I’m a huge fan of making your own rye bread. Why? The rye bread you get at the market ain’t rye bread. It might have a bit of rye in it but it’s also got a lot of other stuff: often white flour, caramel coloring, dough conditioners and preservatives.
This recipe that I often teach as a class, has a lot going for it:
- It’s 100% whole rye. Whole grains, as most of you know, are much better for you than white flour. Nothing has been removed and no strange vitamins added.
- The use of a natural starter (sometimes called a sourdough starter or levain) predigests substances in the flour that may not be good for us. You can thank lactic acid producing bacteria that work symbiotically with natural yeast for this. Don’t have a starter? Here’s how to make one.
- That lactic acid also produces a flavorful tang as well as bread that lasts a long time on the counter (acid is a preservative).
This recipe is also super easy. There’s no tedious shaping or worrying about a loaf deflating in the oven. Breads made with 100% rye don’t hold their shape–rye is low in gluten (though, it’s important to note, not gluten free) and that gluten doesn’t behave like the gluten in wheat–you bake it in a loaf pan which makes it easy as cake, so to speak.
1. In a large bowl mix the 200 grams cold water with the sourdough starter. Add 150 grams of flour. Allow this mixture to ferment overnight.
A note on scheduling