Portuguese Mountain Rye Bread
Adapted from book Home Baking, by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid This is my standard sandwich lunch bread. Dense and moist with an attractive cracked, domed top crust, this bread is beautiful! Makes two large loaves that keep well for a week or more
  • 1cup sourdough starter
  • 5cups water
  • 5cups sprouted rye flour
  • 4-6cups sprouted spelt or wheat flour
  • 1tbsp sea salt
  1. 12–24 hours before you wish to bake, put the starter in a large bowl and stir in the water. Always stirring in the same direction, stir in the rye flour 1 C. at a time, then stir in 1 C. of the spelt or wheat flour.
  2. Cover with a towel and set aside for 12–24 hours, longer is better.
  3. When you are ready to continue, stir in the salt, then begin to stir in the spelt or wheat flour 1 C. at a time. Depending on where you live and how humid it is makes a difference in how much you need. The consistency of the dough is really what matters; don’t worry too much about how much flour you use.
  4. Stir in the flour until the dough just begins to come together into a very sticky ball. Turn out onto a very well floured board or just the counter top and gently knead until it comes together into a still slightly sticky ball.
  5. Unlike a typical wheat bread, you are now done kneading. Place the dough in a well oil bowl, cover with plastic and let rise for 3 hours; it will not quite double in size.
  6. Place a baking stone (if you have one) in the oven and pre-heat to 500.
  7. When the oven has heated, place about ¼ cup flour in an 8–9 inch bowl.
  8. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough in half (it will still be sticky).
  9. With lightly floured hands take one piece and transfer to the floured bowl.
  10. Hold the bowl with both hands and gently toss the dough around in the bowl for nearly a minute. This shapes it into a rough round.
  11. Invert the dough onto a peal (if using a stone) and put into the oven, or place on a floured baking sheet, repeat with the other piece of dough, and place in oven.
  12. After 15 minutes, lower the heat to 425 and continue to bake for another 30 minutes or so.
  13. When done the breads should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.Transfer to a rack and let cool completely, or over night. Keep in a well sealed plastic bag, or freeze one for later.