I recently attended a chocolate class with other bloggers at ‘Bake With Maria‘, a baking school run by the lovely Maria Mayerhofer. Maria teaches all kinds of classes, from macarons to croissants, and last week, I was invited to try out her ‘baking with rye’ class.
I really enjoy making and eating bread, although I’d never made rye bread at home before. There’s so much focus in the news at the moment on eating healthily and cutting out various food substances, such as gluten or yeast, so I was keen to see if I would like the rye products as much as standard white or brown bread. I was hoping I would, as it seemed like a healthier alternative!
The class was held at Snaps + Rye in Notting Hill – interestingly, London’s only Danish restaurant!
During the class, we learned how to make a Rye Loaf with Figs & Fennel, Rye Crackers with Seeds and Overnight Rye Buns.
Rye Loaf with Figs & Fennel
This was a lot of fun to make, and made much easier by the fact that the sourdough starter was already created for us. This is where you mix together sourdough with warm water and rye flour and leave it in a warm place overnight – obviously for the nature of the class, we needed to have this pre-prepared.
We mixed this in with dark rye flour, warm water, salt, molasses, fennel seeds and dried figs, before placing into a greased loaf tin.
We sprinkled some flour on the top and left it to prove. We were told that when cracks start to form in the flour, it’s ready to go in the oven. And just look how they turned out in the end! Lovely!
The loaves should be left for at least 24 hours before cutting to allow the crumbs to set. Apparently the flavour develops over time and should be at its best 2-3 days after baking.
Rye Crackers with Seeds
We mixed together pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, oats, sunflower seeds, linseed, baking powder, salt and rye flour with olive oil and cold water. We then rolled it out in between two sheets of baking powder.
The dough needed to be rolled out as thinly as possible, until you’ve gone as low as you can go with the largest seeds. We then cut the dough into square shapes with a knife/dough cutter.
After 15-20 minutes in the oven at a high temperature, they were ready to eat! Crispy and yummy!
Overnight Rye Buns
We mixed together dark rye flour, strong white flour, dried yeast, honey, salt, water and natural yoghurt. This mixture was put into a pot which we took home and left in the fridge overnight. The next day, I baked them at home – the oven needed to be on a high heat with a roasting tray of boiling water in the base of the oven to steam it up and help the crust form. I scooped the dough out of the pot using wet spoons and placed onto a baking tray. Here’s Maria demonstrating how to do this in the class:
After 25 minutes in the oven, they looked great! Here they are with my other creations! You may have seen that earlier in the same week, I attended a Swedish cooking class, so I ate these with some of the Swedish cheese we were given. I’m not sure if it’s frowned upon to mix Danish and Swedish foods, but hey ho 😉 All in all, it was a very Scandinavian week for me, and I absolutely loved it!
And back to the class – after all of the cooking, we were treated to some delicious food and drink from Snaps + Rye, along with some of the bread we cooked earlier.
We were also treated to some rye-infused Akvavit made by Kell Skött, owner of Snaps + Rye. He told us how he also makes it with dill, and with horseradish (not for the faint hearted!)
I’d definitely recommend paying a visit to Snaps + Rye. It opened up mid last year, and is run by Kell and his wife, Jacqueline. They sell some wonderful Danish takeaway food and serve a sit-down dinner on Friday evenings. They also sell a wide variety of luxury Danish produce. I was surprised to learn how popular liquorice is in Denmark. It’s not something that I’ve ever really liked, but I’d only ever tried it in the ‘jelly sweet’ form, such as liquorice ‘allsorts’. They had some liquorice salt available to try, which had a really interesting flavour. Apparently the Danes use it in all kinds of food products, from beer to ice cream!
I was also kindly offered a ticket to the class to give away as a competition prize on here. The lucky winner picked at random was a fellow foodie called Mark – here he is at the end of the class enjoying some of the rye akvavit. I knew we would get along well, when we both turned up in the same patterned tops! Thanks for joining me, Mark, and congrats again on winning!
I was invited to attend the class and was given a ticket as a competition prize by Bake With Maria, but did not receive any payment. All views are my own.