In the discount grocery store I found a few bags of Bob’s Red Mill Light Rye flour. I had been looking for white/light rye flour in San Diego for quite some time, and before this, been unable to locate it at all. Excited to try out some of the recipes that call for white/light rye in Daniel Leader’s book Local Breads I snatched up the bags and proceeded to re-read a few of the chapters in question to decide on which ones to do first.
There are two major types of Chelba (bread) sold in Warclaw, Poland. The Darker sort (which this recipe is) is considered more old-fashioned, and contains a larger portion of whole-grain rye flour, as opposed to the mainly white/light rye that is used in the Lighter chelba. Both of these however are started with a white rye sourdough, which is only fed white/light rye flour. In order to recreate this bread, feed your sourdough starter a few times with white/light rye in order to get it used to the flour, and bring the white rye percentage close to 100% of the flour. But enough background. Recipe.
Dark Silesian rye chelba
200g White rye sourdough (100% hydration
350g Unbleached Bread Flour
150g Whole Rye Flour
10g Sea Salt
2TBS caraway seeds, crushed
Mix all ingredents together until a shaggy dough forms. Lightly dust the counter with white rye flour. Scrape the dough out of the bowl and kneed it with long, smooth strokes until it becomes smooth and springy. The dough will be very sticky, resist the urge to add more flour.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled container with a lid. let sit until it rises one and a half times in volume (2-2.5 hours). Shape dough at this point, placing it into a heavily floured (with rye flour) rising basket or banneton. Leave to proof until dough increases size by 1.5times (1.5-2 hours)
One hour before baking, pre-heat oven to 400F. Slash bread and bake on an oven stone for 40-45 mins, steaming the oven for the first 10 or so. Bake until a dark chestnut color is achieved.