This recipe is for the serious bakers among Squidbeak readers. It is based on a rye sourdough recipe by Emmanuel Hadjiandreou, the author of the award winning How to Make Bread, published in 2011 by Ryland Peters and Small. Emmanuel gives simple instructions on how to make a rye sour dough which takes 5 days. There after you have some forever if you look after it like a pet.
This loaf is an example of exquisitely flavoured rye sour dough. I was delighted with the result which was a softer, lighter loaf than I had been expecting. The dough requires very little kneading but it does need a long period of fermentation. This bread making project needs to be started a couple of days before the loaf is required and uses a rye sourdough starter.
Makes one small loaf
150g dark rye flour
100g rye sourdough starter
200g dark rye flour
150g hot water
200g pitted prunes, chopped
1 tbsp pink pepper corns
Grease a loaf tin measuring 21cm x 12cm loaf tin.
In one bowl mix the 150g dark rye flour with the rye sourdough starter and 200g water. Cover the bowl with either another inverted bowl or use a clear plastic shower cap and leave to ferment overnight.
The following day mix 200g of dark rye flour with the salt and tip over the fermented rye sourdough mixture prepared the day before. Pour the hot water over the dry mixture and mix well.
Add the prunes and pink pepper corns and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon. Transfer the mixture to the prepared loaf tin. Wet a plastic scraper or pallet knife and smooth the surface of the loaf. Dredge the surface of the loaf with rye flour, cover and allow the loaf to rise for two hours.
Keep an eye on the dough to ensure it does not rise over the tin. If it does just wipe any extra dough away from the loaf tin.
Preheat the oven to 220°/425°F/ gas mark 7.
The dough should rise about 2cm during proving after which it should be placed in the oven for about 30 minutes. Check whether the loaf is cooked by turning it out of the tin and knocking the base. If it sounds hollow the loaf is cooked and should be placed on a wire cooling rack to cool.
See more of Joan’s recipes and photographs on www.joanransley.co.uk