Starter dough (sponge):
- 2 tablespoons (50g) rye sourdough starter
1 cup (230g) water
5 cups (150g) Jubilee Rye Flour
All starter dough sponge
1.5 cup (350g) water
3 cups (200g) whole rye flour
2 tablespoons cacao powder (optional: it gives a beautiful colour without changing the taste. Use raw cacao powder as it has more
2 tablespoons molasses
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander (optional)
*to make a honey rye loaf (my favourite) omit the cacao and substitute the molasses with 2 tbsp of honey
Make starter dough sponge:
In a large glass bowl, whisk rye sourdough starter with water until dissolved and frothy. Add flour and mix with a spoon until no dry bits remain. The mixture will be sloppy. Cover tightly, and leave at room temperature until it becomes bubbly and 'soft' looking (bubbles are
easier to see under the surface, that's why a glass bowl is convenient). This can take anywhere from 4 to 12 hours, depending on the temperature but typically rye ferments faster than wheat because it has more nutrients that fermentative yeast and bacteria like. I often start late in the evening and make the main dough early morning.
Make main dough:
Mix starter dough with the main dough ingredients until combined and uniform in color. Cover, and leave at room temperature
for 4-10 hours. Here you want to watch the dough more than the time, look for it to soften and puff up (it won't rise much), then drop
slightly. If you don't have a chance to watch, just go with 6 hours. With a spoon or a stiff spatula, mix the dough well, and transfer to a bread pan lined with parchment paper (I skip the paper and just grease my well seasoned Pampered Chef Stoneware Loaf Pan). Smooth the top with a wet hand. Let it rest in the pan no longer than 30 minutes, if you allow it to rise in the pan too long, it will collapse during baking, which will make the crumb brick-dense and gooey. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 375ºF (180ºC) for about 60 minutes. It's best to wait for 24 hours before cutting into it, I know it's hard but try to wait for at least 8 or 10 hours.
You can add any spices you like. Add more cacao powder (I use up to ½ cup sometimes, just for fun). I like adding cardamom. Whole coriander seeds are used in this type of bread in Russia.