Rye grass grows well at cool, damp latitudes and is one of the most hardy species of grass grown on our shores. In the past British rye flour was incredibly popular for bread-making, due to its resilience and abundance, it was far more reliable than its temperamental cousin, wheat that needed a drier, warmer and more consistent climate than we are blessed with.
Despite its high protein and fibre content, rye bread has in recent times become less popular than wheat loafs due to its low gluten content that results in a denser loaf. However with that density comes heady stickiness from the treacle and once of the most flavourful loaves one can bake. Rye bread is highly nutritious it is packed full of phenolics, known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Here chef and food writer Claire Thomson has shared with us her fabulous recipe for a classic rye loaf, perfect for feeding the family.
The bread recipe will make two loaves, approximately 23cm x 13cm. One can be used the the other frozen for a rainy day.