Thursday, December 29, 2011

The catcher in the rye

Now this is getting serious. Let's talk about making rye bread. No yeast, no wheat, just 100% real thing.


First of all, you need a starter: A piece of old rye bread dough, about 1,5 dl. Either dried or frozen, drying works better. Crumble the dried dough into 1 liter of warm water and mix with 5 dl of rye flour.

Let the dough rest in a bowl for 1 to 3 days (I usually let it stay over two nights) in room temperature. Cover the bowl with a cloth and mix it every now and then. The dough should foam. It looks disgusting and smells a bit funky, but that's how it's suppose be like at this point.

After 1 to 3 days, add 1 table spoon of salt and mix 7,5 to 10 dl of rye flours into the starter. There's no need to knead the dough, just make sure that the flours are mixed properly. Cover the bowl and let it rise for 2 to 6 hours in a warm place.

Roll the dough into several smaller breads or a couple of bigger ones (I prefer small ones for maximizing the portion of delicious crust). The dough is very sticky, so don't get mingy with rye flours. Take 1,5 dl of dough aside, pat it flat and let it dry - that's your starter for the next round.

Let them rise on a covered baking tray for 1 to 2 hours. Bake the small rolls in 250 degrees celcius for 12 to 15 minutes, bigger ones take 30-45 minutes in 190 degrees. The breads are done when they sound hollow. Wrap the warm breads into a cloth and let them cool down.

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