FOR 2x1Kg/2lb LOAVES:
- 60g active rye sourdough
- 225g warm water
- 200g rye flour (Dark Rye if possible)
Mix well. Leave, covered, in a warm place for 12-16 hours till doubled in volume. This stage is best done the night before you want to make the bread. Avoid an airing cupboard - it tends to dry out the starter.
- 225g cracked rye (I prefer cut malted rye grains, but also try with chopped rye for pumpernickel and see which you prefer)
- 280ml boiling water
Soak for 1hr - the rye grains will be soft.
- 75g pumpkin seeds
- 75g sunflower seeds
Spread on a baking tray. Bake at 180°C till lightly brown (about 12 minutes). Can be done under a grill, moving the seeds frequently. Do not let them get dark brown - it affects the flavour. Allow to cool and add
- 75g linseeds
Mix all the seeds together
Once the starter has risen and the rye grains are soft, mix together the starter, soaker and seeds. Add:
- 225g rye flour (Dark Rye works well, or a mixture of dark and light Rye)
- 1/4 cup honey, maple syrup or coconut syrup/sugar
- 150ml warm water
- 15ml/1 tbsp caraway seeds (optional - I prefer without)
- 30ml/2tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 12g sea salt
Mix all thoroughly and knead in the bowl, scooping up from the edge and pressing downwards in the centre, for about 5 minutes. Wetting your hands frequently prevents the rather sticky dough from sticking to your fingers.
Line two 1Kg (2lb) bread tins with non-stick paper cases. Divide the dough equally between the cases (I weigh the filled, identical tins and adjust the quantity of dough as required, for accuracy and equal sized loaves). Level and sprinkle flour on top if you wish.
Allow to rise in the tins, with an inflated plastic bag around them, for about 2 hours or till well risen; does not rise much - increases by about 2/3 rather than double the volume. Make 3 diagonal slashes on the surface of each with a sharp knife or razor-blade on a wooden stirrer to make a Lame.
When there are still 30 minutes or so to go of rising time, pre-heat the oven to 250°C (or as high as your oven will go) with an oven-proof bowl or baking tray at the bottom of the oven. Fill bowl/baking tray with 1 cup of water before putting in the bread tins.
Bake at 250°C for 10 minutes then lower to 200°C and bake for 35-40* minutes till done. If the crust is getting too dark, cover lightly with foil, shiny side up. Check by tapping the base - it should sound hollow. Remove from the paper cases and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Leave for a day before slicing.
* I find it usually takes closer to 50 minutes