How (not) to make Sweet and Sourdough Raisin Rye bread.

This morning we woke up to freezing rain and sleet and some dripping pathetic excuse for snow on the ground.  When I say freezing rain I mean frozen raindrops. Not as mean as sleet, just sticky frozen.  It is dark and cold.  A wintry mix.   I took the torch with me to do the morning walkabout. We are very close to the shortest day. It is on the 22nd. So do not despair, more light is on the way.  Just a few more days.  Isn’t it interesting that Christmas day is almost exactly at Winter Solstice. 

Thankfully I had some sourdough bread on the rise as it is certainly a bread making day.

The freezing rain is beginning to freeze TO the windows. Well that is not so good.

And the lovely pans that I won from Sawson’s fabulous giveaways have arrived! She told me I could not open them until Christmas but I disobeyed!!  So do have a look over at Chef in Disguise,  as well as being an extraordinary cook, I believe she has more goodies to give away!

Plus I would like to thank Katherine and Greg over at Rufus’ for helping me get the new Kitchens Garden Facebook page up and running. Well, it is still toddling (I need to solve a few issues with my Paddington Bear Brain vs technology allergy, so I hate to tell you Katherine but I will be sending one more panicked email), but it is UP and ready for us to begin.

Our goal over on the Kitchens Garden Facebook is to get gardens into yards and good food into kitchens and the neighbours talking.  We are hoping that this spring (or right now if you are IN the summer hemisphere), that you plant One for me and One for you. Plant your garden, or window box, or pot of herbs and then help your neighbour plant theirs. Share plants and share produce.  Bite isolation on the bum.

Raisin Rye Bread (now this was fun)

  • 1 cup  sourdough culture
  • 1cup water
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 cup of raisins soaked for 30- mins in warm water and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups rye flour or wholemeal flour
  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 egg and 1 tablespoon milk to glaze.

Dough proof: ( a fancy term I just learnt)

PAY ATTENTION NO SKIMMING! Mix culture, water, salt, sugar, oil, raisins. Add the flour slowly while mixing.  Turn out and knead for about 20 minutes. (Do NOT knead it every now and then as you rush about trying to find a cat because you saw a mouse in the basement. )

Proof overnight 8 – 12 hours at room temperature. (DO NOT leave the dough sitting for over 18 hours because  you forgot  about it! )

Gently ease dough onto floured board and rest 30 minutes, (DO NOT drop it from a great height splat onto the board in a sleepy haze).  Mine was quite flat (I wonder why?)  so after 30 minutes I kneaded in more flour.

Loaf Proof.

Shape dough by pulling pieces  from the outside up and over to the centre of the dough to form a ball. ( DO NOT pull great handfuls OFF because it has no elasticity and just keep dumping them back on the top.) Place in bread pan, baking sheet or willow basket and  allow to rise again and double in size (2 -4 hours).

(DO NOT cram  it into an old scone basket because you do not have one of those willow things!)

Once risen turn out onto tray. (WHAT?.. that is wrong too? Why is it cracking in half?)

Glaze with egg and milk mix. (DO NOT pour glaze into cracks to try and halt the avalanche!)

Cook at 375F (190c) for 40 mins.

Cool on wire rack. (If you can find a rack wide enough)

DO take lovely shots of the butter in the hope that your readers do not look too closely at the bread.

DO NOT get wild when you husbands face puckers up like a lemon as he bites a slice and says “Well, I don’t know about the sweet raisins in this sour bread.”

“Not Sour bread darling, Sourdough.”  I say.

“Isn’t that what I just said?” he says and out we go to the barn to check Mama.

Mama is just the same, no improvement. The treatments will continue for three days then we will reassess.

 Yes, she is alright Daisy, and no you cannot come and see!

This recipe was from Classic Sourdoughs by Ed and Jean Wood – they did it better.


