I love this lazy time at home between the hustle and bustle of Christmas, and the excitement of the New Year. We’re lucky, nobody is working and we’re all enjoying spending time at home together, watching films and eating too much chocolate. Yesterday we went to the Royal Albert Hall with my Dad for the Christmas Spectacular. It was wonderfully festive – there was a bit of ballet, a bit of opera and some modern classics like John Williams’ incredible Hedwig’s Theme from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Today we’re just pottering at home (see what I did there?). I wanted to share this really lovely, easy recipe with you. It’s a half rye/half strong white flour mix (I find rye a bit overpowering), scented with oranges (or at this time of year, leftover clementines) and sweetened with honey. I think 2017 is the year we’re all going to be embracing our homes and families, simplifying our lives and counting our blessings, and pottering in my beloved kitchen, baking those I love a delicious, home made treat comes high up in my priorities. Here’s how to make my orange and sultana rye bread:
I make this bread in my KitchenAid. It’s quite a sticky dough so it’s much easier that way, but feel free to make it by hand – you might need a bit of extra flour.
Orange and sultana rye bread
You will need:
Zest and juice of 1 orange or 2 clementines
100g sultanas (or you could use cranberries)
1 tbsp honey
150g rye flour
225g strong white bread flour
1 x 7g sachet fast action yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
250ml warm water
Firstly, zest and juice the orange, then add this to the sultanas with the tablespoon of honey. Stir and set aside to steep while you make the dough.
Weight out the flours, and add the yeast, salt and sugar. Mix the rapeseed oil with the warm water, then with the mixer on low, gently pour the liquid into the dry ingredients, mixing until all the liquid is absorbed (it’s quite wet and sticky – don’t worry!).
After about five minutes, add in the orange and sultana mixture and mix just enough to combine.
Now, just loosely cover it in clingfilm or a tea towel and leave it somewhere warm for an hour to rise.
Then, flour your hand, punch it down, and on a floured surface, shape into a loaf. I use a loaf tin, as it’s a soft dough and it tends to spread, but you can shape it into a rough loaf and bake it on a floured baking sheet too. Allow to rise for another 30 minutes or so.
Preheat your oven to 190 degrees C/gas mark 5, then bake the bread for around 35 minutes until golden brown. It will sound hollow when knocked on the bottom.
This loaf is delicious just served warm and buttered. If you have any left over, slice and freeze and it makes a delicious, comforting breakfast popped into the toaster.
Enjoy your homes and families, and I’ll see you in the New Year!