The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Simple Russian 100% Dark Rye sourdough

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Simple Russian 100% Dark Rye sourdough

My first post here!

I've been baking sourdough bread for the last few months (ever since yeast completely disappeared from the shops for a while here in the UK), having never baked any bread before. I have produced some frisbees a couple of times and a few times made gorgeous loafs.

But I only just now started trying rye. Coming from Russia, it's something I miss here (although I've never been a big fan of rye breads, I guess you don't know what you like until you can't have it!). So I decided to bake it myself.

I previously got some of my baking equipment from https://scotlandthebread.org/, and already back then I got their Bread Matters rye starter - it's originally from Russia, so I couldn't say no to that. Now I also got two small bread tins from them, which although pricey are of excellent quality and feel nice and heavy in your hand.

Interestingly, finding dark rye flour is a little challenging here, but I managed to get some. And made some bread!

(Well, I am skipping one failed attempt with, I suspect, very overproofed bread: huge hole on the top, dense mass on the bottom).

 

I followed a Russian recipe from https://pechemdoma.com/100-rzhanoj-obdirnoj-xleb.html

Translation of the recipe:

Preferment:

140 g rye starter 100% hydration

155 g water

45 g dark rye flour

For the dough:

All of preferment

385 g dark rye flour

150 g water (plus a little extra if needed)

8 g salt

 

I mixed the preferment in the evening and left overnight on the kitchen table, for around 10 hours. Surprisingly, it didn't look any different in the morning, so I assumed it was too cold during the night and left it another 2-3 hours in the morning, until it started bubbling and smelled nice and fermented.

Then simply mixed in all dough ingredients (I needed 35 g extra water to make the dough feel what I thought was right - having never done this before) and left in the bowl for ~2 hours for bulk fermentation, then divided in two and put the dough into the tins, tightly packing it in to avoid empty spaces. Left it to proof until around 50% increase, which took 4.5 hours.

Baked in a preheated to the max oven without steam. Just before baking, dissolved a little wheat flour in water to make a very liquid dough, and carefully covered the tops of the loafs. After 10-15 mins turned down the oven to ~200°C and baked for a total of 1 hour. While the bread was baking, I dissolved a little starch (I had corn starch) in water and heated it until it thickened. Immediately after taking bread out, covered the top with a little of starch gel for a nice shiny top.

Cooled down in the tins for 10-15 mins, then took bread out and cooled on a wire rack. When still warm, but not hot, wrapped in a tea towel and left overnight, to soften the crust and equilibrate water throughout the bread.

 

And lo and behold, next day it's a beautiful dark rye bread. It's a little moist, with a delicious rye flavour and a sour tang.

 

Comments

Cedarmountain's picture
Cedarmountain

That's a delicious looking rye bread Ilya, would be tasty with a nice pastrami and good cheese. Nicely done!

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Thank you, I was really pleased with the outcome with such a simple recipe! I've already repeated it with added sunflower and pumpkin seeds, and omitted the bulk. Also delicious, and more Nordic rather than Russian vibe.

I love rye bread with salted herring and onions! But it's really versatile.

Cedarmountain's picture
Cedarmountain

Sounds more like a Danish rugbrot bread with the sunflower and pumpkin seeds. It's one of my favourite rye breads and yes, definitely made to go with pickled and salted herring, onions, smoked salmon, cheese. Your Russian palate definitely has some serious Nordic tastes!

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

That is exactly what I was trying to say. Seeds add a Nordic vibe.