When it comes to buying bread it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the choices – white, brown, wholemeal…let alone the wheat and gluten free options.
At the end of the day, what we all want to know is – what makes healthy bread?
Whilst wheat based products – such as bread – offer a variety of vitamins and goodness, other foods made from whole rye are worth keeping an eye out for. Not only do they offer you a rich, hearty taste, but also numerous health benefits.
Rye is a cereal grain and because it is difficult to separate the germ and bran from the endosperm of rye, rye flour usually retains a large quantity of nutrients in contrast to refined wheat flour.
With this in mind, let’s look at a recipe for some delicious and healthy Banana Rye Bread…
Banana Rye Bread
We want to start by collecting our ingredients. To make two loaves, you’ll need:
– 2 packets of active dry yeast
– ¼ cup of honey
– ¼ cup of butter/margarine, softened
– 1 tablespoon of salt
– 3 cups of rye flour
– 2½ – 3 cups of all purpose flour
– 2 cups of mashed ripened banana
Let’s start by adding half a cup of warm water (approximately 100C) to a bowl. Grab your packets of yeast and stir in until they dissolve.
Pour in another half cup of warm water, followed by the honey, butter, salt, rye flour and just half a cup of the all purpose flour.
Spend at least two minutes mixing well on a medium speed of an electric mixer.
Throw in your mashed banana at this point and another half a cup of all purpose flour – continue to mix, but now at a high speed for another two minutes.
To get obtain a soft dough, add the remaining all purpose flour bit by bit – you may not need to use all of it, so adapt how much you use with how soft the dough becomes.
Once you’re happy with it’s texture, tip onto a lightly floured surface and knead for around 8-10 minutes until smooth, elastic and sticky.
Place in an oiled/greased bowl, turning it about to glaze the dough. Cover and leave to rise to double the size in a warm place – this should take approximately an hour.
Retrieve your dough, and ‘punch’ down to remove the air and deflate it, turning it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into two equal portions and shape each portion into a ball. Sit on a large baking sheet and flatten slightly using the palm of your hand.
Cover once again and leave to rise to double its size for about 45 minutes in a warm place.
Take this time to preheat the oven to 175C, and before you start baking make several slashes on top of the loaves.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and the loaves sound hollow when tapped underneath.
Remove from the baking sheet and leave to cool on wire racks.
About the Author: Emily Amelia Inglis is a writer and fan of healthy bread.