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Author Notes: This bred is a fall variation of a rye sourdough bread. I rarely see rye sourdough breads in the DC area, and started to bake my own, based on a "recipe" that I learned in the Bavarian Alps. The starter can be made from scratch every time bread is baked, or fed and stored for the next use. The longer the starter is maintained, the more complex the flavor of the bread will become. As a note of caution: if the starter has to be prepared it takes 4 days to make the bread, plan ahead... —Poinsettia
Makes 5-6 pounds
Rye Sourdough Starter
- 3 tablespoons rye flour
- 3 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons buttermilk
- 4 cups rye flour
- all starter
- 1 pound onions
- 2 cups apple sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups wheat flour
- 2 handfuls caraway
- 1 handful fennel
- 1 handful coriander
- 2 teaspoons dry yeast
- - for the starter, mix all ingredients in a clean jar, cover, and leave on counter
- - the next 2 days, add the same amount of flour, water and buttermilk and leave jar on counter. NB: the buttermilk must be cultured buttermilk, that is it has to contain active bacteria, which will now be cultured on rye. Buttermilk that has been made by adding citrate to milk will not work. The water used should be filtered. At least my tap water contains enough chlorine to kill any starter.
- - after 3 days, the starter should start to bubble; it can now be used for bread, or maintained. For maintaining the starter, remove half of the starter and replace with rye flour and water, and keep doing this for about a week. The starter can now be either stored in the fridge and fed once weekly, or kept on the counter and fed daily. Once in the fridge, it will take about a day for the starter to get active enough again to be used for baking.
- - in the meanwhile, cube or slice onions, caramelize and allow to cool
- - now is the time to consider if you liked to maintain the starter. If yes, remove 3 tablespoons of the sourdough, put into a clean jar, and set aside as starter. Add wheat flour, apple sauce, onions, salt, spices, and yeast mix to dough and and stir / knead together; add flour / water until the dough can be knead
- -cover bowl with wet tea towel or plate, place in a warm spot, and allow the dough to rise for 2h
- - portion the dough, form loaves, and allow to rise for another hour;
- - preheat oven to 450F and bake loaves for 30-40 min, depending on size. Switch off oven, and leave loves overnight while the oven cools down
- - allow bread to rest for at least half a day. Store in paperbags or open plastic bags at room temperature.
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