Recipe by Jan Andersen
Most recipes I've seen for sour dough rye bread contain things that aren't really needed - like wheat, yoghurt, molasses or even vinegar! This is the way to make it properly and as you can see, it's very, very simple.
Top Review by Jana Steinhagen
I liked this recipe as it is very basic or purist. However i agree with not putting salt on top as salt is supposedly a hinderance to growing yeast. So my starter (minus the salt) is sitting on the radator right now and is looking very happy, I have called him Dough. Hopefully Dough will grow and make a nice Rye bread when he is ready.
Directions See How It's Made
- This is the way to make a real rye bread (as opposed to a bread containing rye flour).
- I have deliberately not given any measures.
- Firstly, I don't know, secondly, you can't make a proper bread if you simply measure up things and mix them together.
- Instead you need to produce a dough that feels right- don't worry, it's easy.
- First make a sour dough starter.
- Simply mix some flour- one or two cups- with water to make a thick, but rather runny paste.
- Put salt on top to stop it moulding, put a lid on and place it in a nice, warm place, eg on a radiator.
- Note: This procedure won't succeed if there are no natural yeasts and acid bacteria in the flour or the air.
- I have never had a problem, but who knows how things are where you live.
- After a few days it will be foaming and have a sour smell; I personally find the smell rather foul, but that's the way it should be, as long as it is sour and not turning any strange colour or getting mouldy.
- When the starter is ready, mix it with some lukewarm water.
- If you made your starter with one cup of flour, use~1 pint of water now.
- Add some salt.
- At this point you can add some 'roughage' too, like soaked, whole rye kernels or whatever.
- As the last step begin adding rye flour while mixing until the dough is firm enough to hand-knead.
- Tip it out on a floured table and continue adding flour and kneading until you feel the dough is 'right': when it doesn't stick too much to everything.
- Put it in a baking tin and leave it to rise; this can take quite a long time, maybe 8 hours.
- If you let it rise too long, it can turn very sour, but I usually leave for 4- 8 hours.
- Finally bake it at perhaps 125- 150 degrees Centigrade- haven't got a clue what it is in Fahrenheit, but it's not very warm.
- It should bake for at least 2 hours and the door should not be fully closed.
- It is a good idea to spray the bread with water from time to time to ensure that the crust doesn't separate from the rest of the bread.
- This bread will often be very sticky inside when it is fresh.
- The best things to do about it (in my opinion) is to allow the bread to settle- dry out a bit, basically- for a day or two.
- Some people add some wheat flour to the recipe, but that's cheating if you ask me.
- One thing that gives this bread a very nice taste is malt.
- Another thing: horses are crazy about rye bread!