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Rye and Ancient Grains Sourdough Bread

Here’s the recipe for my rye and ancient grain sourdough bread. I fashioned these into little mini loaves, but you can make them round or larger as you desire.  The sourdough starter included in the recipe can be kept indefinitely in the refrigerator and its intensity of flavor grows with age.  The recipe is so easy and requires a very minimum of kneading that I was able to do it whilst camping with only an oven thermometer, some unglazed tiles, and a grill to use as an oven.  The result is a deliciously dense, chewy, and incredibly nutritious bread.  Additionally by using rye, emmer, and einkorn flours along with the lacto-acid fermentation of the sourdough process; this bread is easy on the digestive process.  This is a great choice for those looking to enjoy delicious wholesome breads but avoid the pitfalls modern wheat.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup sourdough starter*
  • 1 ¾ cups water
  • 1 ¾ cups rye flour
  • 1 ¾ cups ancient grain flour (einkorn, emmer or combination)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  •  1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Directions:

In a medium-size mixing bowl combine the starter, water, honey, seeds, and zest.  In another bowl combine the flours.  Add the wet to dry ingredients and combine well. Transfer to a well-oiled bowl, cover loosely with plastic wrap to prevent drying out and cover the bowl with a dishtowel. Allow to proof in a warm area for 12 to 14 hours.

Roll the dough out into the shape you desire (boule, baguette, etc.). Cover with plastic wrap to prevent drying out and allow to proof for the final 2 hours. Preheat the oven to 475°, score the loaves prior to baking. Allow baking for approximately 30 minutes until the internal temperature of 200° F is reached.

*If you prefer an instant yeast version, prepare one package of the yeast according to the package directions. Add an additional 1/3 cup of ancient grains flour to the dry ingredients.

To use a starter you may purchase a kit or make your own.  To make your own, use a large glass or plastic container with a lid.  Add 4 ounces of ancient grains flour and 4 ounces of water.  Make sure the water is filtered, distilled, or spring water.  Allow this to rest for a day at room temperature then repeat the process.  On day 3, the starter should appear to have some bubbles indicating proper microbial activity.  Repeat the process as before; on day 4 repeat the process of final time.  On the 5th day, the starter should be ready to use and can now be placed in a refrigerator and replenished with water and fresh flour about once a week.  You can use it as needed.

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