Rye is often overlooked as a bread choice by many and preferences tend to head in the direction of white and whole wheat loaves. In many cultures of yesteryear, rye was seen as an inferior grain and frequented lower-class consumers. However, rye provides essential nutrients and is a particularly good source of dietary fiber, phosphorus and magnesium. I also find that it’s more filling and makes a serious open sandwich.
This recipe is one of the easiest I have come across for making sourdough. You can make the levain (pre-ferment) the night before and be ready to bake the next morning. This bread is best baked using a loaf pan. If you don’t have a sourdough starter, check out this post on how to get one going – sourdough starter
8 PM – make the levain
Active sourdough starter 100 grams.
Rye flour 150 grams.
Water 200 grams.
Bring the ingredients together in a mixing bowl with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon. Once well incorporated, cover with a tea towel and leave at room temperature overnight.
8 AM – make the final dough
Levain (from above).
Rye flour 200 grams.
Hot water (recently boiled) 150 grams.
Salt 6 grams.
Mix the flour, water and salt together and then add to the levain. You can mix this with your hands if you want, but this bread can be achieved without even touching the dough. So just give it a good go with the spatula or wooden spoon.
Get your loaf pan and grease it with olive oil or sunflower oil so the dough won’t stick. Pour in your mixture and flatten it your with your spatula or dough scraper. Sprinkle some more rye flour on top, cover with a towel and leave it to rise for about 2 hours.
Turn on your over at 250°C and pop a roasting tray on the bottom shelf. We will add some water to the tray just before baking to create steam.
10 AM – bake
You should start to see some cracks in the sprinkled flour and the bread should have risen nicely. If not, you may want to leave it another 20 minutes or so.
As mentioned above, just before baking, pour a cup of water into the heated roasting tray to create steam. A few minutes later, pop in the loaf pan. There is no need to score/cut this bread.
It should take anywhere between 35 – 45 minutes. When ready, slip the bread out of the loaf pan onto a cooling rack. Tap the bottom to see if it’s hollow. If not, you can pop it directly back into the oven for another 5 or 10 minutes.
Leave it cooling on the rack for a bit before slicing into it.