Rye bread is the traditional bread of Scandinavia and varies from region to region. We eat it
for lunch and sometimes breakfast. When I was a child, my grandfather would make me a sandwich with a slice of white bread and a slice of rye bread with cheese in the middle. That was my favourite! To make rye bread, you need a sourdough, but you only have to make it once if you remember to save a bit of dough for next time before baking.
30 mins + time for resting and proving
1 hr 45 min
Makes 1 large loaf
STEP 1: The sourdough
220g rye flour
1 tsp coarse sea salt
STEP 2: The dough
750ml lukewarm water
375g rye flour
375g plain wheat flour
1 tbsp sea salt
STEP 3: The loaf
500g cracked whole rye
250ml lukewarm water
2 tsp salt
Tips and suggestions
The sourdough starter can be made in advance and will last 6–8 weeks in the fridge.
STEP 1: Mix the rye flour, buttermilk and salt in a bowl. Cover with foil and leave for 2 days at room temperature (25–30°C). And there you have a sourdough! But note that if the temperature is too low, the sourdough will not develop and instead will go bad. ==
STEP 2: In a large bowl, dissolve the sourdough in the lukewarm water. Add the rye flour, wheat flour and salt and stir with a wooden spoon until you have a runny dough. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and set aside for 12 hours at room temperature. I normally do this around dinner time so that it can sit overnight, then I can do step 3 the next morning. ==
STEP 3: Add the cracked whole rye, lukewarm water and salt to the dough and stir again with a wooden spoon until the rye grains are evenly distributed. Now take 3 tablespoons of the dough, add 2 tablespoons of coarse salt, and save in a container in the refrigerator ready for the next time you make rye bread. It will last there for up to 8 weeks. Remember to do this every time you make rye bread and you will not need to make the sourdough again. ==
POUR THE REST OF THE DOUGH into a non-stick loaf tin measuring 10cm wide × 29cm long × 9cm deep. (If you do not have a non-stick loaf tin, grease the inside with a little oil.) Cover the tin with a tea towel and leave the bread to rise for 3–6 hours, or until it has reached the rim of the tin. Preheat the oven to 175°C (Gas 3) and bake the loaf for 1 hour and 45 minutes. When it is done, take it out of the tin immediately and let it cool on a wire rack.