Danish style sourdough rye bread – part 1
When I visited Copenhagen earlier this year I fell in love with their rye bread. I didn’t know that rye bread could be so tasty. For the first couple of days everything was amazing and fantastic. Then my palate kicked in and I started to be able to pick out the breads that had added yeast (instead of being just sourdough), and that had a lot of wheat (and colour) so they were light and not really true rye bread. Some of the locals told me that even Danes are losing some of their traditions and starting to eat more wheat bread and less of the traditional sourdough rye breads. What I particularly loved was the fact that a lot of the locals I spoke to still made bread at home; that it was mostly a male domain to make the rye bread; and that they just accepted that it took two to three days to make a loaf of bread. Love it!
Have a look at this flour mill for customer use in the rather fancy Magasin store. The little bags of spelt and rye grain were presumably meant to be ground in the mill if you wanted. I don’t know if many supermarkets in Copenhagen offers such a fantastic service…I’d like to think they do. When I came home I tried to convince my local organic wholesale store that they should also install a flour mill for their customers to use…but didn’t get much traction there!
When I got home I was on a mission to recreate some of the best rye bread I had. I trawled the internet and bread books looking for a recipe that could deliver the grainy, nutty, slightly sour bread I had fallen in love with. I even tried my hand at translating some recipes I found in Danish blogs – that is how obsessed I was! Someone sent me the Noma recipe which made a quite nice bread (but still not quite right) and certainly helped inform the recipe I eventually developed. And then finally I managed to make it. I still had to experiment with baking times and temperatures as I was finding the outside a bit too dry and the inside a bit too wet. But the taste and texture were definitely there. Then I left it….for a few months. And I mostly forgot what I had done before (my usual lazy habit of not measuring ingredients or keeping notes).
Last week I started again. This time it worked out just beautifully. And I kept notes along the way!!! Hooray! Next post will have the recipe. Here is a photo just to keep you interested…. 🙂