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Rye and Barley Leaven Bread
Both barley and rye lack the extensible gluten to hold the shape of a bold, jaunty loaf. But let them serve submissively as a background flavour, sour with rye and dusty with barley, and you have the perfect, friendly bread. To enhance the nutty flavour of the barley flour, toast it lightly in a 180C oven for 15 minutes, then cool before using. Simmered and soaked grains of rye and barley, well drained, can also be added to the mix.

Ingredients
300g strong white flour
100g rye flour
100g barley flour
250g rye leaven (20C)
300g water (20C)
1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt

Method

8.00am
In a large bowl, whisk the rye leaven with the water. Next, mix in the strong white flour, rye flour and barley flour together with the salt, and stir together with your hands until you have a soft, sticky mass. The dough temperature should be about 21C. Scrape any remaining dough from your hands, cover, and leave for 10 minutes.

8.10am
Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a lightly oiled, or flour dusted, work-surface. Knead the dough for 10 - 15 seconds. Clean the bowl, give it a light rub inside with oil or butter, replace the dough inside the bowl and leave for 10 minutes.

8.20am
Knead the dough once more for 10 - 15 seconds, shape into a ball, and then place the dough back in the bowl. Cover and leave at room temperature (around 20C) for a further 10 minutes.

8.30am
Knead the dough once more for 10 - 15 seconds, shape into a ball, and then place the dough back in the bowl. Cover and leave now for 30 minutes.

9.00am
Knead the dough once more for 10 - 15 seconds, shape into a ball, and then place the dough back in the bowl. Cover and leave now for 1 hour.

10.00am
Knead the dough once more for 10 - 15 seconds, shape into a ball, and then place the dough back in the bowl. Cover and leave now for 1 hour.

11.00am
Divide the dough into 2 pieces, each roughly 500g in weight. Shape each piece into a ball, cover, and leave for 15 minutes. Prepare two tea towels, rubbing them with flour, then using them to line 2 x 20cm wide bowls (or use flour dusted, linen-lined baskets).

11.15am
Shape the dough into balls, and then place each seam side up on the flour-dusted cloth sitting inside a bowl. Cover the upper surface with another cloth, and leave at room temperature (20C) until almost doubled in height - about 4 - 5 hours

4.30pm
Preheat the oven to 220C. Dust an oven tray with semolina (or a peel if you are using an oven stone) and upturn the loaves onto this. Cut a square shape in the top of the loaf using a sharp blade. Spray the top of the loaf with water, place in the oven, shut the door, and bake for 50 minutes - 1 hour. Remove the loaf from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Bake the remaining loaf using the same method.


Reproduced by kind permission of Dan Lepard from his book, “The Handmade Loaf”, published by Mitchell Beazley, ISBN: 1840009667
 
 
 
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