This is an absolutley delicious bread, and easy to make. Even though it’s got a long list of ingredients, and is best made a couple of days prior to consuming it, don’t let that stop you from adding this to your repertoire! We serve this on Christmas Day because it it makes for an easy breakfast that blurs into lunch. It’s delicious with sweet or savory toppings: grava lax, smoked trout, egg salad, and fruit jams. And what at treat it is to watch Nigella Lawson, England’s very own domestic goddess, bake bread!
I’ve listed the ingredients below so that you can measure everything out ahead of time, and then follow along with the video. (I didn’t include the acitvated charcol, or the nigella seeds because I can’t find them). Also, the 2-lb pan she references is the same as a 9″x5″ loaf pan.
- 400ml stout (14oz)
- 1 egg white (save yolk for brushing on top just before baking)
- 30g brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp molasses
- 300g dark rye flour
- 300g bread flour
- 25g cocoa powder
- 4 tsp caraway seeds
- 4 tsp fennel seeds
- ¼ tsp yeast
- 1¼ tsp salt
- oil to grease pan
You can mix the dough, in the evening, then let it rest overnight, shape it the next day, then bake after the 2-hr rest. Or, mix it in the morning, let it rest all day, then shape it and refrigerate overnight. Pop it into the oven first thing in the morning (directly from the fridge, no need to do the 2-hr rise). Either way, it would benefit from not being cut open for another day, but it’s hard to wait for this one!
I would also score the top so that it splits evenly as it bakes.
Here’s a link to the written recipe, and below is the video. If you’re not familiar with Nigella Lawson, go ahead and open the link and read the recipe through, and be prepared to fall in love with the language she uses to describe and instruct. I also want to highlight this tip that she adds at the end: “Any leftover bread can be blitzed in the processor into fabulous black breadcrumbs. I keep them in the freezer to use whenever I want to add an aniseed crunch. They are particularly good sprinkled over a tomato salad.”