This morning I had bread with poached eggs and prosciutto. Almost made myself a hollondaise, but that would've been a bit too much hassle even for me on a weekday morning. It was with this rye and spelt bread that I just took out of the freezer. That's the best thing about bread - you can make a large quantity, which you can simply slice and freeze, and having frozen bread in the freezer makes life so much easier. Bread, peas and nuts - that's what I have in my freezer. Oh yes, by the way, if you didn't know, it's good to keep your hazelnuts and whatnot in the freezer to preserve the flavors.
"Toasted, it works enticingly with sharp jams, gooseberry, plum and redcurrant jelly. Cream or curd cheeses, again with a speck of acidity, and sweet, nutty cheeses such as gruyère partner it as perfectly as ripe brie on a crisp crusted, flour-dusted baguette. A great rye-bread sandwich is one that holds layers of milky caerphilly cheese and peppery, glossy-leaved watercress.
Toasted rye bread is probably the perfect base for small fish and shellfish. Prawns in dill-freckled mayonnaise; pickled rolled herring with paper-thin onion and sliced gherkin; escabèche of mackerel. My own favourite is smoked cod's roe, spread straight from its skin before some spoilsport whips it into taramasalata. The salty pink roe and the tobacco-coloured bread form a pretty fine partnership."
Recipe adapted from Nigel Slater
Makes 1 small loaf
7g dried yeast
300ml warm water
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp salt
40g parmesan, grated
200g rye flour
200g wholegrain spelt flour
100g strong white flour
1 tbsp caraway seeds
Pour 200ml in a bowl and mix in the honey. Lightly stir in the yeast, cover and leave in a warm place for 5-10 minutes or until a beige foam appears.
In a separate bowl, mix the flours together with the salt and stir in the yeast mixture along with the rest of the water. Mix to form a dough and then put it on a work surface and knead for 10-15 minutes.
Lightly oil the boil and put the dough back into it. Cover with a tea towel or cling film and leave it in a warm place to rise for 1.5-2 hours or until it has risen to 1.5 times its size.
Remove the dough and knead for just five more minutes, incorporating the parmesan and caraway seeds.
Shape the dough into a loaf, put on a floured baking tray, loosely cover with cling film and leave it to rise for another thirty minutes.
Set the oven to 220C and bake the loaf for 20-30 minutes or until browned and when you tap the bottom it sounds hollow. Leave it to rest for 15 minutes before cutting.