Finnish Rye/Ruislimppu

Ruis_slice

Rye %: 100%
Stages: Sponge, Final dough
Leaven: Rye sour culture, Yeast
Start to Finish: 12-14 hours
Hands-on Time: 25-30 minutes
Yield: Two 2¼ lb./1.0 kg loaves

Ruislimppu, which translates to “rye loaf,” is the traditional bread of eastern Finland, with a nutty-sour flavor profile that reflects the strong Russian influence on the region’s food culture. Unlike the sour ring ryes (hapanleipäa) of western Finland, which were baked only once or twice a year and stored over the winter on poles hung from the ceiling, the eastern Finns baked their rye bread regularly throughout the year.

Technically, this Finnish rye is about as straighforward as it gets. Overnight fermentation produces a well-ripened sour sponge, to which is added whole rye flour, coarse rye meal for textural interest, and a pinch of instant yeast to spike the dough, which eliminates the need for bulk fermentation and lowers proofing time to around 1 hour. The result is a dense yet tender crumb that plays the nutty sweetness of rye against a mild, nicely balanced sour. and dense, This is a great everyday bread that goes equally well with, cheeses, soups and stews, cold cuts and – I have to believe – smoked reindeer.

Sponge:

Ingredient

Grams

Ounces

Baker’s
Percentage

Whole rye flour

285

10.05

100%

Warm (105°F/41°C) water

285

10.05

100%

Rye sour culture

30

1.05

11%

Ruis_sponge1

In the mixer bowl, mix the sponge ingredients by hand, cover and ferment at room temperature (70°F/21°C) 10-12 hours.

 

 

Ruis_sponge2

 

The sponge will spread out, double in volume and become very bubbly.

 

 

Final Dough:

Ingredient

Grams

Ounces

Sponge

600

21.15

Whole rye flour

480

16.95

Coarse rye meal

390

13.75

Warm (105°F/41°C) water

775

27.35

Salt

18

0.65

Instant yeast

5

0.20

Ruis_mix

 

Add the final dough ingredients to the sponge and use the dough hook at low (KA2) speed to mix until the doughis well developed and the coarse rye meal starts to break up, 12-15 minutes.

 

Ruis_panned

 

Use a wet scraper to transfer half the dough (about 2½ lb./1.125 kg), which will be soft and sticky, into each of two well-greased 9″x4″x4″/23x10x10 cm. Pullman loaf pans or 9″x5″x3″/23x13x8 cm standard loaf pans.

Ruis_smoothed

 

Use wet hands and a wet scraper to spread the dough evenly and smooth and mound the top.

 

 

Ruis_proofed

 

Cover and proof at room temperature until the dough comes within 1-inch/2.5 cm of the rim of the pans and the surface shows broken bubbles, 50-60 minutes.

 

Preheat the oven to 465°F/24o°C with the baking surface in the middle. Bake until the loaves thump when tapped with a finger and the internal temperature is at least 198°F/92°C, 45-50 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let stand at least 24 hours before slicing.

Ruis_loaf

Baker’s Percentages:

Ingredient

grams

%

TOTAL FLOUR

1,155

100.00%

   Whole rye flour

765

66.23%

   Coarse rye meal

390

33.77%

Water

1,060

91.77%

Salt

18

1.56%

Instant yeast

5

0.43%

Rye sour culture

30

2.60%

TOTAL FORMULA

2,268

196.36%

Flour prefermented

285

24.68%

 


7 Comments

  • @foodwhizz

    May 29, 2016

    Love! I will try this clearly explained recipe next weekend, thankyou

    Reply
  • Helena

    May 30, 2016

    Smoked salmon is more likely.

    Reply
  • Margot

    July 8, 2016

    Pleading inexperience…I only have hodgson mills stone ground rye flour, can I just use that for all the rye?

    Reply
    • Stanley Ginsberg

      July 8, 2016

      Use it wherever whole rye is called for. Otherwise, white and medium rye are available online at my site, http://www.nybakers.com and others such as King Arthur and Bob’s Red Mill.

      Reply
  • Tom

    May 30, 2017

    I am baking this bread for the first time and although the directions are clear it does not indicate whether the tops of the pullman loaf pans are used or not.

    Reply
    • Stanley Ginsberg

      May 30, 2017

      I never use the cover: I prefer Pullman pans for their square cross-section, which allows the breads to bake more evenly.

      Reply
  • Kaj

    November 4, 2017

    REAL Finnish sourdough rye bread is baked without yeast, just the starter. However, each batch may react differently, i.e. the time for the dough to ferment to desired sourness can take 1-2+ days. You may need to add a little water and flour if the bubbling stops (the fermenting process has consumed the sugars) until the sourness is what you want, Constant temperature is essential. At the end you add flours to desired consistency (loose is better) when using Pullman pan. I prefer them because the bread is easy to slice. I cover the pan loosely with aluminum foil to prevent the crust from getting too hard. In addition, I have a pan with water in the oven.
    The timing of baking needs to be correct, if you start baking too late, the bread may turn soggy and compact. I heat the oven to 480F degrees, and lower it to 350F for one hour, and thereafter 300 F for 30-45 minutes, and then occasionally for several hours at 200F to create the special sweet flavor (the bread is called jälkiuunileipä) (the bread used to be left overnight in the slowly wood-heated bread oven. Using sourdough starter only keeps the bread longer fresh (San Francisco sourdough was used to bake bread that kept fresh for a long time for the gold miners) acidity provided by fermenting lactobacilli in the starter). I slice the bread and freeze it, as I can’t eat so much bread at once and due to the unfortunate fact that my American wife does not like it that much (she grew up with Wonder bread, I guess).

    Reply

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