Good things often come about slowly. You should know by now that I really like spending lots of time in the kitchen: have good music playing, put effort into what I'm going to serve, try new things and watch something (in my opinion) almost magical take place as simple ingredients turn out into tasty, nourishing and comforting pastries and dishes. This is one those 24-hour projects but it actually requires more time than work.
DARK DANISH RYE BREAD(makes 1 loaf)
190g whole rye grains
60g sunflower seeds
500ml boiling water
250ml plain yoghurt, at room temperature
3tbsp clear honey
1tbsp sea salt
1tbsp fennel seeds
125g dried cranberries (optional)
5tbsp carob powder (or cacao powder)
4tsp dried yeast
400g whole rye flour
150g whole spelt flour
60g light spelt flour
Place the rye grains and sunflower seeds in a bowl and cover with the boiling water. Let sit for 15 minuten, then add the yoghurt, honey, salt, fennel seeds, cranberries and carob powder and stir with a wooden spoon. Use your finger to test the temperature of the mixture - it should be just warm. Stri in the yeast. Then add rye flour and stir until you have a smooth batter. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave for 1 hour at room temperature, until the dough is slightly bubbly.
Gradually add in enough of the spelt flour to form a dough. Turn out onto a floured work surface (I skipped this step, for I find that rye bread doughs are next to impossible to remove from your work surfaces, and kneaded in the bowl instead). Knead for about 5 minutes, adding the remaining spelt flour until it is firmer, but still slightly sticky and quite heavy. Form it into a ball and return to the bowl. Slap some water on the top with your hands. Cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge for 8-10 hours or overnight.
Place the dough into an oiled loaf tin and press down with your fists to get rid of any air pockets. The dough should be quite sticky. Brush the top with water and dust it with rye flour. Cover with a kitchen towel and set aside to rise slightly for 2 hours.
Bake the loaf on the slowest shelf of the oven in 200 celsius for 1 hour. Turn off the heat and leave the loaf in the oven for further a 15 minutes. Remove from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack for at least 4 hours. This is important to allow the bread to set, which makes it easier to cut. Keep for about a week.
My loaf ended up a little underdone; I felt the dough could have taken in more flour but I wanted to give it a chance since I hadn't made this bread earlier and I didn't really know how it should be like. (Also longer time in the oven could maybe have solved the problem though I already gave it some: after turning the heat off and the 15 minutes I had it in the oven without the tin for a further 8 minutes.) The bread didn't hold together very well when cut in slices, though I waited the 4 hours. Maybe I should've waited more? But it tasted really good and had a wonderful smell of christmas! (I used cacao powder instead of carob and skipped the cranberries. I didn't have light spelt flour so I substituted it and some of the whole spelt flour with wheat flour. Also next time I'd halve the amount of fennels seeds.)
Soundtrack for the recipe: Chopin's Nocturne No.11 by Elisabeth Leonskaja