Sourdough Spelt + Rye w/ Caraway Seeds

In the week or two surrounding St. Patrick’s day I ate my fair share of Reuben sandwiches and really started wondering why I never tried making a ‘Russian Rye’ style bread that you typically see used with Reubens. I’m a little late to the game but this bread turned out wonderful. The caraway seeds give the bread that extremely unique and distinct flavor that you look for in a Reuben.

Caraway seed sourdough with Rye and Spelt flour

Schedule: I based this loaf off of my sourdough schedule.

Since this is a 100% naturally leavened bread, I created a levain with my sourdough starter that was last fed 24 hours prior. This levain provides enough for 2 loaves of bread, plus a little extra to keep your starter going.

30 minutes before mixing the levain, salt and other ingredients into the dough, I performed an autolyse by mixing the water and flour together.

Ingredients:

Levain

Started at 7:30am with the following ingredients. Mix everything together and loosely cover and let it ferment for about 8 hours.

  • 26g unfed sourdough starter (last feeding was 24 hours prior)
  • 128g filtered water @ 85-90’F
  • 102g Bob’s Red Mill bread flour
  • 26g King Arthur whole wheat flour

Dough

  • 346g Bob’s Red Mill bread flour
  • 65g Bob’s Red Mill spelt flour
  • 35g Bob’s Red Mill rye flour
  • 340g filtered water @ 90-95’F
  • 108g levain
  • 11g sea salt
  • 10g diastatic malt flour
  • 9g (1 Tbsp) caraway seeds
Caraway seed sourdough blisters

Method:

After mixing the dough, I performed 4 stretch and folds within the first 2-4 hours.

Before proofing, I added some oats and caraway seeds to the banneton and then put the loaf on top to proof. Doing this helps the topping adhere to the loaf so it doesn’t just fall off.

I baked the loaf in a preheated dutch oven at 450’F for 38 minutes covered, then removed the lid of the dutch oven and baked for an additional 14 minutes.

Result:

This dough fermented really well. Adding the diastatic malt flour helps to brown the crust and aids in fermentation by giving the yeast a little more nutrients to chew on. Now that it’s been warming up in Santa Fe, I might need to start cutting back my fermentation and proofing times. My house is about 5 degrees warmer than it had been a couple of months ago when I built my current baking schedules and it seems to be throwing things off slightly.

The caraway seeds give this bread a great flavor. I can’t say that I can pick out the spelt or rye addition and plan on doing a sourdough using nothing but bread spelt flour in the future so I can really get a feel for the flavor of spelt.

The long bulk fermentation helped give this loaf a nice sourness even if it’s slightly masked by the intense flavor of the caraway seeds. I think 1 Tbsp (about 9g) of seeds is perfect for a single loaf. I might try toasting them quickly before using them next time to see if that cuts out any of the rawness.

Caraway seed sourdough crumb
Caraway seed sourdough crumb
Caraway seed sourdough crumb closeup
Caraway seed sourdough crumb closeup

My Baking Notes

  • Ambient Temperature: 74’F
  • Started autolyse @ 3:00pm
  • Water temp: 90’F
  • Dough was 86’F at autolyse
  • Mixed @ 3:30pm
  • Dough was 79’F after mixing
  • 4 stretch and folds in first 4 hours
  • Started proof @ 6:25am
  • Preheated oven @ 8:25am
  • Into oven @ 8:56am
Caraway seed sourdough with rye and spelt flour

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