One of my favourite things to do is making bread. It has been a hobby of mine for years. I have tried many ways to make bread and baking with sourdough is one of them. Sourdough bread is a fad in Sweden right now and every where you turn you see people selling them, making them and eating them. I completely understand why. The quality of a bread made with sourdough is high and people tend to care a lot about the quality of their food nowadays. But no matter how much I enjoy baking sourdough bread I often bump into a problem. The problem is sourdough that has gone bad due to lack of maintenance.You see, if you don’t take care properly of your sourdough a lot of nasty things can happen in the jar. I know because I’ve had that experience a few times. After starting a new sourdough it’s always fine for the first months. In the beginning I’m careful to take care of it but after some time I forget all about it and then one day when I open the jar the sourdough is dead.
On these occasions I often decide to make my slow rise bread. A slow rise bread is made from normal fresh yeast but has similar qualities as a sourdough bread. The secret is a small amount of yeast and to give it a lot of time to rise. This bread is left in the refrigerator over night and baked in the morning when you wake up. For the recipe below I added beetroot because we had a lot of beetroot leftovers from dinner the night before. It’s actually a lot like that in our house, new recipes invented when there are leftovers. But, if you don’t have any already cooked beetroot in your fridge you can just leave it out or you can swap it for any other ingredient you fancy. Beetroot is very nice in this bread and eaten together with some strong tasting cheese it is incredible.
I always use a kitchen mixer that can knead dough when I make bread. It makes a tremendous difference for the result. When I started using my kitchen mixer my bread went from being typically homemade to suddenly resemble bread from a bakery. The kneading is everything when it comes to the result, so if you don’t have access to one of these machines make sure to knead your dough properly.
Slow Rise Bread with Beetroot
500 g water
20 g yeast
1/2 tbsp honey
150 g whole grain rye flour
650 g wheat flour
20 g salt
250 g beetroots
Dissolve the yeast in a little water. Mix all ingredients except the beetroot and salt. Work it in a mixer ( which can knead bread dough ) on low speed for 10 minutes or knead it by hand for 15 minutes. Add the salt and continue to work it for 5 minutes or knead it by hand for 9 minutes. At last you add the beetroot, diced into small squares, and work it until all pieces are distributed into the dough.
Place the dough in a bowl and let it rest for about 2 hours. You then pick it up and place it on a floured surface. Divide the dough in 2 pieces of equal size and shape them into loaves. Put the them on a baking tray covered in baking paper and cover them with cling film lightly greased with oil ( so the cling film won’t stick to the bread when you take it off ). Let them rise in the refrigerator over night. In the morning you place the baking tray in the oven heated to 250ºC / 480ºF. Bake it for 10 minutes and then lower the temperature to 225ºC / 435ºF and continue to bake for 25 minutes. Take the loaves out of the oven and let them cool for a few hours before you cut them. Enjoy!
Note: I always place a small bowl of water on the bottom of the oven when I bake bread. The water steam helps the bread rise nicely. Once the crust of the bread is baked it won’t rise more but if you add water the crust won’t bake as fast and it will result in a higher bread.