Rye & Walnut Country Bread with Starter ~ 黑麥,核桃鄉村麵包
I love rustic country bread rather than the plain white sandwich bread, I like the look, the smell, the touch, the gritty and rough texture when I bite it, the crunchy crust is my favourite. It is one of my comfy food when I feel lazy.
Making bread was one of my weakest tasks before, my bread always ends up by the temperature, the timing, the over or under proofing, such a shame experience, but since I found out using the starter or sourdough, bread making turns to my avocation. Now, I get more interesting to hand on flour, making bread for our family is one of my life time work, no matter when if I can compress the time for it, you can pick up my hands are stuck with flour. All the progress is full of fun! >_<
Rye, Walnut Country Bread with Starter ~ 黑麥,核桃鄉村麵包
For the starter: (make it the day before)
- 350g or 2 1/2 cup Strong flour/ Bread flour, sieved
- 5g or 3/4 tsp Sea salt
- 1/4 tsp Active dry yeast
- 250ml or 1 cup warm water
- Mix the yeast with the warm water, set aside for 5 minutes.
- Sieve the flour into a mixing bowl, add salt and stir.
- Use a spatula or fork to mix the wet ingredient to the dry ingredient until all well combine, cover with a piece of greased cling film, top with a plate, leave in the room temperature for at about 14 to 15 hours, but if the weather is too warm – over 20°C, let the dough sit in the room temperature for 3 to 4 hours first, then the rest of the time chill in the fridge. You will see the starter are so much active by next day.
- This starter is so helpful for producing dough, especially for the ‘no-knead bread’. Remember the ratio of the starter with the main dough will be 1:3. And the quantity of salt and yeast must be accurate.
- If you can’t finish all the activate starter, keep them wrapped and leave in the fridge, but better to finish in between 3 days.
For the main dough: (it can make 3 loaves with the starter)
- 300g or 2 cups Whole wheat flour, sieved
- 210g or 1 1/2 cups Strong flour / Bread flour, sieved
- 120g or 1 cup Rye flour, sieved
- 10g or 1/2 tsp Pink Himalayan Pink Sea Salt
- 6g or 1 1/2 tsp Active dry yeast
- 2 Eggs (use 100ml nut milk or water instead, if you’re vegan)
- 375ml or 1 1/2 cup water or cold nut milk
- 30g or 1/4 cup Rye flakes
- 20g or 1/4 cup Walnut pieces or flaxseeds, oats, pumpkin seeds, or almonds.
- 60ml or 1/4 cup Vegetable oil
- Mix the yeast with the water, let it set aside for 5 minutes. Put all the other ingredients except the oil into the stand mixer, add the yeast mixture, and the starter, switch the power on, beat for approximately 3 minutes, then add the oil, continue the beating for another 4 to 5 minutes until the dough smooth. I think if you have made bread before, you’ll understand what is the ‘smooth’ means. If you’re new to make bread, you can click in this link, my older post has all the steps and details that you can follow.
- Put the smooth dough into a greased mixing bowl, masking with a greased cling film and a plate on top, let it sit in the room temperature to act the first proofing until the dough double up the size, or you can keep the dough into a warm space to proof.
- Transfer the dough onto a flour board and slightly punch down the dough. I cut the dough into 3 equal portions, I take one of the portion and divide into 12 small portions, roll each one into balls. And roll the other 2 portions into balls, cover all dough balls with a piece of cling film or a damp tea towel, leave it for about 10 minutes.
- Roll the two large dough balls flat and spread with walnuts and gather all sides to form a loaf shape, and I get one of them into a heart shape, it is just for fun, (optional). Lay the loaves onto a lined baking tray and the 12 small portions into a greased muffin tray.
- Cover with a piece of greased cling film, leave in a warm space for the second proofing for about 40 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 420°F/220°C/200°C (fan oven), or gas mark 7.
- Before 20 minutes to bake, use a sharp knife to make few slits along the upper side of each loaf, and dust with flour (it is optional, if you don’t like it, skip this step), and continue to fermentation.
- Prepare a tray of hot water and place on the bottom of the oven to create the steam, and put all the loaves into the hot oven’s bottom shelf and bake for 40 to 50 minutes until the crust golden brown, it depends on the loaf’s size. The baking time for the smaller muffin size bread will be shorter, about 20 to 30 minutes.
- Check the loaf or bread is cooked by tapping the top of the bread, if it sounds hollow, it is done; also check the bottom of the loaves, if it seems still pale, bake for another 5 to 10 minutes more until brown. Let cool on a wire rack.
- Wrap the loaves with foil when they’re cool completely, and save in the fridge if you can’t finish all, it can stay fresh for 3 to 4 days.
- Toast it and serve with butter and fillings, make a really nice sandwich for your lunch.
- You can put a tray with boiling water to create the steam or spray the oven with water when the oven is hot, this way can make the bread’s crust so crunchy.