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…

Ingredients
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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