My rye bread journey

I like dark rye bread or actually I might not be considered as a "real" Estonian if I wouldn't like it.

Dark rye bread is one of the most important things for Estonians, we really love it and it has special meaning for us. Also when we go to visit our (Estonian) friends abroad, it is most often in their wish list "Things from home". Though when we also travel for longer periods, you can find it in our luggages. I guess you can call us "rye bread smugglers" :).

When I almost ten years ago moved to Copenhagen, I was also one of the "rye bread smugglers", but as years past and I got better at baking, things changed. (Also as you usually bring only couple of loafs with you from Estonia, it wouldn't last long. Even if you freeze some of it).  I started to explore the ways how I could recreate my loved rye bread in my new home.

Well now you might think, but if she likes rye bread, Denmark should be perfect living location to rye bread lover, as it is also famous of its rye breads. And yes, we do have dark rye bread here, but that is not the same. Danish rye bread has much more seeds in (which is nice), but also its taste is more flat and dry. While the Estonian bread that I like is done by sour dough and have some nice spices in, such as coriander, malt, and poppy seeds. So in the taste you find sourness with hints of salt, spice and sweetness. In other words more dimensions, ergo a more interesting mouthful. 

So after some trial and error I have now finally managed to recreate my own sour dough starter and worked out the following recipe, which will deliver that kind of taste profile.

Liisis Rye Bread

  1. Take 1/2 l luke warm water and mix your sour dough starter into it. 
  2. Add as much flour to the mixture till it is thick as a kefir/yoghurt.
  3. Let it stand for a day (10-12 hours) or overnight. 
  4. Add 3 tsp salt, 1 dl sugar/honey/malt syrup, 3 tbsp crushed coriander seeds (+/or some other seeds, like hemp, poppy, etc.) to the dough and then add some more flour, to the mixture till it is still wet enough to make a sound and it will look like a thick mud. 
  5. Then pour the mixture into the loaf pan and let it raise several hours (or at least minimum 2-4 hours).
  6. Bake it firstly in preheated own (250 °C) for 20 minutes, then turn the temperature down to 220 °C and bake it for 15 min. Then after that turn temperature down to 200 °C and bake for further 10 minutes and finally reduce the temperature to 180 °C and bake it for final 20 minutes. 
  7. Take your loaf out and wrap a tea towel around it. Let it cool. 


My own creations- selection of rye and white breads

My own creations- selection of rye and white breads