I bought some rye flour a short while back and have been playing around with it.
I made a loaf of the no-knead Pane Rustica using a 50/50 mix of white and rye flour… turned out pretty good even if it didn’t rise a whole lot. I think the rye flour can absorb more water, so the batter was more well-formed than I’d like and had difficulty rising too much.
Next I tried making some sourdough. “Bread Alone” has a fairly involved process for making a rye sourdough starter that I followed religiously for a week, adding small amounts of water & flour every day for four days, and then letting the whole mix percolate for a few days after that. While I got plenty of yeast fermentation going on, once again I don’t think I added enough water, for the mix was really heavy and sticky.
The resulting bread had a pretty strong sourdough taste… I’d put a picture of it in the post, but for some reason WordPress insists on using the original orientation of the picture instead of the correct one. That’s the last time I try and get tricky with the camera on my cell phone. You can see a picture of it on my flickr site.
I thought the bread was tasty, but my lovely wife didn’t, so most of the loaf went to my in-laws. I pitched the rye starter and am now trying a whole wheat sourdough starter using the much easier process found on Ran Prieur’s site. I’ll report back on my results in a week’s time.