June 23, 2014

No. 10 // Roggensauerteigbrot or Rye Sour Dough

“Patience, little bread baking Padawan, patience”, read the little sticky note I had put up on my kitchen wall during the production of bread No. 10, because patience is what you need for sour dough bread. It took me 6 days to bake that bread, although it was only an hour in the oven!

First I had to create a starter. Every good sour dough begins with a starter. That is basically dough mixed together from water and flour, which gets lots of time to ferment – 5 days to be precise. Technically any flour can be used to make a starter and further on sour dough bread. However, I know it to be particularly used with rye flour (as apparently a rye bread made with yeast is just not as good).

Apart from it being a really slow process making a starter is actually very simple (I followed this German instruction). All you need is water, flour and the aforementioned patience. I began by mixing 100g of rye flour with 100g of water. Then I waited 12 hours before I gave the mixture a good whip to get some air in it. Then I waited another 12 hours to add more water and flour. Then I waited another 12 hours to... well you get the idea. The whole process was repeated 5 times and therefore lasted 5 full days. As I would probably have forgotten about it by day 2, I actually set myself two alarms on my phone. One at 7.30 am just before work to remind me to add more water and flour and one at 19.30pm at night to let me know it was time to whip again. In the end the rather dry and dull water/flour mixture had miraculously turned itself it to bubbly, juicy dough which name-givingly smelled quite sour.

Once the starter was ready the real baking adventure began. It was based on this fantastic (read extremely simple!) recipe for rye sour dough (it’s a German blog, but translation is available), which was even simpler than the banana bread (can you believe it!). Much needed, this simplicity, after all this waiting. I basically mixed the dough, waited, put the dough in the oven, waited, took the dough out of the oven and waited.

Yes, I even waited at the end. Although I would have loved to tear that juicy, freshly baked bread apart and dunk it into a nice piece of butter, patience had to come back into play as the whole bread had to rest a full day before it can be cut. So I waited (patiently, ha!) and then cut it up and ate it (not all) the next day and what can I say: It was crunchy and juicy and sour and sweet and definitely worth all that patience.

So, go get your patience and give it a try. Happy baking!

This was Number 10 of my 13 baking adventures on The Bread List, for more recipes and adventures from my kitchen, check in next Monday.

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