Wednesday, June 15, 2011
I've been having a lot of fun coming up with different variations of the soft sourdough bread. Besides the white/wheat, honey oatmeal, and 100% wheat, here is a rye version. Rye has a flavor all it's own but it is one of Ed's favorites. Now that I have a simple recipe, maybe I'll make it more often.
Soft Rye Sourdough Bread
2 cup starter
1 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup oil or melted butter
1/4 cup honey
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cup rye flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 T vital gluten (optional)
3 tsp salt
Mix all ingredients except salt for 2-3 minutes. Allow the dough to rest for about 20 minutes.
After rest, add salt and knead dough for about five minutes. If dough is too sticky, add slightly more flour but dough should be soft and not dry and stiff. Place in oiled bowl and allow dough to rise for 3-4 hours or until nearly doubled in size.
Divide dough into two pieces and shape into loaves and place in two greased bread pans. If a free form loaf is desired, place on greased baking sheet. Spray with oil and cover with plastic wrap to keep from drying out. Allow to rise for 2-3 hours.
When dough has risen, carefully slash the top.
Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes. For even browning, turn loaves halfway through baking time.
For the version pictured here, I mixed up a batch of whole wheat dough and a batch or rye dough. After separating the dough into two loaf sized portions, I divided each portion into four equal pieces. I rolled each small portion into long thin strands. Using two rye and two whole wheat strands, I braided the dough. Some of the loaves I placed into loaf pans and some I baked free form.
To make a 4-braid loaf, I followed the directions in Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day. The four strands are connected at one end and given a numbered 1 to 4. As the strands are braided the number changes with it's position. Follow this pattern: 4 over 2, 1 over 3, 2 over 3. Repeat until you get to the end and pinch the tip to seal.
Does that make any sense? It really is easier then it sounds. Of course, you can make a all rye loaf, a braided loaf just looks extra special.
For more bread inspiration - see Yeast Spotting.