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The pleasure of Real Bread

There is a large gap from my last posting till now and my IG followers know of my struggles getting to terms losing my brother last year. I kept on baking but found it difficult sitting down in front of the computer putting words together. My mind always drifted off staring at all the photos around my desk how happy he was – back then. And that’s how I will remember him.

At the end of the day I am here to share my passion and enthusiasm for baking and particularly bread baking with natural leaven / sourdough. By journey of bread baking started when I couldn’t buy that typical Austrian bread I ate growing up and I was always trying to make the perfect loaf; crusty on the outside and soft on the inside, keeping the same on the following days, with a milky mild smell and taste! I thought there was always something which could have been better – my critical attitude towards myself.  But today I know that not a specific recipe or technique is making the bread perfect – it is the pleasure of sharing and eating each one in good company.

Light Farmers Rye Bread

Light Farmers Rye Bread

A hybrid bread - rye sourdough and little fresh yeast incorporated in 50%  light rye and 50% strong wheat flour. This results in a very soft and light crumb but with the dark crust of a pure rye. The sourdough starter has wholemeal rye which has been refreshed twice before using. That way it is not very strong 'sour' acidic.

I have made two round boules but for not experienced bakers this might be a challenge as the dough is very sticky and wet. I would suggest lining two tins and spooning your dough in, leveling with the back of a wet spoon.

The soaker with dried breadcrumbs keeps the bread fresher for longer. See below!

Planning: 10 min prep Sourdough / 10-12 hours; following day: hot soaker, main dough and baking

 Ingredients

Rye Sourdough

Hot Soaker

Main Dough

 Instructions

  1. In the evening before you go to bed mix your rye sourdough starter with water to loosen it and add the flour. Cover and let stand over night for 10 - 12 hours
  2. In the morning the following day make the hot soaker. Weigh the rye breadcrumbs in a heatproof bowel and add the boiling water which should preferably not be just boiled. Ideally 80-70 degrees C. Cover it with cling film so that no water can evaporate. Leave to cool down to around 30 degrees C. This is not just to use up old bread but more to achieve more water into the dough. More water means that your bread keeps longer fresh because it takes longer to dry out.
  3. Main dough: put your bubbly sourdough, water and fresh yeast in a large bowel and mix with a spoon, then add your soaker which is quite solid because all the water got soaked up from the dried crumbs. Break it up in the wet mixture. Add both flours and salt. Ideally mix with a hand-held mixer using the hooks attachment or if no electrical help is in sight use a spoon. Don't be tempted using your hands - you will have more dough on your hand than in the bowl. Rye grain has less glutenin but high phenolic lipids and gliadin. So your dough is rather slimy. But due to the wheat you still have to mix for 8 minutes until the gluten in the wheat is visible. Little strings pulling from the edge of the bowl but not as much as with a 100 percent wheat dough. Cover with a cloth and let prove for 2 hours.
  4. As suggested in the intro I would line one 1lb /450g and one 2lb /900g loaf tin. With a spoon fill the tins 2/3 and let prove for max 1 hour. You will see when there are cracks on the top. Just be careful not to over prove otherwise it will collapse. There should always room for the oven spring. Bake in the pre-heated oven at 250 degrees C with steam for the first 10 minutes. Open the door to let the steam out and reduce the temperature to 220 degrees C and bake for a further 30-40 minutes until baked through and crusty. Leave to cool completely on a rack and enjoy the next day.

 Notes

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