Even though our café is known for its focaccia, another bread I bake on a regular basis is Danish rye bread. I'm fond of wholemeal food and the strong flavour of this bread is just as good with butter and jam as it is with labneh and zaatar. Like with the focaccia, this recipe demands very little kneading, just patience. In a few steps you can change our wheat sourdough starter to make it a rye starter and you're ready to go. Remember, we always have some fresh starter in the fridge at the café to hand out.

Here is a recipe for two loaves of Danish rye bread.


Makes 2 loaves

665g wholegrain rye flour
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
585g water
24g salt
200g rye mother

For the soaker
120g sunflower seeds
120g pumkin seeds
120g flax seeds
200g water

Combine all seeds together, add the water and leave to soak for about an hour.

When your soaker is ready, take a large bowl and pour the water into it. Add the mother and sugar and give a stir. Then add the flour, salt and seeds. Mix it all well together, scraping down the sides and bottom. The dough will feel like cement. Flatten the top and set aside for about 1 hour bulk fermentation in a warm spot.

Whilst the dough is fermenting, prepare the loaf tins by pouring a few drops of oil into each one then rub it around to coat the interior. Dump a handful of rye flour into the first tin, tilting it around to coat the inside, and repeat with the other tin.

After the hour bulk is up, scoop 1kg dough in each tin, smooth out the surface of the dough with your dough scraper, and then sprinkle a fine layer of rye flour over the top. Leave the loaves to proof in a warm spot for 4 to 5 hours. The loaves will rise by about 1cm, and the surface will start to crack. The loaves are ready to bake when small bubbles or air holes appear within the cracks. As soon a your loaves begin to crack, get your oven on to 200°C.

Bake four one hour. Once done, take the loaves out of their tin and put on a wire rack to cool. Make sure to let them cool completely before cutting (at least for 12 hours) as these continue to cook and cure as they cool.

This bread freezes very well. Just toast a slice right from the freezer when ever you need some bread.