13 July 2013

Rye Sourdough Bread

I've been baking straight white sourdough bread for several months now, the trusty old 1-2-3 recipe and I felt it was time for some variation.

Rye is always nice I think, so I started looking for suitable recipes. I have in my mind that there are other recipes of the type X-Y-Z, which describes the proportions of starter-water-flour, but I wasn't able to find anything during my quick search and most rye bread recipes required slightly different preparations to what I'd already started on. We'd run out of bread, so I'd already fed my starter, when I started looking for a rye recipe, so I couldn't possibly use them, but then I found this on Susan's Wild Yeast Blog, which seemed just right. Here are my amounts, the starter feeding routine is my usual one - I have about 200 g of starter in a jar in the fridge. I feed stir in 200 g water and 200 g flour and leave it until it at least doubles in volume. This time, I fed it in the evening before going to bed. Straight after feeding it, I put 200 g of the starter back into the jar and into the fridge and the rest went into a large yoghurt pot and into a nice warm shelf in the living room. The next morning (some 9 h later), it was more than double the volume.


410 g starter that has been fed
408 g strong white flour
204 g stoneground rye flour
300 g water
2 tsp whole anise seeds
1 tsp vitamin C powder
15 g salt
oat bran for coating the bread tins


  1. Mix together the starter, flours, water, anise seeds and vitamin C powder into a dough. It should be fairly soft, but not too sticky.
  2. Add the salt towards the end of kneading, a little at a time.
  3. Leave to rest for an hour and a half, covered with cling film.
  4. Butter two loaf tins ("2 pound" size) and coat with oat bran.
  5. Weigh the dough (I got 1338 g) and divide into two.
  6. Shape into loaves and place in the loaf tins, sprinkle more oat bran on top and cover with cling film.
  7. Place on a warm shelf for 6 - 8 h until it doubles in volume (and fills up the loaf tin).
  8. Pre-heat the oven to 240 degrees C and bake for 20 minutes, then place a sheet of aluminium foil over the loaves and turn down the heat to about 200 degrees C and bake for a further 30 minutes.
  9. Remove from the oven and the loaf tins and allow to cool down completely on a wire rack.

Well, this turned out to be a rather nice bread indeed, surprisingly light and soft for a rye bread. Lundulph commented that it was "anise seedy", I decided to interpret this as a good thing. I just had a slice with butter as dessert and it was yummy. Lundulph also had some honey, which I suspect would have worked nicely too.


In the evening I made one of my many attempts at omelette, which as usual deteriorated to scrambled eggs with stuff, so I just piled it on top of a slice of the lovely bread and this was our dinner. A friendly neighbour complained that the wild garlic was taking over the back of her garden, so she allowed me to help myself to some leaves and flours, both of which taste lovely and are quite pretty too, so I used some for decoration.

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