German Sourdough Rye
Sourdough is as old as humankind, or at least that is what I would like to think. This is how bread baking must have started: let a bowl with hydrated flour stand somewhere, and magically it rises at some point. It took mankind until the 17th century to figured out what organism actually worked that magic.
As fickle as a sourdough starter can be at times, the taste it conveys to a loaf of bread is unsurpassed. Tangy, rich, moist, and in this case perfectly complemented by the dark rye flour, which is at the same time sweet and tart. Give me a slice of sourdough rye with butter and some cheese and I am in Heaven.
I typically “feed” my sourdough starter, fondly referred to as “Hermann”, the day before I intend to make the dough. This treatment ensures that its taste is at its best, its freshest. “Hermann” is a 100% rye starter, so my sourdough rye bread has a LOT of dark rye in it.
The original recipe, which I found on Chefkoch.de, called for 250 g of cooked potatoes, but I have also used flax seed, pumpkin seeds (pictured) or sunflower seeds.
Basic Sourdough Rye Bread
700 g rye sourdough starter
250 g dark rye flour
400 g bread flour
300 g water
20 g salt
10 g gluten
10 g malt, dissolved in water
(10 g yeast, optional)
(250 g cooked potatoes or seeds, optional)
Preheat the oven to 200 C or 400 F. From the ingredients work up a dough, let rise until doubled (preferably retard over night). Divide dough into two equal parts, form boules and place them in proofing baskets. Proof until visibly doubled. Turn baskets onto baking sheet lined with a greased sheet liner. Bake for about 45 – 60 minutes or until the internal temperature is at least 200 F and the thermometer shows no signs of wet dough on it. Let cool completely before cutting.