Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Sourdough Rye

I think sourdough bread baking is the only time I'm happy to see holes all the way through my work. If I had gaping holes in my pastry or air bubbles in my baked custard, I'd be a sobbing mess. But with sourdough bread, the appearance of enormous caverns is reason to skip ecstatically around the kitchen and kiss everyone... and make my husband pose with said bread.

Sourdough Rye
Makes 2 loaves
adapted from here

200g leaven (active sourdough starter)
800g lukewarm water
830g baker's flour
170g rye flour
20g fine sea salt

Put the leaven and lukewarm water into a large mixing bowl and stir. Add both the baker's flour and the rye flour and mix until fully combined. Leave to rest in the bowl covered with a damp tea towel in a cool, dark place for an hour.

Add the salt and mix, folding the dough over itself. Transfer the dough to a large clean bowl, cover with a damp tea towel. After 30 minutes, turn the dough over itself  by dipping your hand down the side and under the dough, and fold the bottom over the top, until you have effectively turned all the dough over. Do this every 30 minutes - 4 times in total. This will strengthen the dough.

After 2 hours of turning, leave the dough to rest, untouched, for a further two hours in the bowl covered with plastic wrap.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface. Knead it briefly then cut it into 2 even portions. Leave them on the bench. Cover them with two up-turned bowls for 15 minutes. 

Put the dough into two large mixing bowls lined tea towels and dusted with brown rice flour. Cover with plastic wrap and pop them in the refrigerator overnight.

The next morning, Line the bottom of a large Dutch oven with baking paper. Set aside.

Take one of the portions out of the fridge, shape it into a round and put  it in the prepared Dutch oven. Leave, uncovered in a warm spot to rise for 30 - 60 minutes. It should rise by about a third.

Preheat the oven to 250C.

Once the dough is risen, make a deep slash around the top of the dough with a sharp knife or blade. Spray the top of the loaf lightly with water and put the lid on. Put it in the oven, reducing the oven temperature to 230C immediately. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the lid, mist the oven with water and bake for a further 40 minutes.

Place on a wire rack to cool for at least 1 hour before slicing.

Bake the second loaf exactly the same way.


  1. Awww rye bread!! With sourdough, I'm sure it's just too delicious. It sure is a beautiful bread!! Your husband is really good to pose the bread I have to say :)

  2. Your husband is a patient model! Everytime I ask Chris I get a tongue poking out in the picture...
    My Mum is going to go crazy for this bread. We are attending a family lunch on Sunday, and you are inspiring me to make something bready to bring along!