I’ve changed this recipe of Dan Lepard’s a bit to make it a little more approachable, but this loaf still retains its heavy texture and rich flavours, not for the faint hearted but a true star of any meal.
Whisk 225ml of cold water with 50g wholemeal or rye flour together in a saucepan, bring to the boil and then spoon into a bowl, and leave until cool. Then add 1tsp muscovado sugar and 2 tsp fast action yeast, cover and leave for 45 mins.
In a little saucepan melt 50g butter with 100ml cold water, 2 tbsp cocoa, 2tbsp instant coffee, 50g black treacle, 25g golden syrup and either 3tsp cumin, 2tsp fennel or 1 ½ tsp caraway (they are all different strength flavours so the quantities vary). Leave this to cool until lukewarm and then stir it into the yeast and flour mixture with 150g grated carrot.
In a bowl weigh out 100g rye or wholemeal flour, 425g strong white flour and 2 tsp salt. Pour in the syrup, yeast and carrot mixture and stir to s sticky mess.
Turn the dough onto a lightly oiled surface and knead eight to ten times, leave to rest for 10mins and repeat the kneading and resting twice more.
Shape the dough into a ball, prinkle thickly with sesame seeds (I used black as that’s what I had in, but white ones would look better with the contrast) and leave to rise until it has increased in size by half.
Cut a criss-cross in the top and bake at 220°C for 20mins and then turn the oven down to 180°C for another 15-20mins.
Turn out to cool and eat with a strong cheese, cured meats, chutney, sun dried tomatoes.