Thursday, May 5, 2016
Sourdough Rye Bread
This recipe makes two large, oblong loaves of rye. It's a multi-step recipe, first creating a rye sourdough starter, and then extending the starter to a sponge, and finally to the dough. I find it best to begin early on day one, in order to bake by late afternoon on day two. The sourdough starter is for flavor more than leaven. Yeast is still used, which insures a good rise to the loaves. If you're buying rye four by the pound, this recipe requires about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 lbs. (I bought rye flour at WinCo in the bulk bins.)
In a large glass or ceramic bowl, stir together:
1/2 cup rye flour
1/4 cup room temp water
1 1/4 teaspoons yeast
Cover tightly. (I use a sheet of plastic wrap, top with a plate.) Place in a warm location, about 80 degrees F, for 24 hours. In my house, that warm location is the oven, with the door closed, and light on.
Early the next morning, stir in:
1 cup of warm water
1 cup of rye flour
Cover tightly, set in warm place for about 4 hours.
3/4 teaspoon yeast
Mix well with:
1 3/4 cups rye flour
Cover tightly, set in warm place for about 2 hours, to ferment.
Stir into first sponge:
1 cup warm water, then,
1/2 teaspoon yeast, then,
1 3/4 cup rye flour
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
Cover with a damp towel, set in warm place for another 2 hours.
To the sponge, stir in:
3/4 cup warm water
3 teaspoons salt
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons caraway seed
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
Allow to rest, covered with a damp towel for about 15 minutes.
Turn dough onto a well-floured surface (or into a stand mixer with dough hook). Knead in:
between 1 to 2 cups of all-purpose flour, until you have a stiff dough.
Shape into 2 long loaves and place on a buttered baking sheet. Allow to rise for about an hour, until not quite double in bulk. Don't allow it to rise too much, as it can cause the loaves to flatten.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (non-convection). Bake loaves for 1 hour.
After removing from oven, spread with butter while still warm. Cool on a rack.
Because of the time needed to bake sourdough rye, I prefer to make 2 loaves at a time, and freeze the second loaf. But this recipe can also be halved, and does well.
If you don't like so heavy of a rye flavor, you can also substitute about 1 cup of all-purpose flour for 1 cup of the rye flour called for in the second sponge, and still have a respectable rye loaf.
If you prefer, a salt glaze is more traditional than the buttered top. To salt-glaze the loaves, combine 1 teaspoon salt with 1/2 cup of water and brush over loaves, after baking, while still warm from the oven.
Depending on how early I get started on Day Two, I can have this ready for the dinner table (beginning around 6 or 7 AM).
I'll type up the recipe for Sweet Swedish Rye Bread in a couple of days. It calls for fennel seed, anise seed (although I usually just use anise), orange zest and molasses, which go well with the rye flavor.