This hearty, European style rye bread is a signature offering at Esalen. If you've visited us you've seen it at the bread bar, and likely you've enjoyed a slice of it — toasted or untoasted — perhaps topped with butter, jam or a nut or seed butter.
Yields 4 loaves
For the bread:
- 3 1/4 cups rye berries, cooked
- 3 1/4 cups sunflower seeds
- 2 1/2 cups rye flakes
- 10 cups rye flour
- 3 oz sesame seeds
- 3 oz caraway seeds
- 2 1/2 oz salt
- 3 cups sourdough starter
- 5 cups Water
- 4 Tablespoons toasted sesame oil
For the rye sourdough starter:
- 3 tsp active dry yeast
- 3 cups of warm water
- 3 cups of rye flour
Method for Rye Sourdough Starter
- Combine the yeast, warm water, and flour in a glass, plastic or ceramic bowl using a wooden spoon (don't use metal).
- Cover the bowl with a plate and allow leave it at room temperature for 4 days or until small bubbles appear on the surface.
Method for the Bread
- Cook the rye berries in a steamer or saucepan with 6 cups of water, until the water has evaporated and the berries are soft. Pour off any remaining liquid and allow them to cool before mixing.
- Thoroughly mix the sunflower seeds, rye flakes, flour, sesame seeds, caraway seeds, salt, sourdough starter, 5 cups of water and the cooked rye berries.
- Cover the dough with a towel and leave it at room temperature overnight.
- Divide the dough and place it into oiled bread pans, smoothing the top with a spatula. Drizzle 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil over each loaf.
- Cover and set in a warm, draft-free area and allow to rise for another hour.
- Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees, then another hour at 300 degrees or until the internal temperature of the loaves reads 210 degrees.
- Allow the loaves to cool slightly before attempting to remove onto a wire rack.