Sour 100% rye loaf

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Not bad for a first attempt! I recently got The Handmade Loaf by Dan Lepard and basically, all my sourdough bread baking over the past year and a half has been a child’s play compared to Dan’s recipes. Am clearly so not in Kansas anymore… I’ve read up a little on baker’s percentages before and know the basic flour/ salt/ water ratios but now there’s temperatures and all sorts of other things like white leaven to consider. This particular loaf, for example, my first from the book, was started on Thursday morning and is only ready to eat 2 days later. It’s quite close in texture but I don’t mind – I know my ingredients and the kitchen itself were colder than they should have been so I should have probably given the dough a longer prove. It tastes good (intense sour rye) and I’m particularly impressed with the crust, which has a surprising sweetness to it. And, of course, the shape of the loaf. Dan’s guide to tapering into a baton is the best one I’ve seen so far although I do need to practice this some more.

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I’m off to the nearest shop that sells kilner jars shortly so that I can get a white leaven going. So far I’ve only been doing rye leaven and I’m going to use that to start the white as well. Not sure whether having two starters is one of my best ideas but I’d like to try some more recipes from Dan so may as well have the right starter, at least for a while. I then also have to get a proper thermometer at some point. Love it how I’ve managed to accumulate a whole load of baking paraphernalia but am, at the same time, constantly complaining about the tiny size of the kitchen, telling self that I cannot possibly buy more things that are to live in the kitchen. This never actually stops me from getting more stuff. This weekend, for example, I also need to make a pudding for an early Christmas get together, a pudding that needs to be stored in a cool and dark place – only all cool and dark storage places are already taken up by vast quantities of jam I’ve made this year… Oh well, am sure a storage solution will present itself.

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