Sourdough rye bread

The most typical rye bread in Finland, Denmark, Russia, and the Baltic countries is whole grain rye bread made using a sourdough method. In this method the main ingredients, whole grain rye flour, water and starter culture are mixed and fermented for about 8-18 hours. During the fermentation period the lactic acid bacteria and the sourdough yeast grow, and due to the microbial activity and the enzymatic reactions of the microflora, flavour compounds are formed. The main components formed are lactic acid and acetic acid. After fermentation more flour, water, and other ingredients are mixed to the sourdough to make the dough. The dough is left to rise for a short period, after which the breads are shaped, left to rise again and baked.

Today, in Finland, a wide variety of different types of whole grain sourdough breads are available. Small rye breads torn in half and used as a bun have gained popularity. Breads baked slowly at low temperature have a thick tasty crust, and they are available in different varieties, low-sodium or normal sodium, and made of organic rye. A number of pre-sliced rye loaves are also available with different textures and acidity profiles. The popularity of rye bread with whole grain kernels is increasing rapidly.

Taste is the most important quality criteria when food selections are made. The identity of rye bread is closely related to the bread's acidity and the whole meal rye flour content of the bread. Several studies have shown that acidity enhances perceived saltiness in rye bread. Thus it is possible to reduce sodium chloride levels in sour rye breads.