Once you’ve baked sourdough bread, there really is no going back. Supermarket sourdough just doesn’t cut it. It often contains citric acid and commercial yeast, in other words it’s ‘Fauxdough’. This sourdough has developed taste over many hours, fermented to perfection, and then baked until deep caramel in colour with a crunchy exterior. This is my Nordic Rye Sourdough Rolls Recipe.
I say it’s my recipe, a good friend, who happens to be Finnish alerted me to the recipe. It was infact written on the back a packet of rye malt grains she bought on a trip home. The originally recipe calls for commercial yeast. We both love to bake with wild yeast, so it just had to be converted, I have made a few other adjustments too.
There are a few ingredients you may need to purchase before you begin. Firstly kefir, this cultured milk is an extremely versatile baking ingredient and when substituted for milk, buttermilk or water, will produce a delicious and healthy twist for many bakes and dishes. It adds a lovely softness to the crumb here. Secondly, cut malted rye grains they provide a little texture and extra fibre. Finally black treacle, you may wonder why this is added. It gives the bread a wonderfully rich caramel colour and pleasant taste. It’s also rich in nutrients, including iron, calcium and potassium.
The process is very straightforward. All the dry ingredients are combined in a bowl, with exception of the salt. The starter must be active i.e. very recently fed and doubled in volume. This is mixed with the kefir, oil and the majority of the water. You’ll notice I weight liquids; I do this because it’s far more accurate. The salt and remaining water are then added after half an hour. Stretch and fold 3 times and it then it’s covered and goes straight into the fridge to prove overnight.
The next morning, simply divide into 16 pieces, shape gently and sprinkle with extra rye flour. The second proving time will vary, depending on the temperature in your kitchen.
Then pop in the oven to bake for up to 25 minutes. You will enjoy the amazing aroma when they are done, guaranteed. Not only delicious, healthy too!
Nordic Rye Sourdough Rolls
- 80 g chopped rye grains soaked for 30mins in 200g boiling water
- 125 g active rye sourdough starter 100% hydration
- 300 g wholegrain rye flour organic
- 125 g strong wholemeal flour organic
- 175 g strong white flour organic
- 12 g fine sea salt
- 50 g black treacle
- 30 g sunflower oil or melted butter
- 150 g kefir
- 200 g water
- Begin with the chopped rye grains, place them in a bowl and add the boiling water. Set aside for 30 minutes.
- Place all the dry ingredients in a bowl, with exception of the salt. In another bowl mix the kefir, oil, black treacle and 175g of the water. Now add the rye starter and whisk to combine. Pour over the dry ingredients with the soaked rye grains. Give it all a good mix. Cover and leave for 30 minutes. This stage is called autolyse.
- Now add the salt and the remaining water. Using your hand squeeze the dough to help incorporate the water and salt. It is a fairly wet mix. Cover and leave for 20 minutes. Now take a portion of the dough and pull and fold over on itself. This is called stretch and fold. Because there is less gluten in rye flour this is a little tricky but the idea is to try and incorporate air in the dough. Do this twice more, at 20 minute intervals. Once this is done, cover and place in the fridge overnight. (Prove for up to 12 hours).
First thing next morning.
- Gently scoop out the dough out of the bowl with a scraper onto a (rye) floured work surface. Very gently dived the mixture into 16 even pieces, (approximately 85g each). Gently shape, don’t be too heavy handed, you don’t want to knock out any air from proving overnight in the fridge.
- Preheat the oven 220°C fan.
- Place the rolls on a lined baking tray and sprinkle with a more rye flour. Cover with a clean tea towel. In my kitchen (21C) they take 2 hours 45 minutes to prove. Small cracks will appear on the surface when they' re ready to bake. Gently prick with a fork 3 times. Place on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 22-25 minutes. When you tap on the underside they should sound hollow. Cool on a wire rack. Eat on the same day or freeze for up to 3 months.