Tuesday, June 17, 2008

German-style rye bread

My German sourdough rye bread recipe has made it into THE GOOD LIFE BREAD BOOK published by Earth Garden Books in 2008.

For those who don't have access to the bread book, here is my recipe:

German-style Mixed Rye Bread

Makes one large loaf or two smaller ones. I usually make double the recipe and bake two large loaves or three medium-sized loaves on two baking sheets stacked above each other in the oven. This lasts us about a week and means that I only have to use the oven once to bake all the bread for a week! You may want to prepare the dough in the morning so the bread has enough time to rise before you bake it.

Note: Sour dough bread tends to dry out in the fridge. It stores well in the freezer (cut in slices for convenience before freezing). You can also keep the unsliced loaf in a clean cotton bag or an earthenware pot (a “Römertopf” or a large casserole dish with lid are perfect) in your cupboard. Half a peeled potato will prevent your bread from drying out. If you feel adventurous, you can replace some of the flour with other seeds or grains such as pumpkin seeds, pepitas, sesame seeds, linseed or rolled oats.

250 g sour dough starter (recipe link here)
approx 500 ml lukewarm water
550 g rye flour
450 g plain (wheat) flour
5 teaspoons of salt
1 tablespoon of caraway seeds (whole or ground)
1 tablespoon of ground fennel
1 tablespoon of ground coriander seeds

Mix all ingredients and knead into a smooth dough. Adjust the amount of water so that your dough is neither too sticky nor too dense. The dough then needs to stand in a warm spot (26-30 degrees C) for at least two hours until it starts rising visibly. Do not use too early or your bread will not rise properly! (If you leave your bread dough to stand for too long (e.g. overnight) it will still bake fine and be perfectly edible but it will develop a much stronger sour dough taste.) Knead the dough again with your hands for about 10 minutes. Form your bread. Let stand for another two hours until it has risen well. Bake in a hot oven (225 degrees C) for about 60-70 minutes. There is no need to preheat a fan-forced oven. The bread is ready if it sounds hollow when tapped against the bottom. Let the bread completely cool down before cutting.

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