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This recipe was uploaded by RedfoxEstonia
mix half of the rye flour with buttermilk and breadcrumbs. let stand in a warm place overnight. when it starts to form little bubbles, remove 50 g of the mixture and add some pure flour. repeat that 3 times. taste the starter to find out if it has gone properly sour.
keep in a little glass jar covered with a thin cloth. The starter preserves well in the fridge, but needs a little "waking up" by taking it out half a day before you start making bread.
Making the bread
mix the different types of rye flours together and divide into half, leaving some in a paper bag or a jar and leaving the rest in a large metal bowl. boil cumin seeds in water or rootbeer for 10 minutes. Pour the water or beer over the flour in the bowl along with the cumin seeds and beat quickly together. beat the dough until it looks like a bubbling porridge. cover with a clean towel and leave to cool. after it has cooled down, mix in the starter and give the dough another good beating. sprinkle the surface with some flour, cover up and leave to stand for overnight in a warm place or even on top of the radiator. also, put the rowan berries in water and leave to soak overnight.
the next day add half of the remaining flour, mix or beat well. sprinkle with flour and lets stand for hald a day.
taste the dough and if the sourness is to your liking, you can mix it together. take out some starter and place in the jar. do this before you add salt and other ingredients.
mix in the potato flakes, the rest of the flour (leave a handful), the soaked and drained berries, salt [sugar, if the bread has gone too sour to your liking and needs to be balanced with sweetness] and stir well. lastly add the [malt] syrup and mix thoroughly. sprinkle with flour and leave to raise for a couple of hours. prepare a rectangular pound cake tin - use cooking margarine or butter to grease the sides and sprinkle rye or wheat bran on the surface. place the dough in the tin, sprinkle a little flour on the surface, but not too much; make holes in it to observe the rising. it will take 4 to 6 hours to rise properly. preheat the oven to 250 C. put the bread inside, after 20 minutes lower the heat to 220, after another 20 minutes to 180 and let it stay that way. dont open the oven door during the first half an hour or so or the bread might fall flat. brush the surface of the bread with rootbeer 2 -3 times during the process. if you feel the crust is getting too dark, place a tin foil over the bread; if you are afraid the bottom might burn, place a cooking plate under the tin. 10 minutes short of 2 hours place a bowl of water in the bottom of the oven and let the bread cook in steam. turn the heat off.
taking the bread out of the oven, it is better to let it cool a bit in the tin before removing it. after taking it out of the tin, wrap it inside a clean towel or baking sheet and cover up warmly. the bread will be sticky if you are impatient and want to try it warm.
the rowan bread goes well with smoked cheese, honey or onion salad. it is very filling, which is why old estonians called rye bread "the main course" and everything else was just a "bread-side".