Full Rye Sourdough

Written by Warwick Quinton. Posted in Rye starter breads

Full Rye Sourdough


Full Rye Sourdough, like a select few of the breads I'm currently making, has been part of my bread family for many years. 

The thing about most rye bread is that it's usually blended with wheat, because rye flour has only 5% protein. Which makes a lovely bread, of course, but most bakeries steer clear of making breads with 100% rye flour because it's very difficult to get a decent rise out of them. 

I have been playing with rye flours and rye meals for twenty years now, and I've learned how to get the best from the grain. It takes a lot of time and plenty of patience. And a fair bit of water. But that's all I'm saying.

I don't add any colouring to my full rye either. It looks lighter than other rye breads because that is the natural colour of rye. Most rye breads get their colour from either malt flour or molasses. Real rye is not dark brown at all - it's kind of a browny grey. I suppose the marketers and bakers think it's not too pretty - but I think it's gorgeous, and it's earthy tone should be shown off. In keeping with the whole idea of 'keeping it simple', my full rye contains only rye, water and salt. The deep, rich flavour comes from a 72 hour fermentation and a very slow mix. 

Classic rye bread is sweet and sour - like life, I guess. It also has quite a soft mouth feel, so it is best with soft, salty toppings like salmon or sardines. It's also delicious with avocado, hommus, ripe brie, blue cheese, or tahini. Of course, rye with nutella is a lovely, naughty treat. 

The Full Rye weighs in at 1kg and also 500g. It's the only bread I bake in a tin, due to rye's need for guidance. It's a wayward grain, I guess. Give it a good home and it'll be just fine.