Tuesday, December 28, 2010
This is how my SO is making sourdough ryebread, Finnish style. It is adopted, more precise version of the way I used to make the bread before we met, which was borrowed from the Kotiruoka -book published by Otava.

Here it is:
The sourdough starter:
  • 1dl sourdough from previous attempt (if not available, look at the bottom of the recipe)
  • 1l lukewarm water
  • 600gr wholecorn rye flour (in Switzerland the Roggenschrot fein, available from COOP for example, works well. The flour available at Landi is too blond).
Mix the sourdough with the water, and then add the flour. Mix well so that you get a smooth mixture.
Let ferment under a cloth in room temperature from 1-3 days, depending on the temperature and how sour you want it. I use 3 days. Mix regularly, at least once/day. The mixture starts bubbling, and if you don't mix often enough, it will look funny. Don't worry: unless it turns orange or catches mould (grey hairy stuff) it'll be fine.

The final stages:
  • about 40gr yeast
  • 1dl water
  • 900gr wholecorn rye flour
  • 1tbsp salt
Mix the yeast into the water so that you get smooth liquid. Pour that, salt and the flour to the bowl with the sourdough. Mix well, a couple of minutes. Take 1-2 portions of the dough and freeze them for the next batch you'll be making.

Let ferment for a couple of hours.

Knead the dough down, and form 3 or 4 balls from the dough, and place them on the baking sheet covered with baking paper. Let them rise for 1-2 hours (depending on the temperature and your preference), and put in pre-heated oven (180C, 50 min in convection oven, 200C and 1h in a traditional oven).

If you drum the bottom of the bread with your finger it'll sound a bit like a drum when the bread is ready.

The taste is best when the bread is still warm, but it is a bit harder to slice. Also: fresh sourdough rye bread is hard on your stomach, don't eat more than 2-3 slices before you're used to it. After 2-3 days it is easier to your tummy.

And about the starter: the best is if you can "borrow" the starter from somebody. If that is not possible, I've heard that you can use 2-3 slices of a sourdough bread or Finn Crisps instead. The dough will get better in the subsequent rounds, though, so please be sure to save some.

If you live in Switzerland, drop me a line and I'll put some dough via Post.

Please notice that it can happen that the dough go bad. You might want to save samples from a couple of earlier batches in case this happens to you.