This is a process that goes over a couple days, but if you are wanting bread for the weekend, just take a couple of minutes on a Thursday to get the starter going and it’s ready for bread making on Saturday. It really is so quick to start this process.
Another tip is that the longer you leave the starter to process the more sour it will be.
Use the best quality bread you can find, this will be in your bread’s DNA.
The best rye bread will only have rye flour, water and salt
3 slices of bread – crusts removed and inside crumbled up
1 litre of warm water
500g rye flour
Crumb the rye bread
Place in the rye flour
Add the water and stir to combine
Cover with clingfilm and poke several holes over the top so it can breath
That’s it! Leave this to stand in a warm place for 48 hours – give or take. So long as there are lots of bubbles, you know it’s working.
This is how it looks over the days…
I did give the starter a stir every now and then and put a new piece of clingfilm back on top. I don’t think it’s necessary but it’s like checking on a baby
So at 48 hours this is when you can start the bread making process.
Making the bread
This bread will be very sticky to work with but resist the urge to add more flour as it will just keep absorbing it and not really get any less stickier. It will make the end result far too firm – and it’s already a very dense bread.
If you read my post on the ‘Home’ page (I have included it at the bottom of this page also) you would know that I didn’t end up with a lushous loaf of bread but some awesome crispbread, so the choice is yours on how you choose to finish off.
Remember to save a portion of the dough to keep as your ‘mother’. This will be the starting block for the next loaf and it keeps for ages. I have included a link at the bottom of an amazing Australian site that goes into every little detail about all things sourdough and keeping starters. It’s just extraordinary the information that he gives! Plus some other links to references I used.
100ml warm water
1 kg Rye flour
1 tbs salt
Bowl of boiling water for use in the oven
Stir in the warm water and slowly add the flour
Keep adding the flour till it’s all been incorporated
At this point remove 300g and set aside – This will be the ‘mother’ for all your future breads.
Place in a plastic container with the lid loose – not sealed shut, and keep in the fridge for next time
Add the salt and knead for about 3-4 mins. It will be sticky but workable, just.
Divide into two so it can rise easier and place the bowls somewhere warm, cover with a tea towel. They will need about 4-6 hours to do their thing. This bread will not rise much.
After they have rested, remove and knead together on a very well floured board and hands. Form into 3 round loaves and place on floured baking trays to rest for another 1.5 hours.
Pre heat the oven to 220°c and place in a bowl of boiling water and one of your loafs – or how many you can comfortably fit in then turn the oven down to 200°c
Cook for 10 mins
Remove the water bowl and cook for another 40-50 mins
The loafs are cooked when the middle sounds hollow when tapped.
Remove from the oven, wrap in a tea towel and let it cool
Now this is just me winging it, but it turned out great so it will be incorporated into my baking method when I make a proper loaf.
Pre heat the oven to 180°c
Roll out some of the dough. You will need to do it between baking paper and clingfilm.
Make it as thin as you can and about 25cm deep and 28cm wide
Cut the dough into sections. You are wanting the crispbreads to be about 4cm across and 12cm long.
Push indents into the top using the end of a wooden spoon, sprinkle with rye flour
Cook for about 15mins then check on it. Turn if necessary.
Remove and let cool on a rack, breaking them apart as they cool.
The finished bread!
If they get a bit chewy you can just pop them back into the oven to crisp up.
I did quite a bit of research into this, but here are the main ones…
Sourdough Baker: Just an amazing wealth of information… and he’s here in Australia
Tofu For Two: This was the original inspiration for fast tracking the starter
Apple Pie, Patis and Pâté: Nice ideas
The Post from the ‘home’ page
aka ‘Trials and Tribulations of Blondie’s First Rye Sourdough Bread’
This is my very first attempt at sourdough, let alone a Finnish 100% Rye sourdough! It’s extraordinarily popular in the Nordic regions and can be made into a loaf, thin crispbreads or firm round discs that have a hole in the middle so it can be threaded onto a pole and hung from the ceiling to dry.
I have worked with high rye content breads before when I make my Karelian Pies but working with total rye is both fun and maddening at the same time. It is heavy and so, so, SO sticky! I swear, the Marshmallow Eggs from one of my previous posts are pretty close to what you will be dealing with.
OK, the desire to make a beautiful sourdough bread had been fermenting (ha) in my head for a while – mum had made it a few times when I was younger and remembers the starter taking 7 days to develop – I was kind of eager to get this going a bit quicker than that, so I began reading up on techniques and processes and gathered bits and pieces of other peoples experiences and came up with a plan of action.
To make the starter move along at a quicker pace it was suggested to get a loaf of your intended bread. If you want a wheat bread then get that style loaf, if you want a rye one then get a rye loaf making sure that it is only made of flour, water and salt - this bread will be in your breads DNA so get the best of the best. Crumble some of the loaf, mix the flour and the water and let the magic of life begin! The picture above is the loaf I picked up, this is also the loaf I was intending on making, but things change….
A starter, if you remember to leave some aside, will become your sourdough ‘mother’. This mother will be the originating source of all your future breads – some ‘mothers’ survive decades, generations even and once stable is quite difficult to kill, she can usually be resurrected with a little love.
My starter was fantastic, she lived and breathed and did everything a growing entity was suppose to do. It really is such a magical experience, I can see why it’s so addictive – bread making that is.
When the 48 hours was up I started incorporating the rest of the Rye flour and water to form a dough (make sure you set aside about 300g and place in a container with a loose fitting lid, leave this in the fridge – this is your mother) Once a dough ball was formed, I divided into two and set aside for about 4-6 hours to rise. This is where I kind of lost my way.
As there is absolutely no yeast in this bread I knew it wouldn’t rise too much but I kept reading about 100% rye doughs rising as much as double their original size, so when the 4 hours was up there really wasn’t any noticeable change, it was a bit bigger but nothing like double the size. I decided to leave it for a couple of more hours, still not much. I poked one of the balls and there was definitely some softness and give to the ball but, again, not what I was reading. It was late, so I left the dough to sleep on it, maybe when I wake up it would be bigger…? No, it hadn’t grown but had deflated – Fantastic! That means that what I had seen the day before was exactly what I thought the dough should be, but now I have deflated dough!
I wasn’t going to let any of this go to waste, so I went to plan B and that was to make FinnCrisp, my all time favourite crispbread. The sourdough flavour with the rye was identical to what FinnCrisp tastes like. This is where the dough monster from hell comes into play! I couldn’t get it off my hands, it was completely unworkable so I decided to put on gloves – these kept being dragged off my hands, I grabbed a sturdy blunt knife, some baking paper and clingfilm, and this worked a treat.
The trick is to roll the dough really thinly. My first couple of trays were a little on the thick side so ended up a bit chewy (although I still like them like that) but then you really need to be careful you don’t burn them as they will cook unevenly – burnt edges and soft middle. Just keep an eye on them and use a timer.
The real test to see if they were what I was hoping for was with my ideal sandwich – Pickled Herrings on crispbread…
Perfect bite sized mouthfuls of crispbread with it’s tangy, sweet rye flavour, as good as my beloved FinnCrisp – very happy!
When they go a bit soft but just pop them into the oven again to crisp them up.