Norway – Rye Bread

Norwegians love their bread (doesn’t everyone?) and loaves made with rye flour are apparently very popular.  This is a Hairy Bikers recipe and they recommend making it with a mixture of white flour and rye so it isn’t too heavy or dark.  If you like it darker, just change the proportions of the flour, but the Bikers say you made need to add extra water if using more rye.
This bread came out really well, and had a really nice texture, but the dough was ridiculously sticky.  I’m not really sure how this dough is supposed to behave, but kneading it was really difficult and it almost felt like a loosing battle.  It was a sticky blob for what seemed like an age, and didn’t really come together that well.  It took me sooooooo long to get all the dough off my hands afterwards, and there was no way I could make it look neat and smooth and I definitely couldn’t put slash marks on the top before putting in the oven.  Again, it’s probably just my lack of experience in making bread as I didn’t know how to rectify the sticky dough, or even if I needed to.  Despite all that I was happy with the end result!  Give it a try – the kneading is a good work out!

Rye Bread

By The Hairy Bikers

  • 175ml full-fat milk
  • 175ml water
  • 2 tbsp dark soft brown sugar
  • 1 x 7g sachet of fast-action dried yeast
  • 250g rye flour
  • 200g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tbsp fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp caraway seeds
  • sunflower oil, for greasing

Put the milk, water and sugar in a small saucepan and heat very gently, stirring constantly, for just a few seconds until the liquid is lukewarm and the sugar has dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the mixture into a bowl.

Stir in the yeast and leave for 10 minutes until there is a light froth floating on the surface.
Put all the flour, rye and white, in a large bowl, stir in the salt and caraway seeds, then make a well in the centre. Pour the warm yeast mixture on to the flour and mix with a wooden spoon and then your hands to form a soft, spongy dough.

Turn the dough out on to a well-floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or until it is smooth and elastic.

Put the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover loosely with oiled cling film. Leave to rise in a warm place for about 1½ hours or until it has doubled in size.

Put the dough on a floured work surface and knock it back with your knuckles, then knead for another minute.


Shape the dough into a fat oval or round loaf, pulling the dough from the top and sides and tucking it underneath to make a neat shape.

Place the loaf on a baking tray lined with baking parchment and score the surface 4 times with a sharp knife. Cover it loosely with the oiled cling film and leave to prove for a further 40–50 minutes until it has doubled in size once more.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Bake the loaf in the centre of the oven for 40 minutes or until it is well risen and the base sounds hollow when tapped sharply. Cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.

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