After some failed attempts in the past, I finally managed to bake good rye bread. The key difference between making rye bread and regular bread, is the different consistency of the dough. Rye dough should be sticky, and doesn’t become smooth and elastic like regular dough. When I tried to make smooth non-sticky rye dough, I ended up with condensed bread which did not raise. My cousin Ran (who also bakes, and gave me my sourdough starter) was the one to tell me that rye dough should be sticky and contain around 60% water. I followed his advice and my rye bread turned out great.
- 100gr sourdough starter
- 240gr water
- 200gr rye flour
- 200gr plain wheat flour
- 1tbsp honey
- 2tsp salt
- 1tbsp vegetable oil
- 1tbsp caraway seeds (optional)
In a bowl, mix sourdough starter with water using a spoon. Add the rest of the ingredients and start kneading. If using an electric mixer just run it on low speed for a few minutes. Otherwise, knead using a wooden spoon, as the dough is too sticky to knead by hand. When the dough becomes consistent, leave it to rest for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes rest (for both you and the dough), knead again for a few minutes. The dough should be consistent, but sticky and tough. It reminded me of cupcake batter, but much tougher. At this point the dough should be left for proving overnight. I used an English cake tin:
If you want round bread, you can let the dough prove in a bowl lined with a heavily floured towel – when ready to bake, take it out of the bowl and free-form your loaf, working the dough as little as possible.
Bake at 190°C. It took me 30 minutes, but it can vary. To check if your bread is done, take it out of the oven, and knock on its bottom – you should hear a hollow sound. When ready, remove from the oven and tin, and let it cool on a wire rack. Allow to cool completely before slicing.
Serve with herring or Brie