Every once in a while its time to make a truelly earthy sourdough bread. Its takes a little time (compared to a yeast bread) for the sourdough to ferment and raise the bread but its worth it because its during the long slow fermentation that the wonderful characteristic flavour and juicy texture of a typical sourdough rye bread develop. The bread spices used in this recipe are a mix of ground cumin, coriander and fennel seeds. These spices add a lovely earthy flavour that really complements the sourness of the bread, I don’t add too much of these spices, however, as they can rather overpower the sour flavour itself. If you prefer a more neutral tasting sourdough bread just leave out the spices, this sourdough rye bread is equally tasty with its pure sourdough flavour. Eitherway, spiced or natural, spread with cold salted butter, its such an tasty enjoyable bread.
Recipe for sourdough rye bread
Ingredients for 2 med-large loaves
Sourdough starter (pre-dough);
300g whole rye flour
300g warm water
30g sourdough starter culture from the fridge
770g warm water
all of the fermented sourdough starter (above)
500g strong bread flour (in Germany type 550)
7g instant dried yeast
150g whole wheat flour
350g rye flour (in Germany type 1150)
20g sea salt
1.5 teasp bread spices (mix of ground cumin, coriander and fennel seeds)
1. Mix all the ingredients for the sourdough pre-dough until well combined. Then cover with plastic wrap and leave to ferment at room temperature for 15-20 hours, until you see bubbles.
2. In the order listed above add all the ingredients to a large bowl and combine. Then using the dough hook of your mixer knead the dough on lowest speed for 10 minutes. Rye dough has a very different structure to wheat flour dough, it never reaches elasticity and it rather difficult to handle and knead by hand. I prefer to let my mixer do the work, but if you don’t have a mixer or prefer to knead by hand, use a very light tough and plenty of flour on your kneading surface.
3. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and form into a tight ball, dust the dough ball surface with flour. Then place into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave to ferment for 2-3 hours or until at least doubled in size.
4. After the first fermentation your dough should have increased in size by 2-3 fold. The time it takes to reach full fermentation will vary depending on how active your sourdough starter is. Turn out the risen dough onto your work surface, gently deflate and divide into 2 roughly equal pieces. The bread can be shaped into rounds or ovals, whichever you prefer. Place the dough into well floured baskets and then into the fridge for 8 hours, or overnight for the second rise/fermantation.
5. The next morning (or evening if you have prooved your dough overday in the fridge) bring your baskets of dough to room temperature for at least 30 minutes while your oven is pre-heating to 250 degrees C. Carefully turn out the dough onto your baking sheet or stone and bake with steam for 10 minutes at 250 degrees and then reduce the heat to 200degrees for a further 45 minutes. Allow the fresh sourdough rye bread to fully cool on a wire rack before slicing and enjoying buttered.