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100 percent rye sourdough bread

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Loaves of commercial rye bread tend to resemble small, dark bricks.  The texture is dense and dry and inedible unless toasted.  Given that wheat sets off my allergies and I am a total carb junkie I thought I should expend some energy making a more palatable rye loaf.

The only reason I decided to try a sourdough loaf was because I have been wanting a pet sourdough starter for a while.  They have a reputation for being challenging but I've found that it isn't creating the starter that is tricky - it is maintaining it.  I used the instructions on this fantastic site to start off my culture (I've named her Mrs Fothergill).  I've summarised the instructions below to demonstrate how simple it is but I suggest you read the original detailed instructions as they give useful back ground information.

I experimented with various rye bread recipes but eventually came up with  my own which is moist, delicious and has a long shelf life.  I have yet to try the bread toasted as it tastes so good au naturel.  The coriander seeds may sound like a strange (optional) addition but give bursts of nutty, citrus flavours as you bite into them.

I have learnt that you can't rush sourdough.  This recipe is a three day process but is actually not arduous in the least - you don't even have to knead your loaf.

Making a rye sourdough starter
  1. Ensure you have a clean jam jar and spoon.
  2. Add 40 millilitres mineral water* and 40 grams organic whole rye flour into the jam jar.  Stir well.  Cover and leave at room temperature (out of direct sunlight) for 24 hours.
  3. Day two - add another 20 millilitres mineral water and 20 grams rye flour to the mixture.  Stir well, cover and leave at room temperature (out of direct sunlight) for 24 hours.
  4. Day three - If your mixture has doubled in size, throw away two-thirds of it.  Then add another 30 millilitres mineral water and 30 grams rye flour to the remaining mixture and stir well.  Cover and leave at room temperature (out of direct sunlight) for 24 hours.  If your mixture didn't double in size repeat step three again.
  5. Day four - The mixture should definitely be active by day four.  Throw away two-thirds of it.  Then add another 30 millilitres mineral water and 30 grams rye flour to the remaining mixture and stir well.  Cover and leave at room temperature (out of direct sunlight) for 24 hours.  
  6. Day five - Your starter is ready for baking a loaf!  You can let the culture rest for a day or two if you aren't ready to bake yet.  The smell will become fruitier as it matures.
*Throughout the sourdough process make sure the water is at room temperature.

How to maintain your sourdough starter

Once your starter is mature (at least 30 days old according to various sources) you can keep your jar in the fridge.  It is probably worth checking the starter every couple of days - simply give it a quick stir and then smell it.  If it smells fruity then just put it back in the fridge.  If it has acetone notes then  it needs to be fed;  discard two-thirds of the starter and then add 30 grams rye flour and 30 millilitres mineral water to the remaining starter.  Stir it and leave it on the work surface to activate.  Once the starter has doubled/ tripled in size, store it in the fridge.  I've only had Mrs Fothergill for a few weeks and I'm still learning how to keep her happy.  If you do have issues I suggest Google searching as there are people out there with a wealth of sourdough knowledge.

100 percent rye sourdough bread recipe

Day 1 - evening

Ingredients:
  • 35 grams sourdough starter
  • 135 grams organic whole rye flour
  • 200 millilitres mineral water
Method:
  • Mix together all of the ingredients in a bowl and leave at room temperature.
Day 2 - morning

Ingredients:
  • The mixture from day 1 above
  • 60 millilitres mineral water
  • 10 grams black molasses
  • 5 grams salt
  • 150 grams organic whole rye flour
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds (optional)
Method:
  • Combine all of the ingredients and mix well.
  • Set aside for two hours or until the mixture has doubled in size.
  • Grease a 1 pound loaf tin with light tasting vegetable oil.
  • Add the loaf mixture to the tin and smooth with a palette knife.  Leave to rise until it reaches the top of the tin.  This will take in the region of 1 hour.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 210 Centigrade.
  • Place the loaf tin in the oven on the middle shelf.  Fill a baking tray with water and place this on a lower shelf to create steam.  Bake for 45 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.    During this time, add more water if the baking tray is drying out.
  • Leave the loaf to cool in the tin for five minutes.
  • Then carefully remove the loaf from the tin and leave it to cool on a wire rack.
  • Once cool, wrap in greaseproof paper and leave to rest for a day (it tends to have a weird gummy texture on the day of baking).
Day 3
  • Your loaf is ready to eat.


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

i am already inpired

got tired of spelt
and had dificulty with rye

thank you dear

Reena said...

Hi Anon. That's very kind of you. Good luck with the recipe. All the best. Reena

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