Rye bread is best when prepared by the sponge method, I believe. This bread is SUPER healthy, and tasty, but, as Janelle points out, needs a little butter. Its crumb is the color of ash, almost a lavender-grey. When I eat a slice, I feel as though I have had two breakfasts. One slice sustains until after noon.
Pain de Regime Sur Poolish
Whole Grain Sponge Bread
Adapted from The Village Baker
2 packages yeast (or two cups sourdough starter)
2 cups warm water
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup rye flour
½ whole wheat flour
¾ cup warm water
All of the sponge
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
1 cup barley flour
1 cup crushed 6-grain cereal (buckwheat, rye, oats, barley, triticale, and wheat, any mix can be used)
1 tbsp sea salt
The sponge should be mixed together and allowed to sit for at least 3 hours. I let it sit for 6 hours. For the dough, mix the sponge into the tap water, and slowly add the flours (all pre-mixed together). Sprinkle the salt over the dough toward the end of the mixing and knead on a work surface for 5 minutes. Let rise for 1 ½ hours, and then shape it into a round loaf. Allow to proof in a banneton (canvas-lined basket) for 45 minutes to an hour. Slash and bake at 425 degrees for 55-60 minutes.
Probably because KP left town today without me, I am drawn to this passage in The Divine Comedy, Paradiso Canto 17: “This is the arrow that the bow of exile/ shoots first. You are to know the bitter taste/ of others’ breads, how salt and stone it is, and know/ how hard it is for one who goes descending and ascending others’ stairs.”
The sting of exile, here, is contingent on the quality of bread at home. Paradise contingent on homemade bread? I rather admire the notion.