My classic rye bread

My classic rye bread

By
From
Scandinavian Baking
Makes
1 loaf
Photographer
Columbus Leth

My husband bakes this rye bread and has done it every week for the last 15 years. I started it up when I became a professional cook, then he took it over. Rye bread is what my family lives on; it is our staple diet. We eat it toasted in the mornings with cheese, avocado or soft-boiled egg. We eat it for lunch with various toppings. In the winter, in particular, I eat rye bread with herrings almost every day for lunch. During the last couple of years I have been lucky to travel around the world to talk about rye and the traditions around it. I have met a lot of people that share my passion for rye and rye bread. From what I have seen, I believe eating rye bread will be a bigger part of the future.

You have to begin the sourdough starter two or three days before you can start on your bread. But the good thing is, as soon as you have that starter, you do not have to make it ever again, because you save a little each time you make the rye bread for the next time.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

Day 1

Quantity Ingredient
400g Rye sourdough starter
750ml lukewarm water
8g salt
500g stoneground rye flour
250g strong white flour

Day 2

Quantity Ingredient
500g cracked whole rye
250ml cold water
a little flavourless oil, for the tin

Method

  1. Day 1

    Dissolve the sourdough starter in the lukewarm water in a large bowl. Stir in the salt and flours with a wooden spoon, or in a food mixer fitted with a dough hook, until well mixed. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and let it rise for 12–24 hours at room temperature.
  2. Day 2

    Add the cracked rye and water to the remaining dough and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. It’s a runny dough that cannot be kneaded with the hands. Take 3 tbsp of the mixture, seal it in an airtight container and place in the refrigerator; this will become the rye sourdough starter for the next time you bake the bread (it will need a rest of at least three days, but will last up to eight weeks). And yes, that is right, you only need 3 tbsp of the mixture for all your subsequent loaves; the 400g is just for your first attempt.

    Lightly oil a 3-litre loaf tin (mine was 30 x 10 x 10cm). Pour in the dough, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for three to six hours, or until the dough has almost reached the top of the tin.

    When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 180°C. Bake for 1 hour 45 minutes. Take out of the tin immediately and leave to cool on a wire rack. This is great to eat just out of the oven, but difficult to cut, so it’s better the next day… if you can wait!
Tags:
Trine
Hahnemann
baking
Scandinavia
Scandi
cakes
bread
smorgasbord
cream buns
cake
table
party
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