We live in the land of rye and sourdough breads. My husband and I really like all types of breads so there’s always plenty to choose from depending on our craving or culinary needs. The main local bread is made from rye, and it’s definitely a sourdough, the color is a medium color and throughout it there are caraway seeds. This is probably the Czech bread that we buy most often. Its great with soup, as a sandwich bread, alongside klobasa or Bavarian sausages, and when served with tuna salad there is no better taste.
As much as we enjoy eating this bread my husband still misses one particular rye bread from back home. He’s always on the lookout for something similar to that sourdough bread he used to love to eat with patty melt burgers. The rye bread he has been looking for is a lighter color and also has caraway seeds speckled throughout, but unfortunately we have yet to come across it.
When I purchased my copy of “ The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread“ I came across several sourdough and rye breads. One particular recipe stood out, New York Deli Rye. When I showed it to my husband he agreed that it was the bread he was missing so much. So I knew I had to attempt it and hopefully satisfy that craving my husband has had for so long. These photos are my first ever attempt at making sourdough bread. I have to be honest that I was a bit nervous going into it, after all it involves creating organisms in a beaker. Hubby was a tad nervous too, he probably thought I would end up poisoning us. Hehe!
So here is how I learned to make seed culture and barm from “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice”. I can’t share the exact seed culture and barm recipe because I do not have the author’s permission to print this recipe. Tuesday I will share the bread I baked with this. Also please excuse the horrible photos, it was meant to be a casual capture of the process.
The first step was to create the barm, which meant mixing bread flour with water and seed culture. Of course I didn’t have a seed culture so I had to make it before creating the barm. Day 1 of seed culture involved mixing rye flour with pineapple juice. It needed to sit for 24 hours at room temperature.
Day 2 of the seed culture involved mixing with bread flour and pineapple juice with the dough from day 1. No rise was to have happened and today’s dough needed to ferment for another 24 hours. The aroma was a strong bitter pineapple-ish scent.
By day 3 my dough had risen a little bit. But not as much he states in the book, perhaps because my kitchen is quite cold. Regardless, half of the dough was discarded and mixed with more bread flour and water. Now the dough is much wetter, but again it needed to ferment for another 24 hours.
Day four the sponge needed to have doubled from yesterday, but mine did not. Again I think it might be because of the cold temperature in my kitchen. So I had to let it ferment for another 24 hours.
Day 5 is when my dough rose to the height it should have on day 4. Today again half of it was discarded and more bread flour and water was mixed into the remaining sponge. The mixture is quite wet, and it needed to sit until it doubled in size. Mine took nearly another 24 hours to double. But now it was seed culture and ready for making the barm.
Creating the Barm
Today for the barm it required mixing the seed culture with bread flour and water.
The results was a sticky gummy and very wet mixture. Today’s fermentation required 6 hours or until the barm was bubbly.
Mine required nearly 10 hours for it to become airy and bubbly. Then it was placed in the refrigerator to use the next day for baking our New York Deli Rye bread.
Well, here you have my 8 days of creating seed culture and barm. I have to say that I really enjoyed this process. It was like having a pet that I had to feed and check throughout the day. I’ll be back in a couple of days with the process of my very first sourdough bread. Can’t wait to share it!
Have a great Sunday everyone!