I use 100% Organic Stoneground Rye flour, only adding honey and salt and water. This is the flour I use, from Bacheldre Mill. I recommend it. My Rye starter is now 4 years old but you can make one in a week.
24 and 12 hours before making the bread I feed a portion of my starter, so that when I begin I have the right amount of active starter.
For example if I need 450 g starter for 3 small loaves I will feed 50 g of stock starter from the fridge with 50 g each of flour and water 24 hours before mixing. Then at 12 hours before mixing I will feed the 150 g that now exists with 150 g each of flour and water which will give me 450 g of starter to work with.
The following table gives quantities in grammes for various combinations of loaves, it depends on my orders which one (or combination) I will make. A large loaf is around 950 g and a small around 700 g before baking
Flour 400 300 800 600 1000 1400
Salt 10 7 20 15 25 35
Starter 200 150 400 300 500 700
Honey 40 30 80 60 100 140
Water 300 225 600 450 750 1050
Mix everything together except the salt, Leave for 30 minutes. I use my Kenwood stand mixer as the dough is very sticky
Add the salt and knead for 10 minutes in the mixer. I user the "K" beater rather than the dough-hook as its more efficient in the lower gluten dough.
Place in a plastic lidded container. Leave for three hours then refrigerate overnight.
Next morning turn the dough out onto a heavily floured board and cut into portions as above (950/700 g) It is important that the dough is handled very gently as it is shaped into loaves, don't be too rough because it will knock the air out and you'll end up with sludge.
I put the loaves into tins as that is what my customers want.
Leave to prove for 5-6 hours until risen and cracked on top. About an hour before baking warm the oven to 230 degrees C.
The following photo's show this more clearly and are taken from an earlier batch which was photographed in different lighting conditions, hence the lighter colour of the dough.
Bake with steam for 15 minutes, then without for another 10 minutes. Turn the tins in the oven to even the browning and reduce the temp to 180 degrees C.
Bake for about 20 minutes more until you get an internal temperature of 96 degrees C. You may need to turn again if the crust starts to darken too much. I use the internal temperature to judge when the loaf is done because Gluten sets at 95 degrees C; any internal temperature above that means that the loaf is "Done." I find that method more accurate than tapping the base. You only need to check one loaf out of a batch.
Turn out to cool. Leave for 30 minutes minimum before cutting.
The perception of Rye bread, at least in England, is that it is very heavy and close-crumbed but as you can see this version is lighter and quite open.
This bread seems to keep forever, (well at least a couple of weeks and when it dries out you can always toast it)
I hope you enjoy the bread and my posts. Keep checking back for lots more sourdough ideas.