Last week I boiled a ham in some cider that’s been sitting unopened on my shelf since I bought it for some long ago forgotten purpose. It made zero difference to the taste of the ham, but did succeed in making the kitchen smell like slightly sour cider for a few days afterwards. There was about 250ml left in the bottle, so I decided to use it up in some bread.
Dan Lepard has a recipe for a cider rye loaf, but I’m not a fan of 100% rye, so I decided against looking for a recipe, and went off by the seat of my pants, so to speak. I mixed the remaining cider with 15g of fresh yeast (from the freezer) with enough rye flour to make a thick batter (I didn’t weigh it out). I then put this in the fridge overnight. The next morning the sponge was showing no signs of progress, so I left it on the kitchen worktop for about six hours, until it was beginning to bubble slightly. I then added another 10g of (frozen) fresh yeast (to compensate for a loss in potency post-freezing), a bit of salt and enough white bread flour to make a soft dough. I used Dan Lepard’s “three ten-second kneads over 30 minutes” approach, and left the dough to rise for an hour in a bowl.
I then shaped it into a log, popped it in a 2lb loaf tin, left it to rise, covered in poppy seeds and slashed, before baking it for about 50 minutes and leaving it to cool overnight. Unfortunately it’s a little undercooked in the middle, but from the bit I tried it has a nice flavour; slightly apple like, definitely savoury. Would be very nice with cheese.
After I finished making the dough, I happened to look in my copy of Dough by Richard Bertinet which also has a recipe for a cider rye loaf, which might be worth trying in the future, should I ever come into possession of another bottle of cider.