My dear SourdoughManiacs,
A while back I posted about the traditional sourdough Rye Bread made in Koroška – the region of Slovenia where I’m from – so many of you asked me to share the recipe and make a post dedicated to it. And today is the day.
This recipe was created in collaboration with Spar Slovenia for my web series the ABC’s of Sourdough.
Ready? Let’s get starte(r)d.
PREPPING THE RYE LEVAIN:
- 20 g bubbly, active starter
- 50 g water
- 50 g rye flour
Mix all the ingredients together and leave them at RT to bubble and double in size. Approximately 6-8 hours.
INGREDIENTS FOR THE MAIN DOUGH:
- 500g rye flour
- approximately 350g water
- 10g salt
- the doubled rye levain
MAKING THE DOUGH:
Mix all the ingredients together with a (wooden) spoon first, then start kneading.
The mixture will be extremely thick and will resemble clay.
SHAPING & PROOFING:
Heavily flour the work surface with rye flour.
It’s best if you wet your hands before you start shaping.
Use your wet hands to shape the dough into a ball.
Roll the dough ball in the rye flour until it is completely covered in a thick layer of it.
Place the flour covered dough ball onto a baling tray lined with parchment paper and flatten it slightly to form a flat boule.
Flour the top with more rye flour if necessary & leave to proof.
You’ll know the rye bread is ready to bake once its surface cracks and you can see the dough underneath clearly.
ALTERNATIVE OPTION: to get the same shape as you see on the photograph, simply place the dough into a loaf tin lined with parchment paper, sprinkle flour on the top surface, and leave to proof until you see the cracks in the flour.
You don’t need to score rye bread before baking, as it already has plenty of cracks for air to escape through.
Bake the rye bread in a preheated oven with added steam at 240°C or 464°F for the first 15 minutes. Then remove the source of steam, lower the temperature to 200°C or 392°F and bake for approximately 45 more minutes.
SERVING THE BREAD:
Leave the rye bread on a rack to cool and rest for AT LEAST 12 hours before cutting and eating it. This will allow the bread’s taste to develop fully and make the crust easier to cut through
This recipe is so near and dear to my heart as it has kept the tradition of sourdough baking alive and well in Koroška where I grew up, even after the invention of baker’s or commercial yeast. It is part of the reason why I remembered that this ancient art of baking bread even existed when I first started searching for yeast alternatives. So I hope you give it a try and that you enjoy it.