75 Comments on “How (not) to make Sweet and Sourdough Raisin Rye bread.

  1. Great post as ever C…hope you found that mouse! I have purposely avoided Facebook, but think for you I´ll embrace it! Hope the Sour bread (sorry, dough) hasn´t put you off as it does indeed look good 🙂

    • You do not need facebook to share the one for me and one for you gardens, I am sure you already give cuttings away or grow extra seedlings for a new family down the road. I will try this loaf again I think it might be nice.. c

    • It is always a laugh when something goes wrong, John bless him still eats my failures! Well he has to when there is nothing else around!!c

    • John spent all day in the barn rehanging broken doors and so we have been watching her closely. Fingers crossed. She is eating well and that is always a good sign! c

  2. ‘Not sour bread sourdough bread!’ hehe. Maybe you’ve already done this (I’m going to go have a search after I hit ‘post comment’ but do you have a how ‘not’ to make sourdough culture instructions? I love making sourdough but my cultures never last and always end up with a redish mould on top. Meaning I have to start again when I want to make more bread! Maybe I need a Facebook group for that…

    • I hope that one of the real sourdough experts reads your question and answers/ am new to sourdough, obviously. Mine lives in the fridge and is fed at least twice a week and I make a loaf about once a week, but when I was away it grew a black watery substance on top, i was told to just stir it in and drain half and feed it as normal. But I actually got my culture from san francisco, it is an italian one, and it has been going as long as the blog. Do you know Joanne at Zeb Bakes, she is on my blog list, she is my guru for all things sourdough! c

  3. Ha, I’ll check Greg’s tonight and send you mine, since I check it more regularly! Love the photos and brrr, just reading about freezing rain makes me cold. The bread looks great.

  4. Poor Mama. Hope she gets better soon. Anyone who bakes bread, sourdough or otherwise, has been down the path you just traveled. Even now, I need to restart my sourdough — again! I started one a couple weeks ago and placed it in my oven since my kitchen is so cold overnight. You guessed it. I forgot about it and started up my oven for my dinner one night. Instead of placing my dinner in the oven, I removed 2 mason jars partly filled with baked something-or-other.

    • Oh NO, did you kill the starter? let me know if anything happens to your starter and I can send you some of mine, this one is really strong. I pour away half of it a week in an attempt to keep it sweet..well sourless anyway.. ! I will start another one today, c

  5. Oh, those ‘nots’ come into being every now and then! My Facebook page has been in existence slightly over a month – still in its infancy! It is difficult to find the time to blog, read other blogs, leave replies, make replies on my blogs, keep up with my 2 Facebook pages while working full time and taking care of an aging mother. But I think it’s what keeps me sane.

    • There are so many people out there to chat too aren’t they. My mother in law is actually not far off from moving in. I hope that this time with your mother is not too hard, sometimes it can become difficult. You are right though, Busy is best! c

  6. Baking bread on a freezing rain day seems the perfect way to brighten a gloomy day and lift spirits. Not so with the mouse. I detest them and dread the winter morning when I walk into the basement laundry room to find the mouse trap flipped. I have many horrible mouse tales I could share with you, the worst involving a dead mouse floating in a crockpot and a pregnant woman (me, 18 years ago) trapped in a bathroom with a circling mouse in my in-law’s house in the middle of the night.

    I digress. See how you got me off on a tangent. I do hope the cat caught the mouse. And I do hope Mama’s health improves soon. She is such a darling in your photos.

    • John hates them too. Cats give me the sniffles so when it is warm i keep them outside most of the time, then the mice come after the harvest (you will remember that) then I let them all back in, bit of a see saw.. a dead mouse in the crock pot is so dreadful it is hilarious!! Thanks for the laugh tho audrey!! c

    • It is a strange phenomenon. but if an animal is sick or in labour the barn is strangely silent. Not so with birds though. The chooks have no respect at all for each other.. c

  7. You know how I love the surprise-flavor approach, so sweet bits in a sourdough would be just the thing! I used to make Swedish Limpa and sometimes would toss in sweet stuff like maybe a combination of minced dried apricots and chocolate chips to contrast with the earthiness of the loaf–I can imagine that in sourdough it’d be that much more piquant!

    Hope Mama’s feeling much better ‘right quick’–a girl that pretty and sweet oughtn’t to be indisposed.

