Adventures in Sourdough | The Rye Edition

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Saturday 2nd November 2019

Rye and white flour sourdough

I have been making sourdough for about eighteen months now, but it’s only recently that I’ve felt like I’ve got the hang of it. Yesterday I bought some new varieties of flour to experiment with different types of sourdough. This loaf is 25% rye and 75% plain white, and the crumb is perfect. It’s not too heavy but the rye gives it a lovely flavour. I don’t weigh my ingredients like I would for a cake because I’ve been making bread for years and can eyeball what looks right in terms of dry to wet, but I do use measuring cups to make sure that the balance of flours is correct.

I keep my starter alive by storing it in a screw top jar on the top shelf of my fridge, and when I want to make sourdough I pour away the alcohol that forms on the top and then ‘feed’ it with warm water and a few spoonfulls of flour, leaving it out on the kitchen counter to bubble up at room temperature. It’s no more complicated than that, and I certainly don’t pour away as much of the starter as the books and guides suggest, just the alcohol layer at the top of the jar. This is very easy to do when the starter is cold as the flour mix is less viscous so they separate nicely. Every now and then when the rim of the jar gets caked up I move the starter into another vessel, give it a good whip with a handheld whisk, clean the jar and return the starter to the clean jar. The longest I’ve left my starter between uses is probably two or three weeks, and it’s been just fine in the fridge.

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