This is a bread that needs a LOT of time! The finished result, with its tangy sourdough flavour, is well worth it.
Begin by preparing the starter the evening before. We used our rye starter, The Rye of SourOn, but a regular starter can be used as well.
Overnight Sourdough Rye Bread
1 cup sourdough starter
2 cups warm water
2 1/2 cups rye flour
- Mix the ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and let stand overnight in a warm place, such as the oven with the light on.
1 cup milk
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
3 cups rye flour, or 2 1/2 cups rye flour, 1/2 cup flax meal
3 – 5 cups all purpose flour
1/8 cup crushed sunflower seeds, to coat top of loaves (optional)
(place roasted, salted sunflower seeds into a slide lock freezer bag and crush with a rolling pin)
The night before: prepare overnight starter
The next morning:
- Pour the milk into a saucepan and scald. Add the butter to melt, then stir in salt and sugar. Set aside to cool for about 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle yeast over warm water and let stand for about 5 minutes.
- Stir yeast and cooled milk mixture into the overnight starter. Stir well.
- Mix in optional flax meal and rye flour. Beat thoroughly until batter is smooth.
- Cover lightly and set in a warm, draft free place to rise until almost doubled in size; about 30-40 minutes.
- Stir down dough. Add all purpose flour, a little at a time, until a medium stiff dough begins to form. Turn onto a floured surface and knead in more flour, as needed. Continue kneading for another 8-10 minutes, or until soft and elastic.
- Divide dough in half, cover lightly and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Prepare baking sheet or loaf pans.
- Shape the dough into loaves. Place crushed sunflower seeds onto kneading surface and press tops of the loaves into the seeds before placing on the baking sheet/into loaf pans.
- Cover lightly and let rise for about 1 hour in a warm, draft free place.
- Preheat oven to 375F. Bake for about 45 minutes. Note: if the bread is a golden brown at 30 minutes, tend with foil to prevent further browning.
- Place baked loaves on cooling racks.