Organic Whole (Dark) Rye Flour – 250 grams + 180 grams (to make the Rye Leaven)
Rye Leaven – 150 grams
Roasted Barley Malt (Pale Chocolate 250° L by Thomas Fawcett) – 50 grams
Roasted Barley Malt (Melanoidin 25° L by Weyermann) – 25 grams
Organic Raw Pumpkin Seeds – 50 grams
Organic Raw Sunflower Seeds – 50 grams
Organic Golden Flax Seeds – 50 grams
Organic Hulled Hempseed – 50 grams
Honey – 3 tablespoons
Warm Water – 1 cup (237ml)
Sea Salt – 1 tablespoons
Rye Bread – Estonia’s forests and agricultural lands contribute to the country’s fascinating cuisine. Estonian cuisine uses diverse range of ingredients, such as grains, dairy products, fish, wild game, forest berries and wild mushrooms. Rye, a staple grain cultivated in Eastern Europe and Scandinavia, is a very good source of fiber, vitamins and minerals. The rye grains are crushed to make rye flour for baking or can be cooked and eaten as cereal or used to make alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Rye Bread, an essential food in the Estonian cuisine, is a dark brown bread made from the fermented rye flour (leaven). In our recipe, we use organic 100% whole grain dark rye flour, produced by Giusto’s Vita-Grain. The flour is made from the whole dark rye grains, preserving the essential nutrients of the germ, bran and endosperm. We use organic pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, golden flax seeds and hulled hempseed, sold at Whole Foods Market. We buy at a brewery supply store the Roasted Barley Malt (Pale Chocolate by Thomas Fawcett) that gives our rye bread its beautiful brown color. We also buy the Roasted Barley Malt (Melanoidin by Weyermann) for its wonderful aroma. Our baked Rye Bread has a dense texture and distinct taste, accentuated by the nutritious seeds and grains. Our Rye Bread recipe celebrates the delicious breads we tasted while visiting the Baltic States.
Step 1 – Prepare the Rye Leaven: Day 1 (mix 30 grams of rye flour and 30ml of warm water in a glass jar, cover with a cloth and leave in a warm place to ferment). Days 2-6 (add each day 30 grams of rye flour and 30ml of warm water and mix well). Note: The rye flour’s natural yeast is activated when mixed with warm water, allowing the bacteria to thrive. The small bubbles develop starting at day 2 or 3. The rye leaven is ready around day 6 or 7, has a frothy texture and a pleasant smell.
Step 2 – In a spice or coffee grinder, crush the roasted barley malts to powder. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients, place the bread dough in a long rectangular Dutch oven and sprinkle some of the seeds and grains on top. Cover the lid of the Dutch oven and leave in a warm place to rise for 24 hours.
Step 3 – Bake the bread in the oven for 50 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake the bread 25 minutes with the lid on and 25 minutes without the lid. Note: Place the Dutch oven on the higher rack so the bread’s bottom does not over burn.
Step 4 – Remove the baked bread from the oven and the Dutch oven, and allow to cool down for a few hours or a day before serving.
Step 5 – Enjoy its crispy crust, soft texture and distinct taste!