I had to give this one a try, if only because it contains treacle, soggy Ryvita and onion. What’s more, it takes a whole weekend to make.
Preparation time: 20-30 minutes over 2 days
Cooking time: 30-40 minutes
Skill level: easy
Recipe: Dan Lepard – The Guardian
For the sponge
- 4 slices of plain Ryvita
- cold water – 275 ml
- rye flour – 150g
- half an onion – finely grated
- live yoghurt – 1 tbsp
- dried yeast – 1 tsp
For the dough
- treacle – 2 tbsp
- strong white flour – 250g
- rye flour – 150g
- salt – 2 tsp
Soak the Ryvita in warm water until soft. Drain and put in a bowl along with the onion, yoghurt and flour.
Dissolve the yeast in the water and add to the flour mixture.
Stir, cover with a plate and set aside overnight.
The next morning your sponge should have doubled in size. Add the flours, treacle and salt and stir into a sticky dough.
Set aside covered for 10 minutes.
Next give the dough three light kneads over the next 30 minutes. It will be very sticky so use plenty of flour.Return to the bowl for 30 minutes.
Next, roll into a rectangle approx 30cm x 20cm. Roll tightly to form a sausage shape.
Place on a well-floured baking tray, seam side down, and squeeze to remove any air. Pinch the ends to form a nice tapered shape.
Place inside a large plastic bag (a binbag perhaps?) and set aside for 1.5 – 2 hours or until doubled in size.
(Remove from the binbag – dough!) and place in a pre-heated oven at 200C for 20 minutes, turn down the heat to 180C and bake for a further 10-20 minutes until the crust is a dark brown. Keep an eye on it as it has a tendency to burn.
Put on a cooling tray (tapping to make sure it has a hollow cooked sound) and leave to cool.
Eat smothered in butter.
Verdict: It’s chewy, light and rye(y) and not only does it go rather well with layers of butter, but it also makes a fantastic sandwich – cheese and coleslaw -Â so tasty and no sogginess. A lovely rich flavoursome loaf well worth all the effort. Make double quantities and put one in the freezer.
Drink: It was a weekend of Bitter drinking.
Entertainment: Andy Hamilton’s ‘Hat of Doom’ at Stratford Circus. A very funny, charming and likeable man.