Anni’s Finnish Rye Bread

One of my favourite food blogs is Tofu for Two, where Anni and Heikki share their amazing and creative recipes, which always come with the most beautiful pictures.
A couple of days ago Anni posted a recipe for Finnish Rye Bread. Of course I had to make it. Finnish and German Rye breads have many similarieties.  Anni’s bread is a 100 % rye bread leavened with sourdough. For a long time rye was the standard grain for bread making in many Northern, East, and Central European countries and in Germany it is still used quite often. Because German sourdough starters are traditionally made with rye flour or rye chops, 100 % rye breads are not too hard to find. And they are really something special. It is a miracle that something made only from flour, water, and salt can develop such a complex flavour and such a pleasant smell. And this miracle makes bread baking not only fantastic, but also very addictive.

To make Anni’s bread, I halved the recipe and made small loaves. The recipe calls for stale Finnish rye bread to prepare the starter. I didn’t have any and so I used my own sourdough starter. Therefore I had to adjust the amounts of water and flour in the recipe. Apart from that I followed Anni’s excellent instructions to a tee. If you want to make this bread, which I would highly recommend, hop over to Anni’s blog to find out how to.

Anni’s Finnish Rye Bread

For the starter:
50 g sourdough starter made from medium rye flour
375 ml water
250 g medium rye flour

For the bread dough:
the starter
500 g medium rye flour
50-75 ml warm water
1/2 T salt

This bread has a fantastic smell and flavour. It is a strong bread, aromatic and chewy and has a tough crust and a very dense crumb. In my opinion it is exactly how the perfect rye bread should be. After I baked it, we waited another day to cut it. As Anni already explains on her blog, rye breads are best one or two days after baking. Clearly one of my new favourites! And my contribution to Susan’s YeastSpotting.

20 thoughts on “Anni’s Finnish Rye Bread

  1. I am new to baking bread and I cannot find Annie’s blog to find the how to finish this recipe. If any one can give me a clue I will try to find it.

  2. I have always wanted to read Ulysses, but never got around to doing it. I need to make one of those top n reading lists and get trucking.

    I LOVE rye bread. Especially from german bakeries because that is the best I’ve ever had (not that I’m the super traveler).

  3. ooh, from now on you *are* my source for rye bread recipe, which isn’t very surprising, actually. :p
    now I wanna read Ulysses!

  4. Gosh, I can’t remember the last time I had a decent rye bread… Thanks for reminding me that there’s a simple remedy- Making it yourself! This loaf looks just fantastic.

  5. Mihl, you should really open a bakery. That looks and sounds so delicious. And it reminds that I need to make a loaf from that starter kit you sent me. The conversion site you sent me has been very helpful! BTW, I’m loving those sesame sticks and the hazelnut spelt sticks are to die for!

  6. i love that you posted about bloomsday! any literary commentary gets full stars from me!

    Kevin loves rye bread, so I think I am going to have to join you and give anni’s bread a try – and you are right: her website is just brilliant and I love her recipes.

  7. i’ve never heard of bloomsday, Mihl – that’s too awesome though! i can’t believe i’ve never been over to tofu for two – their rye bread sounds rock’n! glad it rocked hard, too! your loaf looks perfect & heavenly! mmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

  8. wow, it looks so beautiful. I also love Tofu for Two, and that gorgeous bread caught my eye… I just don’t have any starter. I really really miss those dark rye breads from Europe. Pretty much impossible to find anything like that around here.

  9. Your bread looks lovely, Mihl, thanks for posting this! You are so right about how addictive bread baking can be, especially with sourdough – I’m itching to bake some rye bread right now…

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