When I made this bread for the first time – I fell in love. I loved the crackling texture of the upper crust, the caressing softness of the inner part, the odor emanating from the oven. All of these made it clear to me that this is the perfect bread for a sandwich or toast. And in short – our new house bread, which in recent months is always in the freezer.
What is special about this bread is the fact that its dough is very soft – not one that is shaped into a loaf on a floured surface, but simply poured into a mold like a pound cake mixture in a pan and baked. The end result comes out so soft on the inside and with a great crust on the outside that it is impossible not to fall in love with it.
The delicate sweetness that comes from the honey, along with the addition of rye flour to the dough, which gives it a rustic taste – all of these make this bread just perfect. I’ve been making it on a weekly basis for several months now, sometimes even adding chopped nuts or herbs to it to diversify. However, it is simply the most delicious bread on its own and well-kept in the freezer.
Perfect Bread Loaf
For the dough:
- 500 grams (3 ½ cups) pizza flour (or bread flour)
- 100 grams (1 cup) whole rye flour
- 11 grams (2 tsp.) of dry yeast
- 20 grams (1 tablespoon) honey or maple
- 30 ml. (2 tablespoons) olive oil
- 2 teaspoons fine salt
- 450 ml. of lukewarm water
- A little rye flour or bread flour for dusting
Prepare the dough:
In a mixer bowl with a kneading attachment place flour, rye flour, yeast, honey, olive oil, salt and water and knead on low speed for 12-14 minutes until a fairly uniform and sticky dough is obtained.
Using a plastic card, bring the dough to the center of the bowl (scrape the sides), cover and rise for about an hour or until the dough doubles in volume.
Prepare the mold:
Grease the base and sides well and flour in a thin layer of rye flour.
Mold and bake:
Using plastic card, transfer the risen dough to the pan.
Using wet hands (important!), shape the dough into a mold so that it fills it with a uniform layer.
Cover and allow rising for about half an hour or until the loaf almost doubles in volume (it will not necessarily fill the mold completely, depending on the depth of it).
Preheat oven to 200 Celsius degrees.
Sprinkle a little flour over the loaf.
Bake for 12 minutes at 200 degrees. Then lower the temperature to 190 degrees and continue to bake for another 25-30 minutes or until the loaf is puffed, browned and very stable to the touch.
Remove from the oven and immediately remove from the pan (turn-over on a wire rack).
Allow the loaf of bread to cool completely to room temperature before slicing and serving.
- I used a Pulman bread loaf pan in the following dimensions: depth: 11 cm, length: 31.5 cm, width: 12 cm (I used it without the lid).
- Instead of pizza flour you can use bread flour. It is important to use gluten-rich flour for a particularly good and airy result. It can also be made with white flour but the result will be a little less good in terms of texture.
- Rye flour adds to both taste and texture of the loaf so it is important not to give it up. It has no substitute (regular whole wheat flour will be less suitable).
- Instead of honey or maple you can use brown sugar or plain white sugar (less recommended).
- Instead of olive oil, you can use vegetable oil (canola, sunflower, corn, soy, etc.).
- It is important that the water is lukewarm and not too cold.
- Note that the dough should not be pleasant and comfortable to work on but rather sticky! That is why it is important to work with a plastic card that makes it very easy to shape and transfer the dough to the mold.
- The loaf is ready when a hollow sound is heard with a click at the top and bottom (after being extracted from the mold).
- The bread is at its best of course as long as it is fresh, but it can be frozen for up to a month in an airtight bag.
- I recommend slicing the bread before freezing and storing in a closed bag.