In the last few blog posts I have been getting a bit whiney about the cold weather but, bloody hell, it’s been even colder since! I took last Monday off and went on an epic mountain bike ride over Baslow, Curbar and Froggat Edge in the heart of the beautiful Peak District. Then pushed on for a few more hours until I decided to turn home because my toes felt frost bitten and I could swear I had icicles hanging off my stubble!
When I got in I had to warm up quickly and luckily remembered that I had some lovely mushroom soup in the fridge from the night before. I popped it on the hob and turned on another gas ring to warm my frozen hands over the flames. When the soup was ready I tore a piece off the Mohnkranz that I had made the day before, smothered it with butter, dunked it into the hot soup and began the long journey of reheating my core and soul!
This is another great German bread which is super easy to make. It is two-thirds white flour and one-third rye. The crumb is soft but also a little chewy, due to the rye, and the poppy gives a bit of crunch and an earthy flavour. The key to getting this texture is to bake it for no more than 20 minutes or else it will dry out too much.
Ingredients for one loaf:
10g fresh yeast
240ml warm water
265g strong white flour
135g rye flour
1 tsp salt
1 TBS poppy seeds
Use a mixing bowl to dissolve the yeast in the water, then add both flours and combine using a dough scraper.
Turn the dough out onto your kitchen surface and knead for 10 minutes. Then flatten the dough into a disc shape and sprinkle over the salt. Fold the dough over itself a few times and knead for 5 more minutes.
Shape into a round and place back into the bowl, cover and leave to prove somewhere warm for an hour until doubled in volume.
Remove from the bowl and shape into a log. Then roll into a long snake about 2 – 2.5cm in diameter and taper the ends. Make a U or horseshoe shape with the dough and starting from the U-bend fold one side over the other until you have a simple plait.
Watch the video below to see how easily this is done.
Dust a baking tray with flour and place the plait on it. Cover and leave to prove for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 200°C (fan).
Uncover the loaf, dust it with flour and make a few slashes on the surface with a knife or grignette.
Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes until nicely browned.
Don’t bake any longer or else it will lose its chewy texture.
Allow to cool on a wire rack.
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