Rye bread contains a large amount of fibre and a small amount of fat. Its lower glycaemic index than white bread means rye bread causes less of an increase in blood sugar.
150ml (5 fl oz) lager
115ml (4 fl oz) cold water
7g (1½ tsp) fast-action dried yeast
225g (8 oz) strong white bread flour
1 tsp sea salt
225g (8 oz) rye flour
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp sunflower seeds
1 egg, beaten
A little olive oil, for greasing
1 tbsp strong white bread flour, for dusting
1. Place the lager in a small pan and bring to simmering point on the simmering plate, remove from the heat, add the cold water and leave to cool.
2. Sift the white flour into a large bowl, add the salt, rye flour and seeds and stir together. Make a well in the centre and add the beer and water when they are at blood temperature, together with the egg. Mix to a soft, almost sticky but not wet dough – you may need a little extra cold water.
3. Knead with a dough hook in a stand mixer at a slow speed for 6 minutes or by hand for 12. Remove the dough and add a little oil into the bowl, roll the dough in this so that it is lightly coated and then cover with a piece of cling film. Place on a work surface next to the AGA and leave for 45 minutes to an hour – until it has doubled in size.
4. Knock back the dough with your fist and knead for a minute and shape into a large oval loaf. Place on an AGA cold plain shelf, lightly oiled, or lined with Bake-O-Glide. Use a really sharp knife to slash down the centre of the loaf. Cover loosely with an oiled piece of cling film.
5. Place to prove on a chef’s pad or folded cloth on the closed simmering plate lid, or use the warming plate, if your AGA has one. Leave for 20-30 minutes – it is ready to bake when it is 1½ times its original size.
6. Carefully lift off the cling film and sprinkle with the white bread flour. Place a clean hand under a cold tap and then shake drops over the cold plain shelf twice, on each side of the centred loaf – this will turn to steam to encourage good ‘oven spring’ during baking.
7. Slide the cold plain shelf onto a grid shelf on the floor of the roasting oven. Bake for 15 minutes and then turn. Bake for a further 10-15 minutes, until it is risen and a good colour. It should sound hollow when tapped on the underside.