No Pain, no gain

It’s been a while since we had a bread recipe, this hearty French classic, Pain Rustique, has been known to beat up weedier loaves. Particularly baguettes, it doesn’t trust baguettes…

400g strong white bread flour
100g rye flour
1 tbsp salt
2 packets instant yeast
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 tbsp dried basil (note – oregano and sage work well here too)
300 ml water (or 200ml water/100ml milk for a richer dough)

Mix together all the ingredients. When they are mixed tip the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or so. The dough will be nice and elastic if you have kneaded it enough.

Cover the dough and set aside in a warm place to rise for two-three hours.

After rising take the dough out onto a floured surface and form into 2 sausage shapes and put on an oiled and floured baking tray. Set aside to rise for one hour.

Preheat your oven to gas 7. Slash the top of the loaves a few times and bake for 25 minutes until nice and golden. Keep an eye on it though, the high heat gives a lovely, thick crust but can catch quickly. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

This loaf is a manly loaf. Lovely toasted with butter, dunked into a stew or with a really strong cheese and some pickle. It favours strong flavours.


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