Every time I go to the organic market I stare for five minutes, hypnotized, at those packages of rye bread – like this one.
Its specific weight is like the one of mercury, and furthermore it has a really appetizing moist look, I always imagine it with a smear of fine butter on top.
Except that, every time I bought it, I was a little disappointed; don’t really know why… it’s maybe a little too dry or a little too brown.
So I always wanted to try and make them, and by chance I was given a pack of rye flour that I alone would have never bought, and as usual I recognized in it a sign of fate!
I did some research online and I found this, which was not exactly what I thought, but I thought it could be a good starting point.
Instead of lard, I used olive oil, but not because I am opposed to lard, on the contrary.
Lard contains a higher percentage of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are very close to that of olive oil; this fat is ideal for desserts and for frying, and according to nutritional biotherapy it is absolutely perfect for frying potatoes or for food cooked in batter.
However, since antibiotics, hormones and any toxins that animals are given accumulate in the fat, until I find an absolutely safe source of lard I will not give in!
You must know that, when I was little, my mother did not want us to eat junk food, and in school I was always the nerd without colored snacks, so I was very clever at home, where I used to prepare dreamlike home-made snacks, which I would wrap in strange colored wrappers – even with a foil paper inside! This explains well how started as a graphic designer, and also my passion for cooking ;-)
This experiment allows me to say: I made it too!! True, it can be improved, but certainly it’s much better than the one you find in the store, I swear!
Here is the big recipe, modified from the recipe I mentioned earlier (found in ombranelportico.blog.com, which means “in the shade of the porch” (isn’t it a cute name for a food blog?)
350 grams of whole rye flour
150 grams of type 0 flour
250 grams of sourdough
50 grams of extra virgin olive oil
250 grams of water
2 teaspoons salt
Melt the sourdough with the water and the oil.
Add the two types of flour and then the egg, and try to make it “incordare” (incordare means that the dough becomes elastic and shiny, and it starts detaching from the mixer walls), then knead well as usual, adding the salt towards the end.
The dough will be soft and sticky, and even worse, not at all flexible!
Put it to rest in the oven with the light on, and a wet, well wrung cloth – as usual. After a couple of hours, do the first series of folds (see the bread with the folds).
Put it back in the oven, wait another couple of hours and do a second round of two folds, then again wait for two or three hours and do a third round (this time only a single fold).
Put it back again in the warmth, and once it starts to rise, give it the shape of bread and put in the waiting room (a warm and sheltered place) until the oven reaches the right temperature. Mine takes almost an hour, with the refractory stone inside.
I started to knead at 2 P.M. and I baked at midnight… and I know that it would have been able to keep rising.
Do not expect it to rise more in the oven, you won’t have this pleasure.
After ten minutes, lower the temperature at 250°C, and leave it a little longer than the white bread, as you don’t want it to be too moist inside.
I have eaten it with butter and yellow peach/lavender marmalade, and I must say that the combination was excellent.
The taste of lavender on white bread is a little too strong; however on this type of bread it goes really well.
Suggestions to improve it are welcome!
I have thought it was important to add a footnote to all posts about dough rising process, as it often happens that you don’t know well which recipe start with (above all the ones about bread, many and completely different from each other), and it happens that you choose exactly the most difficult or the longest one and you become so disappointed that you run the risk of definitely given up.
Pay attention to the date of the recipe, *always*!
The newer recipes, published more recently, are surely the most reliable and accurate, due to the fact that my experience increases day by day as I don’t do anything but surf the net to study.
Moreover, I turned my solid sourdough into liquid sourdough and then things are changed further.
Don’t start off with “the easiest bread of the world”, as the title is misleading and now I can no longer change it: it meant that it was a very easy-to-make bread, (then suitable for everyday life), I didn’t mean that it was the one to start off with if you are a beginner.
If you are really looking forward to have an advice about which would be the easiest kind of bread to make, begin with “bread with folds”; it is the basic recipe I usually follow; anyway, remember to go and read the newest recipes and refer to that.
If you are feeling like deepening or studying the bread making, have a look here; at the end of the post, you will find a list of interesting links (constantly updated), italian and foreign websites, useful videos and anything other resources that turn out to be helpful to get more skilled in the white art.