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Rye Leaven
May 17, 2010 21:46

This leaven can be used for making of rye or semirye bread.

If you plan to bake white bread, similar sourdough can be prepared of wheat flour or “overfed” this rye ferment with wheat flour. The choice of rye flour is explained by the fact that it is much easier and faster to make sourdough from rye than from wheat flour. Wholegrain wheat flour also gives quite good results as compared to refined wheat flour.

So, for making of leaven you need:

Rye flour – 1 glass
Water – 1 glass
A three-liter bottle or jar
About 5 days

Later in order to “feed” the leaven another glass and a half of water and rye flour will be required.

Let's start …

Day 1

Mix a glass of rye flour with a glass of water. Stir it well until you get a uniform mass without lumps, and pour it into a three-litre bottle. Cover the top of the bottle with a piece of gauze. That’s impossible to replace the gauze with polyethylene: the leaven needs air to breathe, otherwise it will choke. Keep the fermentation bottle at room temperature.

Day 2

After one day there will be no visible changes at first sight, but if you look closer you will see little air beads. At the same time there should not be any smell of mustiness.

Day 3

The ferment should be already visibly bubbling and get an almost inaudible sourish smell. Now it is high time to feed it up for the first time. For this purpose mix half a glass (or a bit more) of rye flour with the same volume of water. Blend it well and add to the bottle with ferment. Having mixed it, leave the ferment to ripen further.

Day 4

If everything was done properly and ferment was kept away from cold, changes will be visible at once. The ferment will grow in volume and nearly fill up the bottle. The leaven will turn into a foamy mass with sour smell. And yet, let us recall, there should not be mustiness smell. The leaven will taste sourish.

Now the ferment should be fed for the second time. For this purpose mix a glass of rye flour with a glass of water. Mix it well and add to the fermentation bottle. Leave it to ferment for one more day.

Day 5

The leaven is finally ready and can be used for baking bread. The sourdough properly made and ripened is of sour-cream like consistence, has sour taste and bubbles.

Using this leaven you can make both purely rye bread and mixed wheat-rye bread.

Some portion of leaven (about 60-80 gram) can be taken away, put into a jar with a closed cover and kept in the fridge. The leaven can be stored in a fridge for about two weeks. When you want to prepare new sourdough, just add this old portion to fresh flour diluted in water and keep in a warm place for 16 to 24 hours.

If the left leaven has sharp musty smell it is obvious that it has spoiled and cannot be used. Then you will have to start it all over again.








Tags: Russian cuisine     

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