This recipe will allow you to make Czech traditional sourdough rye bread at home and have the Bohemian taste and delicious aroma right in your kitchen.
First, we must make the rye leavening (or rye sourdough starter). This takes place a few days before you set out to make the bread. My grandmother always had a big pitcher of starter in the back of her refrigerator with a wooden spoon in it. To make it you only need two ingredients. The secret here is in the time…
370 milliliter water
250 grams wholemeal rye flour, finely ground
The recipe for this bread may seem daunting but it is not complicated.
Beginning a traditional Czech bread recipe is a little time consuming, but once you’ve done a starter, you can just keep adding to it so the process will be much simpler once a starter (rye leavening) is complete.
Day 1: In a 2-liter vessel Stir 100 grams of flour in 125 milliliters of warm water (28-30 ° C). Cover with a cloth and let stand at 21-23 ° C.
Day 2: Mix a 50 grams of flour and 125 milliliters of lukewarm water and leave until the next day.
Day 3: Mix in 50 more grams of flour, and only 60 milliliters of lukewarm water. Cover and let stand again.
Day 4: Mix in 50 grams of flour and 60 milliliters of lukewarm water. Leave standing for 24 hours, covered.
If you maintain the leavening at the correct temperature during fermentation, the yeast should have a slightly acidic flavor after four days and the texture should be very soft dough.
This natural starter (yeast, leavening) can be maintained by removing 80% from the vessel and then adding more flour and warm water as you did on Day 4.
If you store your leavening in the refrigerator, make sure to pull out at least 3 hours before using, seeing that it properly wakes up and expands.
150 grams Rye leavening
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
500 grams wheat bread flour
4 teaspoons salt
1 liter of water
500 grams rye bread flour
1 Tablespoon caraway seed
500 grams wheat flour
You can convert weights and measures here.
Mix the rye leavening, rye bread flour and water. This will create a thinner batter. It’s best to do this in the evening and leave until morning to rise.
In the morning, add the wheat flour, wheat bread flour, salt, coriander and caraway seeds. Mix thoroughly for 5 minutes and then let rise for about 3 hours. Then divide the dough into two parts.
Shape each into a loaf of bread and let rise again for about an hour.
Preheat the oven to 275 ° C. Place the dough into two shaped pans (not necessary, but makes the bread look nice).
When the bread dough has risen, place into the hot preheated oven. Under the pans, place a smaller pan with a cup of water.
CAUTION – water immediately turns into steam so be careful not to burn yourself.
The steam is what creates a nice crust on the bread. Bake the bread with the water for about 5-10 minutes and then lower the heat to 200 ° C. and bake for about 50 minutes.
It is true that this bread takes some time, but traditional Czech rye bread made from sourdough starter is beautifully smooth and delicious.
It is also much healthier than when made with regular yeast.