July 3rd, 2019


Estonian Leib

Yesterday i started on two culinary adventures. One is less dramatic falfel waffles from here.

The other is making a rye sourdough starter from wild yeasts. Some recipes [here] indicate that there are yeasts enough in the flour. I found another recipe that used rhubarb from the garden, which called to mind Pascal Baudar's advice of using foraged plant matter (juniper berries or other berries or grapes) that have a bloom [here].

While the sourdough starter gets underway, i should receive sproutable rye seeds today. I'll sprout those and then dry the grains to make my own malted rye flour. After reading the internet for a bit, i understand the point of diastatic malt in bringing enzymes to the party.

Once i have my malt and starter, i can move on to actually making Estonian black bread. I bought a packet of Must Ronk leib as i was leaving Estonia and ate it as part of my picnic meals for the rest of my trip. Oh i did love that bread, and the black pumpernickel vacuum packed in the international section is a pale semblance.

I'd thought of making my own rye bread before, but life is short. However, if i can pull off the rich tenderness of Estonian bread, well, life is enriched by a good bread.

I also think that the rye bread agrees with me far more than white bread. I'm not sure what it is about wheat breads that is problematic. It's not gluten. Someone suggested it might be yeast, but i'm not confident that's it either. I felt fine with rye during the trip, so i am hoping investing time in lieb, the Estonia black rye bread, will be good for my health, too.

Back to the Estonian recipe: i wonder how important the oat bran is.

Now i want pickled herring and black bread for breakfast. Sigh.