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Fool-proof European-style rye bread

By Sari Huhtala

This recipe is for all the busy people who can’t find time to knead, and all those who long ago gave up breadmaking after discovering their loaves could double as doorstops. If you have one minute of time on your hands, you can make this bread. Seriously. It doesn’t get any easier than this.

Family and friends will be in awe of your breadmaking skills, and praise you for all the time and care you put into making your own bread, when all you did was kill time while waiting for your tea kettle to boil.

And, for bread lovers who are suffering from wheat belly, this is a great alternative to gluten-laden white and whole wheat bread as it’s made with spelt and rye – both low in gluten and easy to digest. Plus, as an added bonus, it won’t cause the afternoon crash that white and whole wheat breads do.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups light or dark rye flour
  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 1 cup tepid water (spring water is preferable to fluoride-filled, chlorinated tap water)
  • 1 tsp dry yeast
  • 1 tsp salt (aim for non-chemicalized salt like Himalayan or Celtic salt)

Measure 1 cup of warm/tepid water. Add dry yeast and stir. Measure and mix dry ingredients, including salt, in a bowl. Pour yeast water into the bowl. Stir until well combined. Cover and set aside on stove top. Walk away and go on with your day. I often make this bread just before heading to bed, and leave the dough to ferment overnight. Then in the morning I place the bowl in the fridge for an hour or two before baking so that it firms up a little. Do not mix the dough in between fermenting and refrigerating and baking.

Note: Your dough will be gooey. Do not panic. It is ok.

Alternatively, to encourage fast fermenting, I turn on the oven for about 10 minutes so the top of the stove warms up and I leave the bowl of bread dough on top of the stove for about 2 hours. Then I place the dough in the fridge for an hour or two before baking.

You can also skip the refrigeration process if you are in hurry.

Baking your bread

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Cover a cookie sheet or pizza stone with parchment paper. Do not mix the dough. You do not need to get your hands dirty. Pour the bread dough into the centre of the pan. Use a spatula to scrape sides of bowl. Sprinkle rolled oats, flax, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds on top, or just oats and flax, or whatever you prefer.

Bake the bread for about an hour and 20 minutes (oven temperatures vary so time may vary), or until the top of the bread is solid and firm when you tap on it. Remove from oven and cool slightly before slicing.

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