I love ale. I love bread. I love my wife. She wanted me to do another post for Littlebitsofnice as a follow up to my simple, no-proving needed Soda Bread post. I didn’t think I could do a post about her on her own blog meaning my other 2 loves had to come together to form the loaf of love you see before you. That’s right the loaf of love……LOL. (DO NOT READ THIS AS LAUGH OUT LOUD! YOU WILL BE BANNED FROM THE UNIVERSE! AND MAY POSSIBLY RECEIVE THE SAME FATE AS MY KNOCKED BACK DOUGH (please see below for your possible fate)
1 1/3 cup rye flour
1 1/3 cup strong white bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup ale (the rest in a glass to help you get through the rising time)
1 tbsp muscavado sugar
1 tbsp fresh yeast (or half a tbsp active dried yeast)
1-2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp caraway seeds
Mix the flours, salt and the caraway seeds in a mixing bowl. Gently heat the ale and sugar in a saucepan until it’s luke warm. Add the yeast to the ale and allow it to start to react. Once the yeast is frothy pour it into a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add 1 tbsp of olive oil, bring the dough together, plonk on a floured work surface and knead for about 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Shape into a ball and turn the dough around in an oiled mixing bowl, cover with cling film or damp tea towel and let rise for up to 2 hours- or until doubled in size. Knock the dough back (I like to slap it with the back of my hand whilst making Bruce Lee noises! One inch punch that sucker in its stupid doughy face!) to get all the air out and knead it again for about another minute. Shape it into a lovely round dome and allow it to rise for about another hour. By now it should be all lovely and light. Dust the top with a little flour to add colour and place in the middle of a pre-heated oven at gas mark 6 for about 30-35 minutes. Our oven is pretty old so timings can be a whole adventure in themselves!
Once it’s cooled (or hot if you can’t wait, I often don’t!) slice (or tear) (basically do what the hell you like!) off a bit of the crust, slap on some butter and enjoy.
All the best