About this recipe:Rye is a grass so the flour created from its seed has a lower protein level than strong bread flours, so less gluten is produced. Thus, a rye loaf made using 100% rye flour is usually quite dense and does not have a large rise compared to a standard loaf of bread. It can be difficult to work and the proving time is much longer than that for a white loaf. I like rye bread using 100% rye flour and I know that there a some who would prefer a rye loaf that is less dense and has an improved rise. So, I have created a recipe to address this using a sourdough starter instead of yeast. The flavour of this loaf is fantastic retaining the rye notes throughout. The recipe makes two 800g loaves (see footnote for measures to make a single 900g loaf. I bake my bread in a variety of tins ranging from a standard loaf tin to loose bottomed high sided cakes tins. Experiment and enjoy.
Put all the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Add the starter and 240ml of the water and mix. Add more water to create a smooth dough that is slightly sticky but not wet. Lightly oil the worktop and tip out the dough and knead for 10 minutes.
Place the dough into a lightly oiled container, cover and place in a warm part of the house and let the dough rise until doubled in size. This will take several hours, so be patient and let the dough rise.
When the dough has risen grease the loaf or baking tins with either butter or olive oil. I prefer to use butter. Lightly oil the work surface top and tip the dough out and knock back. Stretch and fold the dough and shape to fit the loaf or baking tins. Put the dough in the tins, cover and let the dough rise until it is peeking about the level of the tin. This will take several hours. Once the dough is risen
Preheat the oven to 220 C / 200 C fan / Gas 6 and put a roasting tin with about 500 to 600ml of water in it to generate steam which creates a fantastic crust to the bread.
Bake for between 35 and 40 minutes. Test the loaf is baked by tapping the top to get a drum sound. Tip the loaves onto cooling racks and let them cool. When cold slice, butter and taste; wonderful. The loaves can be frozen for use at a later date.
Here's a rough time guide; 08:30 make the dough and allow 4 to 6 hours rising time. Knock back and shape for the tin allow 4 to 6 hours second rise. So, you could be baking the loaves anywhere between 16:30 and 20:30. I often make the dough around 22:00 in the evening and let the first rise happen overnight.
To make 1 (900g) loaf
Use the following measures for a single 900g loaf: 300g rye flour, 200g strong white flour, 10g salt, 350g sourdough starter, 250ml to 280ml cold water.