Sweet Rye Bread – No sugars added

Sweet, dense, and very very moist is not my usual idea of Rye Bread, even if barley malt syrup has been added, yet that’s exactly what this bread tastes like! I really wish I’d added some raisins or craisins (dried cranberries )  – bit there is always next time…

Makes one loaf

In a medium bowl combine and stir:

1 cup sourdough starter
1 cup lukewarm water
1/2 cup rye flour (light or dark, it doesn’t matter)
1/2 cup whole wheat bread flour (or white bread flour – but it does need to be bread flour, “hard flour” as the Europeans call it.)
1/3 cup uncooked instant mashed potatoes
1/4 cup barley malt syrup

The dough is very thin, slightly thicker than cake batter. Now it needs to “rest” in a warm place for 2 hours.

Once very well combined, let this sit in a warm, moist place for 2 full hours. It won’t appear to do much, but you may see a few tiny bubbles.

After “resting” it doesn’t look very different. It’s puffed up slightly. There are a very few tiny bubbles if you look closely.

Stir in:
1/2 cup of rye flour
(If I’d known, I would have added 1/2 cup of raisins or cranberries here… Like I said — NEXT time!)

Now for the tricky part — add another full cup of bread flour. This dough is so sticky, so messy, and so frustrating to work with that it’s hard to believe you can get a full cup of bread flour worked into it. even using your hands. Don’t try to knead it in. Instead break the ball of dough in half and pick up the “extra” flour in the bowl with the center of the dough, break off pieces and scrape the  flour from the sides of the bowl with the pieces, then press it all together — just work  ALL of that bread flour into the mass of sticky dough. ((Maybe I should have used my stand mixer with it’s bread hook… But I didn’t, so… Next time…))

Leave the sticky ball of dough in the bowl for 30 minutes, while you wash your hands, take a break and lightly oil the countertop or bread board, or whatever surface where you knead your dough. Oil the bread pan too…

With well oiled hands, knead the dough on the oiled surface for at least 10 minutes. All the stickiness vanishes fairly rapidly, the dough is exceptionally stiff, but not smooth. It’s not going to rise very much, so shape it to fit the well oiled  bread pan.

Shape the bread to fit the well oiled pan.
Let it rise in a warm moist place until the top of the dough is domed, and slightly higher than the top of the pan.  This bread doesn’t rise very much in the oven.

Bake in  a preheated 375°F oven until a probe thermometer registers 210°F internal temperature..  Remove it from the oven then, but let it remain in in the pan until completely cool.

Happy Eating!



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