    • I do like the sweet and sour thing too Kathryn, in fact i think the perfect dish should have a delicate mix of sweet, bitter, pungent and bland. I will make this loaf again with a little more attention next time. It should be very tasty! c

  8. Congratulations on getting your pans..I hope you liked them..thank you for the shout out 🙂
    we get that frozen rain here too..just the sound of it hitting the glass of the window makes you cold..
    as for sourdough I have been having my share of troubles with it too..but more on that later
    If you need any help with facebook I more than happy to assist..I have a page running for my blog for some time now and I think I can help if you want

    • Oh excellent swanson, you are a star, I shall email you.. I have definitely made an error in the set up.. I love the pans, i so seldom indulge in new stuff that it is a real treat for me! Talk to you soon. c

  9. I Found you through a comment you made on Tea’s blog… another Kiwi here, still living in NZ and TOTALLY oblivious to the ‘don’t share your veggies shit’ [signed the petition and passed it on – thank you]
    I have coeliac disease, so can’t eat bread [unless it is gluten-free (in which case – don’t bother thanks)]
    I hope the Mama is ok, and I hope the cat caught the mouse [mine bring the mousies IN – ack!]
    Hot here now, so preparing for a Kiwi Christmas.
    Glad to have found you XO

    • Hi Janet and welcome, I have a few gluten free readers and i cannot eat bought baked stuff esp bread so I am totally in sympathy! And thank you so much for passing on the garden fiasco in NZ. That has got to berought to the attention of the people. Why aren’t the papers full of it!!? Plant cabbages in your front garden and make a sign. I so wish i was in NZ at the mo. this has got to be LOUD! c

  10. This is one of the things I haven’t made yet sour bread, maybe because I am afraid not making it the way I wanted or it may become hard but this post encouraged me to make one soon. This is a keeper!

  11. I was given a friendship cake (type of sourdough), a few days ago.
    His name is Herman. 😉
    I have to feed him, milk, flour and sugar tomorrow! Ha…

    • Oh I had one of those years ago, London, I can still taste the cake we used to make with it, A pity you are not in the US I would be begging you to send me a wee bit! c

    • A bread maker, how exciting! That will make your life so much easier. You have to turn it off for the night so that the sourdough can sit for the 8 – 10 hours, then you turn it back on in the morning. I only know this because my guide has a bread maker! You care going to wake up to the smell of bread in the morning.. wow! c

  12. Yumm….I’m printing this out for sure! With my daughter home for the holidays I’m teaching her bread baking and she will love this one!

  13. Thanks for stopping by my blog and saying ‘hi’. :o) I heard once how appropriate it is that the ‘Light of the World’ came into the world at it’s darkest season.

  14. And here’s me thinking that kind of weather was reserved just for Skye! You deserve some kind of award for getting up so early to tend to all those beasties – thankfully our small population of ducks and chickens prefer NOT to have a pre-dawn wake-up call!

  15. I’ve had some interesting breads too. One of my last rye loaves split open on the top in the loaf proof stage. It still tasted good 🙂 Hubby doesn’t like caraway seeds in the rye bread, but I do!

  16. That’s my kind of bread, I must get a new sour dough culture growing over the holiday. Great to see you on Facebook. have a fabulous Christmas. Alli x

  17. You are a delight and a joy! In the New Year I will put my guru hat on again if you like, in the meantime, keep taking those gorgeous photos and doing all the wonderful things you do. Best wishes to Mama, hope she gets better soon.

  18. Unfortunately, making bread is lost on me, as Liz is the bread maker in the house.

    So good to see me Daisy…lovely picture of her. 😉

  19. I absolutely love Sourdough bread and you know I don’t like bread lol. But I never thought to add raisins to it? Hrm.. I will try it out. I know my mom will love it. And that convo with you and your husband.. priceless 🙂

    • The weather is just so wet and miserable so she is locked inside the barn so her foot stays dry and clean. Today she should start improving! c

  20. Oh dear Cecilia, Mama seems so lovely, I hope and wish she get well soon. It was a wonderful post again. Thank you dear, with my love, nia

  21. Sometimes C, the sourdough is just too much of a beast. I’m sure the next time you make it, it will be the perfect loaf though… still looks lovely, and great butter shot 🙂

    • yes the butter was lovely, home made too, i think the house was too cold that day too. you are right describing it as a beast!! c

    • I had a friend who gave me a culture, but you can buy them as well. online. I am not sure how to start one from scratch though there is a way.. hope you find one diana. c

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