Staff of life, story-bikes and Andy

Mum was a bit sad this week. It seems humans worry about all sorts of things they can’t change including other human’s health. Instead of calling the vet she chewed her nails and typed on her word machine, face booking, as she calls it. The face she was worried about is indeed a very attractive and kind-looking one. Seemingly her friend Andy, who i haven’t met, has died and we didn’t know he was ill. I saw her wearing what she calls guilt as well as sadness. I could see she was down so i suggested she cook something in his memory. It seems that one of Andy’s things was bread-making. This is something Mum doesn’t do so much of theses days since she has gone gluten-free. But all inspired, she picked up her mixing bowl, got yeast from the freezer and decided to make rye bread which she could share with others. There is something in one of her books about sharing loaves of bread as a kindness. I prefer chicken, still Andy liked that particular Big book. He told stories aloud like Mum does and helped all the beginner storytellers and the Edinburgh story club. He went about on his bicycle, telling tales and loved the Earth. I understand the last one.

So for the bread-maker and bike rider, helper of the less able and all round good gentleman Andy Hunter, here is a rye bread recipe:

loaf of rye bread

rye bread for Andy


500g rye flour, 1/2 fresh yeast, 2 teaspoons honey, 1 Tablespoon oil, rind of an organic orange, 1 tsp fennel seed, 2 teaspoons caraway seed, 1 teaspoon coriander seed, gluten free flour.

Dissolve honey in warm water, add yeast and allow to become frothy. Warm flour in the bowl and add yeast, crushed spices and warm water and oil till a thick batter results. Cover and put in a cool place overnight so the flavours can ‘wake up’ and combine. Next day bring dough into warm room, add gluten free flour till kneadable (doesn’t stick to the bowl sides). Fold together using more GF flour. Put on a baking sheet. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic sheet and leave till doubled in size. Bake in a medium oven with a foil sheet over it to protect from drying out for at least a hour till when the underside is tapped it sounds hollow. Keep the foil on as it cools.

This bread keeps ages and is great sliced thinly with cheese. I like cheese. Slice cheese thickly for me please.