This is our third bake...the first one using a rye sourdough starter, and one chosen this time by Nigel Bamford. I did have one's days advance notice, so managed to get my rye sourdough out of the fridge. It had lain there for several weeks, and had separated out. I was a little nervous so read up on Jane Mason's guidance on looking after the sourdough. I decided to refresh it by taking 50g of the sourdough, adding 150g organic wholerye flour, and 300g water. The rest in the jar tasted quite acidic so I decided to ditch it...well it went down the drain rather than into the ditch!
By the morning I had a lovely fresh smelling lively sourdough starter. I read the recipe one more time, and decided to omit the coriander and cumin seed, and stick with the caraway in the loaf, and anise seeds on the top. Even when I reread the recipe and contents I made the mistake of thinking they had not been included the anise seeds in the ingredients....but it is there in black and white! Pointed out to me by several friends on our Facebook page where I am picking up so many tips.
I suppose I did not quite follow the timing of the original recipe...but in this instance this worked for me. Looking at my timings they were more or less spot on with the recipe, but managed the whole loaf in one day, rather than over two, with baking late on day one, rather than mid morning day 2. We had a freshly baked loaf waiting for us for breakfast. I left it on the cooling rack wrapped up in a cloth.
100g sourdough starter, 20g dark rye flour, 25g wheat flour, and 20g water
I measured all these and put them into a bowl at 8 am, covered it and left it on the kitchen counter till 4pm, ie about 8hrs.
40g dark rye, 215g strong white wheat flour, 100g milk which I had previously warmed and allowed to cool completely, 50g malt syrup, 5g salt, and 1tsp caraway seeds.
These were added to the refreshed starter above, and given a good knead for ten minutes 'The Bertinet Way', shaped and put straight into a well buttered tin.
One of our group on Facebook had placed a link to this method. It is one of the kneading methods I have used for years....my friend Vicki first introduced me to Bertinet over ten years ago, and even bought me one of his little plastic scapers when she went on one of his baking courses. It has proved to be the best scaper I have had. The method is also really useful when my hands are hurting, and very amazingly a bout of kneading helps to exercise my hands and restore their flexibility.
I shaped the loaf as I would shape a standard loaf, and left it to rise in the tin, on the counter, at room temperature.
I was going out to our WI meeting, and the look of the loaf before I left at 7 told me that another 2 or so hours on a coolish summer day would be fine. Resting time was about 5 hrs. When I got back I preheated the oven to Gas No 8, and when warmed, put in the loaf, and after 10 minutes turned the temperature down to No 6. Forty minutes in all, with the last ten having to cover the top with a little foil to stop the seeds from burning, gave a lovely bake.
This morning I had a slice with butter and raspberry jam for my breakfast....delicious. I'm not even sure I can taste much sourness, but it is in perfect balance with the malt.
Next time I'll replace half the white flour with wholemeal, and presoak the seeds in the milk, and double up the quantities to make two loaves. I know that Roy would love one of these loaves.