Dark, sweet and fragrant with cumin, this is an excellent bread and easy to make. I also explained how to make a sourdough starter. It is the same for all breads using rye sourdough. Try shipton-mill.com for rye flour – and rye grains in my Danish rugbrød recipe. The water content of sourdough is usually weighed in grams, instead of being measured in milliliters, for accuracy.
Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus 5 days for entry, 16 hours to rest and 1 hour to prove | cooking time: 65 min
A large loaf
For the starter
- 250g rye flour
- 250 g lukewarm water
For the bread
- 250g of the starter (made as above)
- 675g of water
- 800 g black rye flour
- 100 g of soft brown sugar
- 50 g oat bran
- 3 tablespoons of sunflower seeds
- 2 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds
- 2 tablespoons of flax seeds
- 2 teaspoons of caraway seeds (unless you don’t like caraway)
- Sunflower oil for lubrication
- To prepare the starter, mix 50 g of rye flour and 50 g of water in a large jar. Stir well and cover loosely (I just put a clean J-cloth on top). Keeping in a warm place – near the stove is a good option.
- After a day, you need to “feed” the starter, stirring the same amounts of flour and water that you started with. Do this – feed the starter and leave it in a warm place – for 4-5 days. You will see that it begins to bubble and that it will smell of fruit and yeast.
- Mix 250g of sourdough in a bowl with 300g of water and 400g of rye flour. Cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place for 16 hours.
- The next day, add the rest of the water and rye flour, as well as the sugar and oat bran. Mix until a fairly firm dough is obtained.
- Reserve 200 g of sourdough to keep for the next time you want to make this bread. You can feed this starter every day – discarding half and adding 50g of flour and 50g of water – or you can keep it in the fridge and feed it just once a week.
- In the bowl with the dough, add the seeds and 2 teaspoons of salt. Gather the dough – you can add a little more water or a little more flour if that makes it easier to handle – and shape it into a rectangle. The joy of these rye breads is that they don’t really require kneading.
- Brush a 30 x 14 cm cake tin with oil and line the bottom with baking paper. Put the dough in it, cover with a clean kitchen towel and leave in a warm place until the dough has increased in size by about a quarter and feels a little springy when you press it down. It will probably take an hour, maybe more.
- Preheat the oven to 240C / 230C hot air / gas mark 8 and place a bowl or roasting pan with water on the lower rack. Bake the bread for 20 minutes then lower the temperature to 200C / 190C fan / thermostat 6 and bake for another 45 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the middle of the bread should come out clean. If the top gets too dark, cover it with foil.
- Take the bread out of the oven and cover with a damp cloth. This helps keep the bread moist. Let cool completely before slicing – the bread should really rest.