discovering a simpiler life

discovering a simpiler life

Monday, 10 March 2014

brother from another mother...rye sour dough

I must admit to gloating.  I've been gloating where ever I can about my attempts at sourdough bread making.  I'm riding high on the thrill of bread coming out of my oven.  I've gotten the bug and been bitten hard.  Months ago, when I started my bread making, I persevered and perfected the 5 minute no knead bread so when I was given the first chance of making sour dough I secretly thought I'd ditch it, it would be too hard, too onerous, but then came the rye sourdough starter and all that changed.  I'm still making the white sourdough and lovingly feeding her each week when she's starving, but this rye mother is less needy.  It is not as time consuming nor do you need to be checking your schedule and clearing it for days in advance, not that my dance card is that full, mind. 

 When I was given these starters it was with the words ringing in my ear "stick to the recipe, to the letter" well I'm afraid that's where I fall down, a bread rebel without a cause....serves me right for getting too cocky. I've killed my first rye mother and I'm devastated....but it was worth it, let me just say.  I've already put the call out for another.  For any of you who want to try her out, here is the recipe, step by step.
Compared to the original sourdough I was kindly given, this mum is sloppier and bubblier, probably more what you might expect from a starter.  I still don't like that you throw out a large portion, but if you live near me and want to start I'll happily hook you up.

To feed the rye starter
take your starter from the fridge and weigh out:
30g starter
60 tepid filtered water
45g rye flour
Mix into a batter, ditching the left over starter or making 2 of these feed starters to give to a friend.  If you are wanting to bake with it from here, leave it out on the bench until it has doubled in size, around 12-24 hours.  If you are just feeding and leaving for another day, keep her out for an hour and then pop back into the fridge.
Step 1  To make bread
weigh out
50g starter
75g tepid filtered water
75g rye flour
Mix into a paste in a bowl and cover with glad wrap and leave at room temperature for 8-12 hours or over night basically

Step 2  Bread dough
weigh out
200g starter (from what has been sitting out overnight)
350g tepid filtered water
350g plain flour
150g rye flour
10g salt
I actually mixed this up with my mixer with the dough hook attachment as it is very sticky and you are trying to avoid adding more flour, it came up a treat.
Stir the 200g of starter with a spatula to break it up and then add all the other ingredients and knead for 10 minutes.  I also made a double batch which worked equally as well.
Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl large enough to allow for it to rise to 1 1/2 times its original volume which will take approximately 2-2 1/2 hours at room temperature.
Ok, this is where I changed the rules and rebelled....

Step 3  Shaping the dough
The original instructions said to line a colander with a tea towel and dust heavily with rye flour.
Lightly dust your bench with flour and scrape your dough out and shape a rough ball, fold towards the centre.  Place round dough smooth side down into the colinder and cover with glad wrap and allow to prove for 1 1/2-2hrs.
1 hour prior to baking, heat oven to 200c and after 30 minutes add a baking tray to put ice into to create steam.  Uncover dough and gently palce onto a baking tray making cuts on top and throw ice into skillet and bread in to bake for 40-50 minutes.

My Step 3  
What I did instead was just let the dough prove for an extra 2 hours in the original bowl in step 2, no colander used.  After that 1 1/2 hours I turned the oven on to it's highest setting and sat my camp oven in it to heat for 30 minutes.  I then floured the bench, and made a ball, folding towards the centre and let it sit for 15 minutes and then added it to the campoven, with the lid put back on for 30 minutes, then oven turned down to 200c with the lid kept off for a further 30 minutes.  This method/time is the same for a single or a double batch.

Allow to cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes if you can stand it.

As I don't eat alot of bread, I love to have 3 or sometimes 4 different toppings on one large slice.  Here is, left to right, my homemade tomato chutney, a friends gorgeous apricot jam and some bartered local honeycomb....mmmmmm  

Ciao, Jan


  1. Well that all looks amazing....James and I gave a sourdough starter a go "twice mind you" over the holidays but I think the heat was no good for it 35 degree days. We are going to try it again maybe over the easter holidays. You certainly look as if you have mastered the beautiful rustic loaf and soft inside (hope that's correct). Congratulations you are doing so well. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

    1. aren't you lovely, thanks Kathy, it really is as beautiful, rustic, crusty outer and soft inside as it looks. Good luck with your third try!! Jan x

  2. Jan, that is one of the best looking bread loaves I have seen in a long time! :D And I've killed a sourdough starter, I think we all have so don't worry :)

    1. Thanks Lorraine :D I really am so happy with how they are turning out x

  3. What a gorgeous looking loaf Jan! Im going to bookmark this recipe of yours and try it. Thank you for sharing it.

  4. Thank you for the recipe Jan. Your rye sourdough looks yummo!

  5. What a good-looking bread! This is worth a try!


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