I was asked more than once to publish a sourdough rye bread recipe for the “Bread baking for Beginners” post series. I hesitated as a rye bread is not so easy to handle as a wheat one and to know when a pure sourdough loaf is ready to bake needs some experience. But with the Rye bread without sourdough we had already the right starting point to step into the world of sticky rye dough – practising this bread before switching to sourdough is highly advisable.
To rise the bread with only sourdough in a reliable way, the sourdough has to be very active. If it is not so active or was in the fridge for a longer period, making a refreshment to activate the sourdough yeast the day before is a must. The rye sourdough is then build in two stages to archive a well balance flavour and a high activity. The two stages make use of the fact that lactobacteria and yeast differ in their temperature optima. The first, cooler and firmer stage is perfect for the growth of bacteria , which produce lactic acid and acetic acid. The warm and soft stage then favours the yeasts which are needed for a good oven spring.
The recipe, which I created for this post contains 60% of rye and 40% of wheat flour which makes the dough sticky but still good to handle. It is a classical german “Roggenmischbrot” (literally mixed rye bread), with a slight sour and hearty flavour. Different bread spices which are sprinkled into the bread form add a spicy note to its taste.