I’ve been making this loaf for longer than I care to remember, a consistent sellout at Marlow’s Artisan Food Market and a family favourite. This is a delicious and nutritious wholegrain loaf. It’s much healthier than your average sourdough bread. Contains less carbohydrate, it’s lower in gluten, has more fibre and in general keeps you fuller for longer.
Rugbrød, this seeded-sourdough loaf is a staple of Danish cuisine, served at lunch and celebrations such as Christmas and Easter. It is a dense and long-lasting loaf, with malty and slightly sour notes, with a ragged crust and moist but textured crumb. It is just perfect for open sandwiches. The huge advantage of this bread is that it stays fresh for days, the reason being it contains so much water. Not only that it’s lovely toasted too.
Essentially this is the easiest sourdough loaf to make. No kneading, stretching or folding. It’s important however to use a starter that has recently been refreshed, so it’s really active. I don’t use a leaven for this loaf, I just increase my maintenance starter.
Here you can see I have a seed blend. It consists of golden & brown linseeds, sesame, buckwheat, millet, sunflower & pumpkin seeds. Soaking them in freshly boiled water aids easier digestion.
Proving time can vary, for me this took 1 hour and 45 minutes to get to this stage, with a room temperature of 21.5C.
If you’re new to sourdough baking, this loaf is a great place to start. The method is very simple with delicious and impressive results.
So you see open sandwiches require a sturdy, wholesome bread base for generous toppings such as smoked salmon, prawns with egg or sliced cheese and tomatoes. The options are endless.
Danish Sourdough Rye Bread (Rugbrød)
- 900g loaf tin
Day 1 – Pre-ferment
- 125 g active rye starter 100% hydration
- 230 g dark rye flour
- 290 g cold water
Seeds & chopped rye grains
- 50 g chopped rye grains
- 160 g seed blend ie. golden & brown linseeds, sesame, buckwheat, millet, sunflower & pumpkin seeds
- 210 g boiling water
- Pre-ferment as above
- 330 g dark rye flour
- 12 g fine sea salt
- 2 tbls molasses (black treacle)
- 220 g water tepid
- 2 tsp caraway seeds optional
- a few mixed seeds for sprinkling on top the loaf
- Place the starter in a large bowl and add the cold water and flour. Stir with a spoon to form a nice loose mixture, cover. In a separate bowl place the seeds and chopped rye, pour over the boiling water, cover. Leave both at room temperature for 10-12 hours. (Overnight).
- Uncover the pre-ferment. It should be nice and bubbly and have a pleasant, slightly fruity, alcoholic aroma.
- Now add all the ingredients to the pre-ferment, including the soaked seeds (they will have absorbed all the water). With a large rubber spoon, bring the mixture together and continue mixing for a couple of minutes, until it’s fully combined. Leave for 10 minutes so the flour can fully absorb the water. The wet dough will become slightly firmer.
- Lightly oil a 900g loaf tin and line the base with baking paper. Dust with rye flour.
- Pour the loose dough in the tin. Smooth the surface with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle with mixed seeds and heavily dredge with rye flour.
- Leave to rise. This can take 1½-3 hours (this largely depends on the temperature of your kitchen) when the surface of the bread starts to crack. It’s ready to bake.
- Pre-heat the oven 30 minutes before baking to 230°C fan or as high as it will go. Place a tray of water at the bottom of the oven. Put the loaf in the oven and bake for 40 minutes turning half way through baking.
- Remove from the oven and tip it out of the tin and cool on a wire rack.
- Slice when the loaf is completely cold, it's important to let the crumb set. Best left for 4-5 hours or even overnight.
- I like the addition of caraway seeds, this is of course optional.
- Store sourdough wrapped in a linen tea towel, then a waxed wrap. Sourdough needs to breath however if you wish to freeze it, pop it in a plastic freezer bag. It freezes incredibly well.