Wednesday, 4 April 2012

sour rye

My first attempt at 100% rye sourdough bread. Followed the River Cottage recipe. Pleased with the result.

The recipe had warned me that this made a heavy yet flavoursome loaf. I used 500g Doves Farm rye flour with 300ml water, 10g salt and "a ladleful of sourdough starter" (I think that's about 100g). You don't so much as knead it as squidge it together for 5 minutes. I added more water because it felt dry. I then roughly shaped it and placed it in a proving basket (my best ever Christmas present!) and left it for 4 hours. It did seem to have risen (approx doubled in size, whatever that means). I turned it out onto a baking tray and placed it into the oven. The book said that slashing the dough was unnecessary as there would be little oven spring but that the loaf was likely to "crack attractively" which I think you can see did happen.

It is a heavy loaf but very tasty and a slice with a mature cheddar and some red cabbage sauerkraut was a welcome break from studying.


  1. That looks excellent - rye flour is usually much more abosrbent than wheat flour so you are right to add more water to the dough, strange stuff to handle isn't it? If you have difficulty getting through the whole loaf it is also very good if you slice it thinly and bake it again for a cripsbread. The other thing you can do is to cut any leftover piece into small cubes and freeze and then next time you make a mixed grain or seedy loaf to soak the cubes in warm water for an hour or so and then mash the whole lot and add into your new dough, the Americans call this 'altus' but I just call it an old bread soaker. Gives a wonderful flavour to the new dough, just remember to account for the extra water in your calculations.

    1. Thanks for these suggestions Joanna, I really appreciate you taking the time to share your experience. I shall try both these suggestions - I like the idea of the crisp breads.

      River Cottage have a recipe for pumpernickel which the author says to have to try at least once just for the experience of making it.