You probably know by now that while Mark loves to make bread by hand, I like to make it the lazy way, in the bread machine, even if I'm going to shape and bake the dough conventionally. So here we have what must surely be the easiest rye bread ever!
Since our local farm shop started to stock the lovely range of Wessex Mill bread flours, I can easily get hold of their delicious Sour Rye Flour and this has become our favourite loaf - it is light, evenly textured and has just the right amount of caraway flavour - definitely "there" but not enough to overwhelm anything you eat with it. Mark loves it with jam for breakfast: I love it with smoked trout paté from the Farmer's Market. And we both love it with soups and stews - the other day I made a loaf to eat with Goulash Soup.
My recipe came from a little booklet called "Allinsons Continental Bread" which I bought several years ago, one of those little booklets like the Be-Ro book that you often find perched on the top of the baking ingredients shelves. However I've found the recipe on the Baking Mad website - identical apart from the fact the online version includes honey and there's no sweetening added to the one in the booklet. I don't think it needs the honey, it's absolutely delicious without it! Or simply use the basic loaf recipe that comes with your machine, replacing half of the flour with rye flour and adding 1 tablespoon of caraway seeds.
To make it in a bread machine, add all the ingredients to the pan in the order recommended for your machine and then use the DOUGH setting. When the cycle finishes, remove from the machine, knead lightly and shape into a rounded-ended oblong on your greased baking tray, make slits along the top and cover loosely with oiled cling film. Leave to prove until doubled in size - nowadays I tend not to actively seek out a warm place for bread to rise, but this really does benefit from half an hour or so in the airing cupboard. The oven can be heating while the bread is rising. Make sure there is plenty space above the shelf in the oven, as the bread will continue to rise quite a lot in the oven.
Bake for 30 minutes at 190 C (170 fan), 375 F, Gas Mark 6.
I'm sharing this with Bready Steady Go at Jen's Food and Utterly Scrummy Food 4 Families