Sunday, October 20, 2013

Homemade Rye Bread and Whipped Cinnamon Honey Butter

So all of a sudden two weeks have passed (or maybe more?), and I’ve neglected my little internet space in light of, well, life happening. It happens to the best of us. One of those days in between I baked a chocolate and pear cake with high expectations, but really it didn't impress. It needs work. Another day I noticed that the movie title for the American film Identity Thief was here renamed to Voll abgezockt (fully fleeced), and it made me laugh and reminded me of other titles I have seen (unnecessarily) changed. A short list:

  1. Home Improvement became Hör mal wer da Hämmert (Listen who hammers here)
  2. The Sandlot became Herkules und die Sandlot Kids (huh? Why?)
  3. Marrried…with Children became Eine schrecklich nette Familie (A terribly nice family)
  4. Grown Ups with Adam Sandler, Kevin James, et al, became Kindsköpfe (Children’s heads)
  5. The hilarious Bridesmaids became Brautalarm (Bride alert)
  6. The Lovely Bones: In meinem Himmel (In my heaven)

And surely there are many, many more, but back to baking, and bread. If there are any Germans here reading, please correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m guessing rye breads are some of the top-selling breads in the country. It always seems to be rye, or some sort of rye mix. And the sliced bread that Americans love is reduced to toast bread here. It is sold as American Toast Bread, and as one German said to me, bread as horrible as that is only for the toaster, never to be eaten fresh. I get it. With a bazillion bakeries everywhere throughout, why would you eat pre-packaged stale-when-it-gets-to-you bread, when you can have something delicious, and perhaps still warm, right from the bakery?

But let me leave the diatribe here. What I think is best, is homemade bread. Now I know our busy lives don’t usually leave the time for it, but perhaps a Sunday morning when it’s rainy and cold outside? A perfect bread-baking day. This versatile little loaf can go either way: with savory or sweet toppings. Sliced with a piece of cheese on top was great. Spread with peanut butter was great. Slathered with whipped cinnamon honey butter was blissful.

So I share this with you to warm your kitchen and trigger your olfactory senses. And this is old school style; no stand mixer required.

Guten appetit!

Rye Loaf with Whipped Cinnamon Honey Butter
Please allow for plenty of time for the dough to proof!

For the bread:
3 ½  cups + 2 tablespoons (450g) rye flour
1 ½ cups + 1 tablespoon (225g) plain flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons raw sugar
1 packet instant yeast
1 ¾ cups (425ml) lukewarm water
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 egg white

For the butter:
1/2 cup  (100g) butter, softened
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ cup (90g) honey

To prepare the bread, sift both flours into a large mixing bowl, and stir to combine with a wooden spoon. Stir in the salt, sugar and yeast, and make a well in the middle. Pour the lukewarm water and the oil into the well, then mix thoroughly until the ingredients are well combined and a dough forms and sticks to the spoon. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured (use plain flour) work surface, and knead for 10 minutes, until the dough becomes smooth. Add very small amounts of plain flour only if necessary. Form the dough into a round, and place into a lightly oiled, large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel, and leave to rise in a warm space for two hours.

Again, place the dough on a lightly floured work surface, and knead for a further 10 minutes. Form the dough into a nice ball, and this time place the dough on a lightly greased baking tray. Very lightly sprinkle with a little flour, cover with a clean tea towel, and leave to rise in a warm spot for another 45 minutes. After this time the dough should have doubled in size again.

Preheat the oven to 375F (190C), place the bread in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg white with 1 tablespoon of water. Remove the bread from the oven and brush generously with half the egg wash. Rotate the tray and bake for another 20 minutes. Again remove, and generously brush with remaining egg wash. Place back in the oven and bake for a final 20-30 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

To prepare the butter, simply place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl, and using a hand-mixer, mix on high for 4-5 minutes until it becomes light and creamy.

Now just sit back and enjoy the crusty bread warm, spread with sweet butter.


  1. I'm so pleased to have found your blog! I have an extraordinary love for Northern European food and my instagram pic today was indeed Rye Bread with cinnamon honey butter! Going to have a look around your little space on the internet :) xx (Kanch from England)

  2. Thanks Misadventurer! Unfortunately I haven't kept up this space in a long while! But I hope you enjoy what you find. :)