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Rye Sourdough a step by step guide

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Making a loaf of Rye Sourdough Bread

This recipe makes 1 loaf of Rye Sourdough.

Note* Rye flour is a little sticker to work with ( So be extra generous with the rye flour you put on your work surface when forming your dough ball ) and it absorbs more water during the bulk fermentation process, so this recipe deviates a bit from the Similkameen sourdough recipe.

  • What you will need:
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Spatula
  • Dough scraper
  • Ripe rye sourdough starter
  • 100 % rye flour and white flour
  • Sea Salt
  • Distilled water
  • Proofing basket
  • Dutch oven
  • Bread lame or razor blade

Step 1:

Make sure that your starter is ripe and ready to bake with.  Refer to What should I do with my Starter when I am ready to bake with it?

Perform the Float Test:  If you are still unsure whether it is ready to use drop a small amount, about 1 tsp, into a glass of water. Do this when the starter is at a peak height before it collapses. If it floats to the top it’s ready to use. If it sinks, your starter should be fed again.

Step 2:

To the large mixing bowl add 425 grams of water that is between 80° and 85°F (27° and 29°C). That temperature range is ideal for the enzymes in the flour to be active. Scalding water would destroy the enzymes, while cold water would slow them down. Then add 100 grams of rye sourdough starter to the water.

To the water, sourdough mix add 100 grams of whole wheat flour and 400 grams of white flour. Mix with a spatula until it forms a rough shaggy dough. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest in a warm place for ½ an hour.

Step 3:

Add 10 grams of sea salt. Get your hands and dough scraper wet under cold water and gently mix the sea salt into the dough. Use your fingers to poke the sea salt into the dough at first while scraping down the side of the bowl. Then fold and tuck the dough into itself. Lastly, turn the dough completely in the bowl, cover, and let rest for ½ an hour.

Step 4:

At this point, you can add seeds or herbs if you are so inclined, Caraway goes awesome with Rye. Again, fold and tuck the dough into itself and turn it completely over in the bowl. Cover and let rest for ½ an hour and repeat every ½ for 3 more hours.

 Step 5:

Dividing and forming the dough:

After the complete 4-hour process, the dough should feel light and airy and have a shiny stretchy surface.

Generously flour your work surface and gently roll your dough into a ball, squeezing very slightly as you roll to prevent huge air pockets.

Place your dough ball in a proofing basket, cover, and place in the refrigerator for 18-24 hours to continue slow fermenting.

Step 6:

Baking your sourdough:

Preheat your oven to 450 Fahrenheit / 233 Celsius. Place empty Dutch oven inside oven.

When Dutch oven and oven are heated to temp, take your dough ball in proofing basket out of the fridge and lightly dust the top of your dough ball (the top will become the surface that rests on the bottom of your Dutch oven when you flip the dough into them).

Take your Dutch ovens out of the oven and very gently place your dough balls, floured surface down, into the Dutch oven and score your sourdough Cover Dutch ovens with lids and put them back in the oven.

Bake for 28 minutes covered then remove lid and bake for another 8 minutes uncovered (time will vary by a few minutes, either way, depending on your oven).

Note * Sometimes in-home ovens you will need to place a baking sheet on the rack below the Dutch ovens to prevent the bottoms from getting too dark.

Remove Sourdough from the oven and Dutch oven and let cool on a cooling rack for a few hours.

After letting your fresh-baked sourdough cool, cut it into slices using a very sharp bread knife.