I have been in the swing of sourdough bread making lately, with a batch of starter constantly bubbling up and over in my fridge these days, and ample honey and chevre to top it. Or, while I was boiling sap, ample maple syrup and chevre to top it. Oh, you can’t go wrong with a pat of butter, ever, either. If you have a sourdough starter in your pantry, shelf, fridge…try this recipe using the addition of active yeast and rye flour for a very authentic tasting loaf. If you don’t have a sourdough starter going?, well, that’s another project for another day.
1 cup “fed” sourdough starter
1 ½ cups lukewarm water
2 teaspoons yeast
1 tablespoon of sugar
2 ½ teaspoons of salt
5 cups of rye flour
-Combine all ingredients, kneading in a mixer to make a smooth dough.
-I put the dough into a greased, covered container that holds 4 quarts. Allow the dough to rise until doubled in size, about one hour or more (rye flour tends to make a heavier loaf.)
-I give the dough a gentle push in the center to deflate it somewhat and then prepare a large round with it, tucking the edges under and into the center, a little repositioning it into a nice big ball.
-I have a cloche, a covered terra cotta baking round that is like it’s own mini brick oven. If you do not own one, you can separate your dough into two loaves(10 inches long) or just keep it in one large round loaf. Place them on a lightly greased sheet or on parchment lined baking sheets. The dough will spread somewhat, allow for that.
-Cover the loaves and let rise for another hour.
-Preheat oven to 425 degrees
-I spray the loaves with lukewarm water and slash the tops.
After 30 minutes, check loaves for done-ness. I baked mine for about 45 minutes. Remove the lid of the cloche, if that was what you used, in the last 5 minutes of baking.
Enjoy a fresh loaf of rye with a schmear of butter, or fresh chevre, which is what we had, or cream cheese and honey. It is hardy and sour and feels like something real.