Quick Bread for Busy Days
I am sharing with you today the "quick" recipe for a sourdough bread for those days when you forgot or run out of time to set up a leaven. This is my go-to recipe when I want to have a bread ready in a few hours, the bread that is sliced and smeared with butter while still warm and served with a bowl of a fresh soup.
It takes literally a few minutes to put it together and I do not need to get my hands dirty kneading it. Then it goes into a bread pan and is tucked away in warm, draught free place to rise for a few hours. I often make this rye sourdough bread early in the morning, right after my morning coffee.
While I go about my day, busy with work, supervising my children's play and studies and running our home, wild yeast are doing their job quietly and steadily and within 3 hours I can start baking.
I measure 150g of sourdough rye starter and transfer it into a big bowl. Next I add 500g of white rye flour. In a jug I pour 450ml of lukewarm water and add one and a half teaspoon of coarse Guerande sea salt and stir it well until it dissolves. Then I pour it into a flour/starter mix.
I start mixing it slowly with a wooden spoon. Once the dough starts to stick together, I began to folding it with a spoon for about 2 minutes until I notice bubbles forming. Now I can transfer the dough into a greased bread pan, smooth it with wet hands and cover with a linen towel and leave to rise for about 3 hours.
Rye Dough Nature
Rye flour gluten is more sticky and has poorer quality than the wheat one. It requires more water and therefore the dough is dense and heavy. Rye was a staple grain in Central and Northern Europe, because it is better suited to grow in a temperate climate. I wrote before how to make your own sourdough starter and why wholemeal rye is the best flour for it.
Rising and Baking
Rising time depends on how warm is the place where the dough rests, a sunny window sill with no draught could speed it up and make a bread ready for an oven within 2 hours. However, I discovered that on rainy, windy days, wild yeasts work slower. Once bread is well risen, you can sprinkle it with a bit of flour and make decorative cuts.
An oven needs to be very warm, gas mark 7 or 220C and before putting a loaf in, you should pop in a pan filled with water on a bottom shelf. Steam helps to create a good crust on bread. Bake a bread for about 50 minutes. Once you are happy with its colour and crust, remove from a pan and leave it on a rack to cool down.
In case of a sourdough rye bread, it is important to let the bread to cool down before cutting. The flesh inside is still setting and if you cut hot bread it might disintegrate or become crumbly. You could see on my photos how it gained a fleshy texture with small, regular holes. I know it could be difficult, but you must stay patient and keep your hands off the bread for a little while still.
There you go! No knead, ready in a few hours sourdough bread, right in time for a dinner time. Enjoy!
150g rye sourdough starter
500g white rye flour
1 1/2 teaspoon coarse grey Guerande sea salt
450ml lukewarm water
Ghee for greasing a bread pan