Now. Back to my rye bread saga (you can read it from the beginning by clicking this link)
After a whole day your sourdough will look like this in the evening (after diner, just before you put the little one to sleep)
The key element being the bubbles. You want them bubbles. You love them. You also love your sourdough. She´s thriving.
Add wholemeal rye flour and SALT (a handful of sea salt) and maybe a little extra water
Now pour HALF of your sourdough back into the container and store it for the next time you need a sourdough.
The consistency should look like this, somewhat runny.
Please note that your sourdough will rise so only fill your container half way up.
I want to say something about sourdoughs. I see a lot of people making it into science. Rocket science. Or at least something you will only understand if you read a book about it or take a course. Same with natural building. Same with permaculture. Same with off grid living or bushcraft or baking or knitting or even parenting.
I´m not saying there is something wrong with wanting to learn more, not at all, I would never say that. I say we have a problem when this knowledge is made inaccessible either because 1) there is a buck to be made or 2) because someone wants to feel like an expert or 3) because people would rather study something than actually DO it.
So there. That´s my opinion.
A sourdough is a sourdough is a sourdough. People have been doing this for thousands of years. So can you.
It´s NOT inaccessible and it´s not even complicated.
You don´t have to start you sourdough every week- you can just add some flour, salt and water directly into the container, give a stir and wham bam thank you mam, that´s it.
It needed to be said. On we go.
I put SALT SUGAR AND ANISE in this bowl. Just for you. Normally I would just throw it into the remaining half of the sourdough but no no we´re doing it the fancy way. Five small handfuls (or 3 big handfuls) of salt, sugar and the amount of anise pictured below.
There´s a lot of rye bread recipes out there and in most of them you will find ingredients such as syrup, beer or malt. You can add that. I find that using salt and sugar is the easiest, the bread gets dark as I want it, I think syrup tend to make the bread pasty and beer tends to make it a bit bitter. Just my opinion.
We grow anise in the garden and I like the taste. Not essential though (put then you should probably use cardamom or cumin or fennel. It´s tradition. What can I say. Danish rye bread is made with at least one of the above spices)
Add the mix into the bowl (the remainder of the sourdough) Then pour all of the seeds and grains from yesterday on top of it (the seeds and grains will have soaked up all of the water, if they haven´t throw out the water and just use the grains)
Stir well and add wheat flour (sometimes also a bit more whole grain rye flour) until you get a consistency that looks like below. Mud.
These are my loaf pans.
A word about loaf pans. I have something to say about loaf pans too.
I´ve tried many, many, many loaf pans in my life. These works. They work because I smear them with rape seed oil all the time (every time I make rye bread). They work because they are saturated and because there´s good karma in them. Just a couple of loaf pans that I found in a second hand shop. Not expensive. Not non-stick. Just plain old used to the max loaf pans. My rye bread NEVER sticks in these babies.
So. Cover your load pans with rape seed oil (I use my hands to do it)
NEXT DAY keep an eye on the fire in the wood burning stove.
Wood burning stoves have personality.
This is nothing but a jewellery, a fancy pendant. You can´t really trust it as a measurement instrument (but my GUESS is that it´s around 175 degrees, you should bake your rye bread around that temperature (celsius)
IMMEDIATELY take out the loaf from the pan. This is done to keep the crust on all four sides of the bread crisp. If you only want it to be crisp on the top leave the bread in the pan.
Then you let your fingers do the walking.
This is a test. The bread should be absolute firm, if it wobbles, quickly back into the pans and into the oven. The bread should FEEL firm. Solid.
Now you DO NOT CUT THE BREAD!!!! before a couple of hours has passed (ok, maybe one). Why? Because it makes the bread pasty. The loaf needs to rest, just like everybody else. But THEN you can cut it (sorry for the picture not being sharp, I was hungry)
EDITED: here´s a better picture of the texture of the bread. If you let it sit long enough it will become airy like this.