Ruisleipa (Sour Rye Bread)

         Yield: 2 Loafs
Categories: Bread, Finnish, Sourdough

1/2 c Sour bread starter 2 c Warm water of potato water 3 1/2 c Rye flour 1 pk Active dry yeast 2 ts Salt 3 1/2 c Sifted white flour In large mixing bowl mix sour bread starter and 2 cups warm or potato water. Blend in 1 cup rye flour. Cover lightly and let stand in a warm place for about 20 to 40 hours, depending on degree of sourness desired. Disolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water, then stir into the soured mixture. Add the salt and very gradually beat in the remaining rye flour. Add the white flour a little at a time beating well after each addition. When a stiff dough is formed, let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Turn onto floured board and knead until smooth. Place dough into slightly greased bowl turning to grease the top.Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk. Divide into two parts. 1/2 cup of the dough may be reserved for your next baking. Keep reserved dough in refridgerator in covered container. To make Eastern-Finnish style loaves, shape each of the two pieces of dough in to a ball and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until almost doubled, about 30 minutes. To make Western_Finnish style flat loaves, shape the dough into two balls and flatten the by patting to about 1" thick, keeping the shape round. With your fingers make a hole in the center about 2" in diameter. dust the top lightly with rye flour. Place the rolls on a lightly greased baking sheet. Prick all over the top with a fork. Cover and let rise until about double in bulk, abouth 30 minutes. Bake in a 375 preheated oven for 45 minutes or until the loaves are lightly browned. Sour bread starter. About 2 days before making sour rye bread mix 1/2 cup milk with 1/2 cup rye flour. Milk must be at room temperature. Let stand uncovered in a warm place until the mixture begins to bubble and has a pleasantly sour odor. You may refridgerate at this point or use the entire amount immediately in a bread dough. ~-