat longer than the instructed 15 minutes (the bread didn't look golden enough). As a summary, I baked 35-40 minutes lidded and 20-25 minutes unlidded. The real baking time depends on the oven, so you must watch the bread carefully and adjust the times.
Rye cider bread 3

The result is fantastic. A soft bread with a very pleasant cider aroma. The crust could have been a bit crispier, but this way the bread is easier to cut. Sometimes you really have to wrestle with rye breads in order to cut them. This is not the case: Mr. Lepard man, you got it right as usual.

Rye cider bread 5

And after a long time, this one goes to Susan's Yeastspotting!

14 comentarios:

Janice March 9, 2010 at 10:22 PM  

Looks fab. I love rye bread, but mine always seems to come out like a brick!

Trix March 9, 2010 at 11:00 PM  

That is a REALLY interesting recipe. I've always mixed rye with other flours (maybe I haven't had the nerve to go 100% rye!) But this doesn't look too dense at all - just right. I have to try this, and check out this Mr. Lepard man for sure.

Bellini Valli March 10, 2010 at 5:04 PM  

I can imagine the wonderful aromas coming from your kitchen Miriam.

Sophia March 10, 2010 at 6:28 PM  

What a great looking loaf! My grandmother used to always bake rye bread, and I think I might have to give it a try soon. Thanks for sharing this!

Junglefrog March 11, 2010 at 8:45 AM  

This truly looks like a fabulous bread! And interesting recipe indeed...

History of Greek Food March 11, 2010 at 1:28 PM  

I love rye bread and walnuts and this recipe combines both in a delicious bread! Thanks for sharing it.

5 Star Foodie March 12, 2010 at 6:45 AM  

What a gorgeous bread! Sounds terrific with cider and walnuts!

Ben March 12, 2010 at 3:04 PM  

Me haces sentir mal porque yo nunca he hecho masa madre, siempre uso la levadura comercial :D Pero este pan si lo puedo preparar sin problemas, quizá este verano me anime a hacer mi propia masa madre.

Mimi March 12, 2010 at 7:43 PM  

That rye loaf is a beauty.

When you are ready you'll get a new starter. What a great opportunity to try making a new one using a new method!!

tasteofbeirut March 13, 2010 at 11:34 PM  


Your bread brought to mind my dentist's admonition: eat rye bread, it is the only healthy one to eat~
Well, this one looks beautiful too and the walnuts~ my, with a chunk of cheese, who needs anything else?

Joanne March 14, 2010 at 4:11 PM  

This sounds like a really interesting combination of flavors. I love the idea of cider in bread!

Danielle March 14, 2010 at 5:25 PM  

Your bread looks wonderful. I can't keep a house plant alive let alone a sour dough starter! I'm a bit intrigued by the 100% rye. Since I am not much of a baker my knowledge is limited but I was always under the impression that rye flour was too dense or heavy to be used alone. Apparently I am more limited than I thought!

Jonny March 15, 2010 at 7:06 PM  

Miriam - congratulations on a beautiful loaf. One question though (and from a very inexpert baker, so it could well be idiotic) as I'd love to give your recipe a bash: most of the readily-available ciders in America whether they be local, French or English, are carbonated, and (as far as I know) most Spanish ciders are not. Might the carbonation affect the yeast? Or is it more a case of try it and see what happens?

Miriam March 15, 2010 at 10:18 PM  

Janice: I know that... but it shouldn't happen, as long as you let it rise properly.
Trix: well, it's always denser than a mixed loaf, but it was very soft.
Val: yes!
Sophia: thank you!
Simone: thanks!
HGF: hope you try it!
5SF: thanks!
Ben: jiji. Anímate porque es muy divertido.
Mimi: thanks!!
TOB: I agree with him! You know there are some nutritionists which recommend to avoid wheat. And yes, it was delicious with cheese!
Joanne: the smell was wonderful.
Danielle: haha, I can't keep a house plant alive either and I usually manage to keep a starter.
Jonny: I have actually made bread with carbonated cider and I didn't notice anything wrong regarding rising. Only that the Spanish carbonated cider is quite sweet and the crust of the bread browned a bit too much, I guess because of the cider sugars. But I think you can use it!


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