I started to learn how to cook Indian food when I was about 8 years old. My mother taught me a basic spice mixture and it’s pretty much what I use now for dry and wet curries. I also learned chappattis at around that age but didn’t actually have the job of making them for the whole family til I started secondary school. I made about 50 every night – maybe more on weekends when guests came round. So…nowadays I would much rather make a loaf of bread than a stack of chappattis. Rye goes really well with Dhal because the strong flavour carries nicely with the spices. I sometimes use a microwave for proving because it’s difficult to find a draught free, warm place in my old Victorian house! I have given some guidelines below in case you have the same
- 400g strong white flour
- 100g rye flour
- 8g salt
- 8g (1 sachet) instant yeast
- 350g water
- 1 rounded tsp caraway seeds
- KitchenAid with dough hook
- A 2lb loaf tin
To make it
- Grease and flour the loaf tin and set aside.
- Measure out the flours and mix together in a the KItchenAid’s bowl. Remove 1 cups worth into a small bowl.
- Put the add the caraway seeds, salt and yeast and mix on speed 2 for 2 minutes.
- Slowly add the water (with dough hook still turning) and mix for 1-2 minutes.
- Slowly add the remaining flour and then mix for a further few minutes.
- Take the dough out of the KitchenAid and knead by hand until dough springs back on touch. I use Richard Bertinet’s method because it’s what I find works for me despite being and feeling rather strange. It doesn’t really matter what method you use as long as you stretch the dough to work the gluten.
- Put the microwave on at full power with nothing inside for 1 minute. This is simply to warm it up.
- Put the dough in a large bowl , cover with a dry teatowel and put in in the microwave. Shut the microwave door and leave this to double in size.
- Take the dough out onto a floured surface , give it a light knead and shape it into a 2lb loaf tin.
- Repeat step 7 to warm up the microwave again.
- Cover the tin with a teatowel and pop this back in the warmed microwave for an hour.
- Grab an eggcup of water. Place the loaf tin into the middle of the oven and just before you close the door, throw the eggcup of water into the bottom of the oven to generate some steam and quickly close the door.
- Bake at 220C for about 35 minutes until golden brown.
- Take it out of the loaf tin and return to the oven for another 5- 10 minutes.
- Leave it to rest for about 15 minutes before you cut / break into it.