Rye is the most important cereal used to make traditional Estonian black bread. In Estonian the word “bread“ means only black bread, made from rye. Baking bread at home is becoming increasingly popular in Estonia. Rye (Secale cereale)
Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus) • Our national flower, cornflower, is a good friend torye. In Estonian, cornflower is called rukkilill, which literally means ‘rye flower’. • The cornflower motif is often used in traditional Estonian patterns.
Baking bread You need (for 3 medium-sized loaves): • leaven 3-4 tablespoonfuls • water 1.2 litres • rye flour (the amount will be determined later) • salt 1-5 teaspoonfuls • sugar 200 gr • cumin, flax seeds etc. – whatever you like
About the leaven • The leaven (starter) is the dough in the state of fermentation and leavening (souring). This method of raisingthe dough has been known for more than 5,000 years. The fermenting and souring are brought about by the biological processes of micro-organisms, mainly yeasts and lactic bacteria. Two fermentation processes – alcoholic and lactic acid fermentation – take place simultaneously. • Every time you make bread, remove a small amount of the leaven before adding flour and save it for the next batch. The best way to store it is in a jar in the refrigerator. You can keep it there for 1-2 weeks.
At first mix the leaven with warm water, add 400 dl rye flour, mix, and let it stay for at least 12 hours.
Mix everything together. There is enough flour if you can hardly stir the dough.
Stroke the surface smooth with a wet hand and press in some holes. Add some seeds if you like.
Leave the loaves in the oven for 4-5 hours at 40-50 °C for rising. Here you can see what they should look like when they have risen enough.
Thanks for your attention! Eha-Mai Karu Rapla ESTONIA