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Danish dark rye sourdough (rugbrød)

This is probably my favorite bread recipe at the moment. I've adapted just a bit from Barbara Elisi's post, which I was happy to discover, especially since most of the recipes I'd seen for this type of bread used yeast, whereas this one uses only sourdough. It does take quite a while to prepare, but it's worth the wait. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments, and enjoy the bread!

Ingredients & method

(Works best to start around 9 a.m.)

1. For the first levain, you need

100g of storage sourdough starter
100ml water
50g light rye flour
50g dark rye flour
Dissolve the sourdough in water, then mix in flours
(Rest about 12 hours)

2. That evening, around 9 p.m., make rye levain using

270 of ‘first levain’ (minus 30g, which goes back into ‘storage starter.’)
200g water
100g light rye flour
100g dark rye flour
Dissolve levain in water, then mix in flours
(Rest about 12 hours)

At the same time as the rye levain, prepare rye grains to soak overnight, using

200g organic chopped rye for pumpernickel
enough water to cover the chopped rye
a pinch of salt

3. The following morning (~24 hours after your first levain), make your dough with:
400g of rye levain (save the rest for future use)
the soaked chopped rye grains from step 2, with water drained off
20g salt
50g barley malt extract
350g dark malt beer (I’ve used stout, or a sweet, dark beer)
450 ml lukewarm water
800g dark rye flour
(optionally, add walnuts or hazelnuts to dough and/or linseeds to the exterior)

Mix everything together for about 10 minutes, then pour into greased loaf tins. The dough will be very wet and sticky, probably too wet to work by hand on a work surface; working it with a scraper in the bowl works fine. Note: These quantities will make three medium loaves, which may seem excessive, but this type of bread can stay wrapped in plastic and refrigerated with very little loss of quality, because the interior is so moist.

Leave the loaves to prove, covered with plastic, about 4 hours at room temperature.

Refrigerate loaves, still covered with plastic, another 24 hours.

Bake at 160 degrees C for 90 minutes, then add a pan of warm water to the bottom of the oven, and bake another 60 minutes.
The loaves then need to rest for another 24 hours (I know this sounds extraordinary, but these breads have a completely different crumb from the sourdough we’re used to) before you cut them.