Made by Rosie Clark, this was one of three Leicestershire Loaves that won her the Leicestershire Cook Off
300 grams of light rye flour (if you cannot get rye, use dark)
250 g warm water
3 grams dry yeast
6 g salt
1/2 tsp roasted fennel seeds
1/2 tsp crushed and dry roasted cardomom seeds
1/2 tsp dry roasted cumin seeds
some mixed seeds for decoration
Measure the flour into a bowl and make a little well in it.
Sprinkle the yeast into the well and pour on 100 g of the warm water. Wait for 15 minutes and the yeast will turn into a beige sludge on top.
Add all of the rest of the ingredients and mix them well with a spoon. It will be a bit tough to mix but should feel soft when you press it with your fingers. It should not feel chalky or dry.
Grease a 500 g bread tin thoroughly with butter or lard (use a hard fat).
Wet your hands thorougly and pick up the dough. Mould it into a little brick and roll it in some mixed seeds that you have put on a plate. Slide it gently into the tin. Don’t squash it into the corners or even smooth it down. It will rise just fine.
Cover it and leave it for 2 hour until it has come up to the top of the tin and there are little holes in it.
Preheat the oven to 200 C and put the dough in. Bake it for 45 minutes. It should sound hollow when you tap the bottom of it. If you like, remove it from the tin and set it on the shelf for the last 5 minutes of baking so it goes nice and brown all over.