The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Finnish Sourdough Rye "Ruisleipa"

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punainenkettu's picture
punainenkettu

Finnish Sourdough Rye "Ruisleipa"

Ruisleipa is a staple of the Finnish table. Anyone who has lived there can testify to this. It's history is long and rich but it has not made it to America in any great way.  I have searched for a similar bread and have never found one. So I buckled down and made my own at last!  I have been to afraid to because I had never made a starter before and I don't have my recipe. ( I learned from my host family grandmother when I was an exchange student. She gave me her recipe but it is at my mother's house and I don't know when I'll get to visit again and retrieve it) But I have found the recipes of Beatrice Ojakangas to be reliable in the past so I used her recipe (with a slight change) to make these lovely loaves!


 



 


These loaves are in the Eastern style with a hole in the center so they can be hung from the rafters to dry for use later.



 


They are the right height and consistancy. The only things I would change is I would like a slightly darker crust and I would like the crust to be softer.  I'm not sure why it was a bit tough.  Otherwise they were good.  I actually prefer the darker ruisleipa but I have a feeling there is an ingredient I don't know about because they are different in flavor and texture to this. The bread should be 100% rye flour (which I tried and I now have some lovely bread shaped hockey pucks...) but this was a mix of 4 parts rye and 2 parts all pourpose flour. Plus of course the rye starter, 2 cups of potato water, some salt, and 1 packet of yeast (2 tsp).


 

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

I have Beatrice Ojakangas's Whole Grain Breads and I've wondered about those very breads.  Yours look great.  Is the texture inside soft?

punainenkettu's picture
punainenkettu

The inside is nice and soft though it will dry out relativly quickly. (about a week) Somehow I have the outside a bit tough on this and I don't know why really otherwise they are just right and Soooo good. I had some for breakfast with some butter a couple of slices of English cucumber and a slice of cheese.  A typical way to eat it and very lovely!

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

I've been wanting to make these too! I've never had them but I'm Finnish and my mother has great memories when I make something from her childhood in a Finnish settlement in MN.


There is a recipe called Happenleipa in Peter Rienhart's Whole Grains book that looks a lot like this. Perhaps the recipe you want?

flournwater's picture
flournwater

The Finnish recipes I read often include something they call "sour root" in the starter formula.  What is "sour root"?


I have this "recipe" but I'm a little uncomfortable with it so I haven't tried it.  Is this anywhere near what you're using?


Starter:


216 grams water at 100 degrees
160 grams whole grain rye flour
27 grams sour root


 Bread dough:

82 grams water at 100 degrees
402 gramsl rye flour
1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
10 grams yeast


 Starter:

Mix ingredients in a large bowl.


Cover with damp cloth or plastic wrap and allow to rest in a draft free area at room temperature for 12 – 14 hours or until bubbly and energetic.

Bread dough:

Combine flour, salt and water by slowly adding the flour and mixing gently to develop rough dough.  Scrape the dough onto a floured surface, add the yeast and knead until dough is soft and supple. 


 Place dough ball in lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap or damp towel and allow to rest in warm draft free area until almost doubled in size.


Remove from the bowl, shape into loaf and place on peel or similar instrument.  Cover with plastic wrap or damp towel and allow to rest 1 hour.


 Load into preheated 475 degree oven with steam source.  Immediately reduce the heat to 350 degrees; bake one hour.  Reduce heat to 300 degrees and bake an additional 15 – 30 minutes or until bread emits hollow sound when thumped on the bottom.





 

punainenkettu's picture
punainenkettu

I am excited to say I can answer your question!  The sour root IS your starter. The progression will go like this your first time.  You willl make a slurry of 1/2 cup rye flour and 1/2 cup liquid (yours calls for water mine called for milk). Mix them together and let them sit in a warm place for at least two days.  This creates your rye starter. You will then mix 1/2 cup of that starter with the water and 160grams of rye flour.  This builds your flavor for the bread. The longer you let it sit the more sour flavor will develop. So at least overnight and up to 40 hours. Then you will mix in the remaining ingredients to make a dough and proceed according to directions. from your complete dough you will want to reserve 1/2 cup of the finished dough for your "root" (to start your next batch of bread when you are ready).  Now the only  thing I can't explain is what on earth you do with that root the next time.


Other than the difference in units of measure and the absence of ap flour it is very  similar.


For my root I used a cookie cutter to remove the center (for the look of the loaf) and kept that. 


 

flournwater's picture
flournwater

Kiitos

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

Could the sour root be simply a rye starter? If so, do you have a mature starter in your house? Most 100% ryes have a starter so that they don't have a "starch attack". Check out PR's whole grain breads for a good Hapenleipa recipe. It looks like it's exactly what you're trying to make and it includes a rye sourdough culture.


If you need some starter I'd be happy to mail you some.


Tracy