Finnish bread series 1): Ruislimppu
June 3, 2010, 12:30 pm
Filed under: Bread, Good to know, Production, Recipes | Tags: , , ,

As promised, here comes the first recipe for a sourdough bread. Chronologically, I should maybe start with a recipe for the first unleavened flat bread in Finland, rieska, but I have not found a satisfying recipe yet (or my methods were completely wrong, but they were quite hard). And since I have already posted a recipe for the starter, you might find a use for it now.

First, the starter needs to be activated, to be ready for baking. There are three steps with falling temperatures – 1.) 6-8 hrs, 26-28 °C, e.g. bathroom, 2.) 6-8 hrs, 22-26 °C, e.g. living room, 3.) 3-4 hrs, 18-22°C, e.g. hallway. I usually just feed the dough once or twice and let it go for a few hours. Still, I got good results. A sourdough is a bit like a pet, you really have to take care of it, as good as you can. It should smell flourlike and sour, and produce bubbles, then it is ready for baking.


500 g sourdough starter

500 g rye flour

1 tablespoon salt

250 ml warm water

Turn on the oven on 50°C. Mix all ingredients. It will be sticky! If needed, add more water or flour. It depends on the consistency of the sourdough starter how the dough behaves. Knead the dough a little, not too much, since rye flour does not contain a lot of gluten that would need to be activated. Form a loaf in a shape you like, spray water on the surface, and put it in the warm oven. Turn off the oven after 20 min., but let the light burn. Let the bread rest for about 2-3 hrs.  Wet the surface every now and then. When the bread grew remarkably and the surface breaks open, it can be taken out. Put the oven on maximum temperature (mostly 250°C) and bake the bread for about 60-70 min. After 10 min., lower the heat to about 220°, after 20 more to about 200°. When bread was baked in old ovens, heat would naturally drop down. Spray the surface a last time with water 20 min. before taking it out to get a nice crust. The bread is ready when it produces a hollow sound when you knock on its bottom side. Wrap it in a clean kitchen towel and let it cool down for at least 3-4 hrs. It will taste even better the next day!

Sources: http://www.der-sauerteig.com/; Suomen Maakunta Leivät, J. Kolmonen (1986, Patakolmonen Ky, Helsinki); and some of my own experience :)

Next week, there will be a short baking workshop in the only remaining traditional family bakery of Helsinki. I might do some corrections after! ;)


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