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Author Notes: Not the typical caraway rye sourdough bread. This bread is dense, chewy and wonderful toasted and buttered in the morning, slathered with a spicy mustard and topped with ham and cheese for lunch or as a base for crostini at dinner or croutons for soup. I start the project before retiring for the night with the goal of having fresh bread for dinner the following day and having a loaf to give away. This recipe makes 2 large loaves, does require some muscle because of the volume of flour required but doesn't get kneaded in the traditional sense. It keeps for a week in the refrigerator. —NancyFrom Kona
Makes 2 2.5 # loaves
Making the sponge
- 1 cup sour dough starter
- 2 cups Warm non-chlorinated water (I use the filtered water from the refrigerator, bottled water is OK)
- 2 cups Unbleached bread flour
- 1 additional cups Warm non-chlorinated water
- 1 additional cups I bleached bread flour
Making the dough
- 1 cup Warm non-chlorinated water
- 2 tablespoons Fennel seeds
- 2 tablespoons Coriander seeds
- 2 tablespoons Kosher salt
- 1 pound Rye flour (here in Hawaii I can only get Bob's Red Mill Dark Rye from the health food store without paying an arm for shipping!)
- 3-4 cups Unbleached bread flour
- Mix the sour dough starter, 2 cups of water and 2 cups of flour in a large glass bowl. Feed the mother. Cover and let sit at room temperature overnight. Get a good night's sleep!
- After you have had your preferred wake up beverage put the mother back in the refrigerator and wake the rest of the starter up again by adding 1 cup of warm water and 1 cup of unable ached flour. Mix, cover and let stand for about 4 hours.
- Add 1 cup of warm water, fennel and coriander seeds, the rye flour and 2 cups of the bread flour. Stir with a strong spoon or your clean hands gradually adding the remainder of the bread flour until the dough forms a ball. I do this while leaving the dough in the bowl. The bread flour amounts may vary depending on the humidity of the environment and the flour. I do not know how to rescue the dough if too much flour is added. It typically takes 5-8 minutes to form the ball. Cover and let rise 2 hours.
- Form the loaves: decide on the shape of the bread. If long loaves are desired, use a bench scraper and cut the dough in half turning it onto a lightly floured surface. Stretch the dough to desired length then tuck the sides under and place on a peel covered with a piece of parchment paper. If boules are desired, turn the entire dough onto lightly floured surface, pull it into a square and then fold in thirds like you were sending a letter. Make a vertical cut and stretch cut sides under. Boules do well in greased round cake pans. Let shaped loaves stand covered with lightweight towels for about an hour. To assess if the rise is good, lightly press a finger in the side of the loaf and it should barely spring back.
- 30 minutes before anticipating placing the loaves in the oven, put a pizza stone in the oven and set for 475 degrees.
- Uncover loaves. Spray lightly with water. Cut shallow slits in the top of the loaves to avoid blowouts of air through the sides. Bake for 20 minutes then rotate the loaves and drop temp to 375. Bake for an additional 20 minutes. Bread should have a dark crust, tapping on the bottom produces a hollow sound and an instant read thermometer inserted through the side of the bread should read 210 degrees.
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