Ingredients (makes 5 small loaves)
For the yeast
1 sachet of yeast
1 tsp sugar
700-800ml lukewarm water
For the dough
1/2 strong white flour
1/2 rye flour
1-2 tbsp olive oil
a pinch of salt
You can also add sunflower seeds, poppy seeds or whatever you like.
Add the yeast, sugar and water in a jug and stir well. Allow it to rest and froth for about 15 minutes. In the meantime, run the flour through a sieve into a large bowl and add the salt and olive oil. Slowly add the yeast/water and knead, until you have a nice, workable dough. You might need to add more water or flour to bring it to the desired consistency. Give the dough a good kneading, as if you’re trying to make up your mind as to whether you love it or hate it :-). Do this for about 10 minutes, the longer the better. If you have the strength, that is, as rye dough is harder to work than white flour dough.
Your dough will have a funny grey colour rather than the white you get from wheat flour. Cover it with a damp cloth and allow it to rise for 1-2 hours until it doubles in size. Shape your loaves and cover them for another 15 minutes or so. In the meantime, preheat your oven to maximum degrees. On the bottom shelf, put a baking dish with lots of hot water (I’ll explain why later). When the oven is hot, put in the bread and let it bake for 10 minutes. Turn the temperature down to 180 degrees and open the oven to check on the bread and help it cool down faster. Bake for another 20 minutes and your bread should be ready. You know your bread is ready when you tap the bottom and it sounds hollow.
Wrap your loaves in a couple of tea towels and let them cool down. The baking dish with water helps keep the crust soft. My oven is electric/fan and would probably make the crust too hard. You need to find the best method for your oven, as no two ovens give the same results.
Make a nice soup, enjoy!