Homemade wheat-rye bread from the oven

While baking homemade bread we know what we eat and we can mix any ingredients we like.

For instance there can be made a bread with hemp seeds, with rosemary, with garlic or a sweet loaf with raisins and cinnamon.
Pure homemade sourdough rye bread is said to be the healthiest. Unfortunately, this is a recipe for easier wheat-rye bread made with using a baker’s yeast.

Interesting facts about bread: homemade bread

The human species learned to bake bread at least 14,000 years ago. At that time it was something like a thick yeast pancake or flatbread. Yeast spores are ever-present in nature and are found on grains, so any dough, that is not immediately baked, starts to ferment.

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A little bit of etymology

The word loaf was probably taken from the ancient Germanic word hlaiba, which also provided the basis for other languages. Today’s German word for loaf is der Laib, Finnish leipä, Estonian leib, English loaf, and Russian, Polish or Czech word is chleb.

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Bread across the world

The tradition of baking fermented dough is typical mostly for the US and Europe. Throughout Europe, we find quite a variety in bread consumption. For example Germans bake over 1300 types of bakery products and the most bread per person in the world is consumed there.

Matzo(h), matza or matzah – traditional Jewish bread

In France 100 years ago people were eating an average of three baguettes per capita a day thanks to a government campaign. Today it’s only half a baguette.
Africa, Arabic and the Eastern countries are more characteristic for the unleavened bread or various bread pancakes – such as Jewish matzoh or Arabic pita.

Bucket-shape trough

Sourdough bread

Sourdough baking is a traditional European way of preparing bread. The principle is to create homemade fermentation culture, which is then used as a yeast for preparing the dough.
The old-time method: usually once a week when breads were baked, people put a piece of leavened dough aside. After a week the leftover dough was added to the new dough, and the process was repeated. The sourdough was usually prepared and kept in a bucket called a trough, trug or stoup.

A kneading trough
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Sourdough under the magnifying glass

The fermentation process happens thanks to the ascomycete fungi Saccharomyces cerevisiae. These Saccharomycetes feed on carbohydrates (glucose) and excrete carbon dioxide and ethanol as a waste. Carbon dioxide then causes airiness and porosity of the dough. Ethanol is used in beer and wine production.

Baker’s yeast bread

Baker’s yeast fermentation is a more convenient and reliable way of baking bread. Most bakeries use baker’s yeast for baking. Yeast doughs heave faster and always the same way, but they fall short of the sourdough in taste, nourishment, durability and texture.

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Bread and health

Depending on the chosen flour, bread is a source of carbohydrates, magnesium, iron, selenium, B-group vitamins and fiber.
It is recommended to buy or make the sourdough bread rather than the yeast bread, because there is less presence of gluten in the sourdough one.

Lactic acid in sourdough bread dissolves gluten and then any bread, including white, becomes far more digestible and harmless to our health. Rye sourdough bread is considered to be the most healthy one.

Wheat-rye bread made with baker‚s yeast – recipe : homemade bread

Ingredients per two medium size breads

Breads with sunflower seeds.
  • 800g fine wheat flour
  • 200g wholemeal rye flour
  • salt, caraway, coriander seeds, fennel, badian
  • 42g baker’s yeast, sugar
  • any seeds and nuts

Method: homemade bread

  • Prepare the yeast: take a jar or a big mug, add 1-2 teaspoons of sugar and 0,5 liter of warmish water. Crumble the cube of yeast into the water and cover the mug with something permeable – for example with a tea towel or a microwave dish cover. Put the mug in the warm place for 20 minutes. (Or you can create your own sourdough yeast and afterwards use it as this baker’s one.)
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  • Take a huge bowl, add both the flours, add 2 teaspoons of salt, tablespoon of caraway, half tablespoon of ground coriander seeds, two pinches of ground badian and two pinches of ground fennel. Mix everything using your hands or a laddle.
  • Add any seeds or nuts you like: for example 3 handfuls of hemp seeds (they make the bread more creamy), handful of flax seeds, sesame, sunflower seeds, poppy or walnuts. Mix it into the flour.
Yeast preparation, dough creation and leavening
  • If you would like a flavoured bread, then you can add a squashed garlic or diced onion or sweet paprika spice or some rosemary (dried or fresh). For sweet loaf add some cinnamon and raisins and do not add salt.
  • Create a crater in the middle of the mixture and pour the ready yeast-water into it. Mix it with a laddle or with your hands. If the dough is too dry and not able to mix, add some more warm water.
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  • After you mix it properly, cover the bowl with the microwave dish cover and put it in the warm place. Let it heave minimum 1 hour. You can let it heave even 24 hours or maybe even more. In the meantime knead the dough with a laddle or with your hands occassionally.
This pot would hold the whole amount for this recipe. However I used two smaller ones here.
  • Proceed to portioning the dough into baking jars. Two medium sized cast-iron pots were used in this recipe. Put a baking paper in the pots. You can use it repeatedly afterwards. You can put some nuts and seeds on the bottom of the pot, the seeds will lock in the dough.
  • Knead the dough with a laddle or with your hands for the last time and shift it into the pot(s). The dough will rise afterwards a little bit, so fill the pots just up to half or little bit above half.
  • You can leave the pot(s) with dough to rise a little bit (10 – 30 minutes) or you can proceed straight to baking if you are in a rush.
With crossing the bread you can ensure a equal cracking.
  • Smooth out the surface of the dough: put a tablespoon of warm water on it and smooth it out with the bottom part of the spoon. Then carve a big and deep cross into the surface.
  • Set the oven to 200°C and put the pot(s) in it. For an excellent outcome you can put inside a baking tin or another pot with water. The evaporating water is good for the bread.
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  • Bake the bread approx 50 minutes to get a nice golden colour. Turn the bread(s) upside down at around 3/4 of the baking time to get a crunchy crust at the whole surface.
Bread with hemp seeds
Rosemary bread

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