Ever fancied having a go at making your own Sourdough Bread?
Sourdough is a slow fermented bread that doesn’t require commercial yeast to rise. Instead, it’s made with a live fermented culture, a sourdough starter, which acts as a natural leavening agent.
Rye has been grown in Europe since the Middle Ages and it’s bread is highly nutritious, digestible and low in gluten. Also, because it’s high in soluble fibre it can help in blood sugar control too . It helps to slow down your digestion and the rate at which you absorb sugars and carbohydrates, leading to a more gradual rise in blood sugar levels.
A member of the team here at Greenlife has been experimenting! This simple recipe makes for a moist, dense, flavoursome loaf, perfect to serve with Peas Pottage or any other, refined modern topping! She says it’s delicious and so satisfying to make. It’s brought a slower more conscious dynamic to her kitchen, and is fun connecting with the fermentation process. It now fills her home regularly with the smell of freshly baked bread! She would like to share the process here with you!
So… grab yourself a packet of Dove’s Organic Stoneground Wholemeal Rye Flour next time you’re in store and follow these simple steps … you’ll be munching on fresh Sourdough Rye Bread/Toast in no time (well, about six days actually – but good things come to those who wait!)
Making the Starter
(Takes a couple of minutes per day, for about 6 days)
250g Dove’s Farm Organic Wholemeal Rye Flour
Mix 50g rye flour with 50g tepid water in a jar, cover with a tea towel and leave at room temperature for 24hrs.
Days 2 – 5
Mix 25g rye flour with 25g tepid water, stir into yesterday’s mixture (make sure all the flour is combined) cover, and leave for 24hrs.
You will start to see a few small bubbles appearing and the mixture should start to smell yeasty.
Fermentation should have set in now and the mixture might be ready to use. It should have really increased in size (almost doubled).
You can also check if the mixture is ready by testing: if a teaspoon of the mixture floats in warm water, it’s ready. If not, repeat the 25g flour/25g tepid water process.
The mix should be ready and really bubbly.
You now have a rye starter, which is a malty/nutty flavoured base with which to make your sourdough bread.
Making the Bread
The whole process takes around 7 hours but don’t worry! Lots of that is waiting time
Make on a day when you have time on your hands and can be at home
Once you’ve made it a couple of times it will become easier – you’ll start to find a rhythm
Ingredients (makes 1 loaf)
100g Active Starter
500g Dove’s Farm Organic Wholemeal Rye Flour
Fine Salt (to taste) up to around 10g
- Tip 100g of the starter into a bowl and add 400g tepid water. Rub the two together with your hands. Add the flour and bring together into a thick sticky dough, making sure all the flour is mixed in. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave at room temperature for 2hrs.
- Work the salt into the dough then leave covered, for another 2hrs.
- Use a non-stick, oven proof container, or grease a 900g tin.
- Dust the work surface with more rye flour and scrape out all the dough. Mould and shape into roughly the same size. Sit it in your container.
- Press the dough down so it fills it completely and scatter the top generously with more flour. Leave the loaf out uncovered for 2hrs until it’s risen by about a quarter and has gone craggy on top.
- Heat the oven to 230/210C fan/gas 8. Place on a shelf in the middle of the oven. Place a roasting tray on the shelf below and carefully pour a small glass of water into the tray. Cook for around 50-55mins until hollow sounding when tapped.
- Leave to cool on a wire rack for at least 4hrs.
- Slice and enjoy!
You can keep the remainder of the starter in the fridge (it will stay dormant) and 12hrs before you want to use it, spoon half of it off and feed it with 100g flour and 100g water, leave covered at room temperature.
Use immediately or keep feeding lightly (as above).
You’ll start to get a feel for when it is ready …
Delicious and so satisfying to make!
She’s heard you can also mix flours for a softer lighter loaf, but that’s for another blog! Enjoy experimenting.