This is easily our favorite bread of all I have baked. Every time I bake a different bread, Wife says, “Yeah, it’s good, but that rye is the best. Make it next, okay?”
I had trouble with the hydration the first time. I could handle the gloopy dough but I had trouble getting it fully cooked in my cantankerous oven. (“It’s a poor workman who blames his tools.”) So I tweaked the flour up and the water down. I should have left the flour alone and only tweaked the water. I’m learning as I go.
This time, I increased the water to 360 grams (original recipe 400g) and it was a much improved dough. Easier to stretch and fold. I will increase the water more next time. I also used sprouted rye flour, which contributed to the lightening of the dough, I think. I did not see any change in the taste, but I contribute that to the strong spices. They dominate this bread. I really like the spices and I have added them to my rye cracker recipe. Gotta find a better source for caraway and anise seeds. Our local Indian market has loads of fennel and at a good price.
I’ve got this sprouted grain thing down to a routine. I’m keeping my little $40 Nesco round dehydrator very busy. I start the soak of 500 grams hard white berries (or rye) in a 2 quart canning jar early in the morning. (The below right pic is actually hard red wheat) Why 500? ‘Cause that’s what the little Nesco will hold in its six trays. Twelve hours later I empty the water and tilt it into a metal bowl to allow it to drain more completely. The next morning, early, I start the rinsing and continue every few hours.
By about 8pm the little white sprouts are looking good, sticking out with a teeny-tiny branch. See the pic at the top of the page. At this point they are about 3mm long (~1/8″). I spread them onto the trays of the Nesco, on which I have placed screen cloth to keep them in place. I dry them at 105F overnight until about 8am. I dump each tray into a large bowl and then into a container. I then mill the berries as I need them for a recipe. Because I’m storing the whole grain I don’t have to worry about rancid whole grain flour.