AGA German Rye Bread
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.