Wednesday, 29 August 2012

24-Hour Rye Bread

Nom, rye bread! I love its aroma and texture, and it goes perfectly with pastrami, lettuce and mayo, one of my favourite sandwich combos. The trouble is that trying to make an all-rye flour bread is a great way to make a doorstop. I turned to my brilliant bread book for advice and inspiration. While all the recipes suggested were sound, I needed something that I could do in my own kitchen, with the materials I had. For instance I usually have wholewheat sourdough starter on the go - in fact I really should post my usual wheat sourdough recipe - but I have no rye starter, and I don't really want yet another tub of fermenting yeasty flour in my fridge.

So I tried using the wheat sourdough to make a half rye, half wheat sourdough, and gave it plenty of time to develop. In fact, I made it over 24 hours, so I only had to attend to it briefly in the morning and in the evening. (Add yourself another 24 hours if you don't already have a tub of sourdough starter in your fridge.) The result was fantastic: perfectly risen, great texture, and of course that wonderful rye flavour. Next time I might try a bit more rye but this was quite a satisfying experiment.

For the production leaven

For the dough
  • 400g leaven (above)
  • 150g rye flour
  • 200g water
  • 100g wholemeal wheat flour
  • 200g strong white flour
  • 10g caraway seeds
  • 5g salt
  • 1tsp yeast
Mix the leaven ingredients together (in a breadmaker bucket is fine) and leave for 12-16 hours, after which the mixture should end up with bubbles on top and smell slightly acidic. (Ideally, do this in the morning before you leave for work.)

Combine the leaven and rye flour in the breadmaker by putting it on dough for a minute or so. Put the rest of the ingredients on top (keeping the salt and yeast separate) and leave for 5 hours, then put on a wholemeal (~4h) cycle. (Ideally, use the timer setting on your breadmaker so that the bread is ready in the morning.)

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