Rye flour is becoming more popular for all of the right reasons. Once widespread in the UK as the most common cereal, we are learning again to cherish this tasty and healthful cereal.
We produce two distinct Rye flours in the traditional manner, the “dark” Rye being a 100% wholemeal flour, and the “light” being a wholemeal which is sifted to remove the bran. We also make cut Rye grains which are well suited to authentic pumpernickel.
Rye is often considered “European” and associated with dark German or Scandinavian breads, yet history shows that Rye was once widely eaten in the UK, especially in the North East.
100% wholemeal Rye breads were not uncommon but mostly, Rye was mixed with Wheat and/or Spelt in various proportions depending on the harvest to create the standard English loaf of yore, Maslin. This is the equivalent of the more fashionable “pain de campagne” of French fame, and this term “country bread” is exactly the same as a Londoner would use in referring to the breads outside the capital, as would the Parisian.
If wheat harvests were good and plentiful, the proportion of Rye would drop to as little as 10%, but in less favourable times could climb to 75% or be mixed with barley and spelt and in even less favourable times, peas/acorns and chestnuts could form as much as 50% of Maslin, with Wheat content probably non existent.
It seems the maslin was always made by the sourdough method, as rye bread made with yeast is always lacking in some way…seems too sweet or cloying, whereas the sourness introduced by sourdough fermentation balances both the flavour and digestibility of the rye.
Rye breads tend to be heavier than wheat breads because the rye contains much less of the gluten/gliadin proteins which enable the light structure of a wheat bread. Nevertheless, such “heavy”-seeming rye breads are very light on the digestion and are even “digestive”…easy to assimilate, and almost therapeutic.
Use our 100% wholemeal Rye flour to produce delicious sourdoughs like the German black bread type, schwartzbrot, or mix with wheat flour as described to make lighter breads…pain de campagne(maslin)
Alternatively try our light sifted rye flour to make new york deli style light rye breads with a nice greyish crumb and mild flavour, typically 40% light rye flour with 60% white flour…sometimes with caraway.
Rye famously makes a very active and easy to culture sourdough starter. If your wheat sourdough isn’t very active, try adding wholemeal rye to pep it up, or initiate the fermentation with wholemeal Rye.
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These boards are individually hand-made by a local craftsman, using wood sourced in Gloucestershire, and are part of our growing range of quality baking equipment.
Nigel guides the wood into a rectangular shape but allows the timber’s natural form to flow, so the edges are delightfully wonky. This coupled with the natural variations of wood means each board is unique. More ...
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Ideally flour should be kept in a sealed container in a cool dry place with stable temperature. Typically white flour has a shelf life from milling of 12 months. Wholemeal flour will be good for 6 months. More ...