This is a completely different texture and taste to the crusty white rolls – it’s far chewier, for one thing, and the treacle gives it a rich aftertaste. Like our Tiger Bread, it’s a bread of character! It’s delicious strong cheeses or a good ham.
FOR THE BREAD
- 350g rye flour
- 150g strong white bread flour
- 10g salt
- 10g fast-action dried yeast
- 90ml black treacle
- 140ml warm water
- 250ml Guinness or any full-flavoured beer such as ‘Hobgoblin’ (a beer of mischievous character, according to the label)
FOR THE CRUST/TOPPING
- 150ml Guinness or similar full-flavoured beer
- 100g rye flour
- A pinch of caster sugar
- 60g porridge oats
1 Mix the flours and the salt and yeast in a bowl.
2 Put the treacle, water and ale in a jug and stir, then add about two-thirds to the dry mixture. Add the remainder of the liquid slowly, as you may not need it all, but try and incorporate as much as possible.
3 Put some oil onto your work surface and begin to knead. The more you knead the smoother and less sticky it gets, but after 10 minutes it should be a smooth piece of dough.
4 Put the dough in a large bowl, then cover and leave it to rise – it will take longer than dough made with white bread flour.
5 When you are ready to shape the dough, make the topping by mixing the ingredients (excluding the rye flour) to form a rough paste.
6 Take out the dough, flatten it gently, then roll it into a thick oblong. Fold it in at the sides, then press it down and shape it into a tight ball. Tuck the dough in underneath it as your fingers go round it – you are looking to create a ball with a smooth, tight top and a rough underside.
7 Spoon the paste on and smooth it down with your hand to form an even layer. After you’ve applied the topping – but before it sits and rests again – dust with the rye flour.
8 Place the loaf carefully on a baker’s stone or a baking tray and leave it to prove for a further 1 hour (or more) until it’s increased in size again. The ‘topping’ will split, which is part of the character of this bread.
9 Bake in a preheated oven at 220°C for 35–45 minutes until the base of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.