|Stages:||Sour sponge, Final dough|
|Leaven:||Rye sour culture, Instant yeast|
|Start to Finish:||13-15 hours|
|Hands-on Time:||20-30 minutes|
|Yield:||One 3-lb/1.35 kb loaf|
Odd name for a bread, The “Juicy One,” especially since this close-crumbed, rustic north German bread is anything but “saftig,” German, for “juicy. But if you consider its broader meaning (which survives in the Yiddish word zoftig) of “ripe,” “luscious” and “mouth watering,” then the description is spot-on, for this bread has a rich, mouth-filling texture and subdued sweet spiciness that showcases rye in all its glory.
For the first time since I began baking rye breads eight or nine years ago, I recently — like yesterday — learned of bakers whose rye bread recipes call for retardation — Andrew Whitley (Bread Matters) and Charel Scheele (Old World Breads). That surprised me, because no traditional recipe I’ve ever come across — and I’ve seen upwards of 200 — calls for refrigerating the dough, especially in high-percentage ryes.