The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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gmask1

Here's my attempts from last night and this morning - Rye Loaves 8 (back two loaves) and 9 (front two loaves) by my journals reckoning.

During the oven bake, Rye Loaf 9 used the tenting method suggested by Mini Oven in a comment on my previous blog entry, and has produced a nicely rounded loaf top, with no tearing save the score line across the top. Rye Loaf 8 is my previously method (ie. putting the pans in the oven, and nothing else), and is the more... erm... 'rustic' looking style. The loaves are the same size as previous attempts, so I expect the interior will be much the same. Rye Loaf 9 is a bit smaller, however I put that down to the dough fermenting right over the top of the mixing bowl, and into a generous puddle beside it!

I was absolutely dumbstruck by the differences between the two bakings - same dough, same temperature and baking time (about 75 minutes at 180C - 356F), same internal temperature at the end (200F - 93C). Both loaves looked totally unremarkable after proofing - neither showed great amounts of rising, nor had the scoring been pulled apart. In my eyes, the proofing time of about 2 hours had little visible effect on the loaves. Once in the oven though... that's when they took off.

Now that I have a better understanding of creating a less manic looking loaf, my next experiment... what kind of seeds (sesame, poppy, etc.) would go well on top of the loaf! Any suggestions are always appreciated.

 

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gmask1

Well, I took all of your comments with me to the kitchen, and turned out the loaves you see below: 

Not too dissimilar from my previous attempt, however I did note some differences:

- They're hard to make out, but you might be able to spot the holes in the top of the left loaf where I tried to dock each of the loaves using suggestions on my last blog entry (this was done prior to proofing). I didn't have a pencil handy, but I did have a chopstick, and used it to make half-inch or so holes along the top of the loaves. The dough was still pretty sticky and clung to the chopstick, so I'm unsure whether they had any lasting effect, or if they just closed up again during proofing. The loafs tore along the side as you can see.

- The fermentation times were changed, in the order of 12 hours for the first rise, then about 18 for the second (including 9 hours at room temperature, 8 hours in the fridge while I was at work, and 1 hour returning to room temperature). Proofing was two hours. The final loaves are not nearly as tangy as my previous attempt, and taste much more like the loaves we buy from the grocery (the word that came to mind was 'mainstream', but I'm not sure that's appropriate!).

- On the suggestion of a friend at work, I used a spray bottle to moisten the top of the loaves immediately prior to loading them in the oven. The resulting crust is much softer than the previous attempt, and not as chewy. I'm not sure if there's a direct link there, but it certainly seems that way. 

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gmask1

I figured that I'd make myself a blog rather than posting back into the forums all the time. No point cluttering up a perfectly good forum with my one-track-minded baking experiences! 

Last weekend I took another shot at the 100% Sourdough Rye recipe kindly passed on to me by a good work colleague. My previous attempt had been a fair to middling success, and I was confident that this would turn out even better than the first. I was pleasantly surprised by how good the loaves turned out, given my total inexperience in making bread. 

Here's how they turned out: 

 

and the interior:

 

What I'm most happy about is that the resulting loaves - apart from tasting great - have my mind working to figure out ways to improve them. The scoring didn't take, so I'll need to think about different ways to work the scoring out. Plus the surface tension is probably not right, so I'll need to work on my folding.

Lastly - for my own benefit as much as anyone else's - this is the recipe I've been using successfully (all credit to OliverN from my work. I've made a couple of small annotations over time). Any suggestions or variations are absolutely appreciated!

Stage 1:

Mix together

4 x cups rye flour.

3 x cups luke warm water

2 x cups starter.

Leave for 16-24 hrs, until the mix has a domed top.

 

Stage 2

Mix into previous mixture

3 teaspoons sea salt

4 x cups rye flour.

Leave for 12 hours.

 

Split mixture into two bread pans and leave for a couple of hours (I never do that though). For rye flour you do not need to kneed it. I just flatten the mixture and roll into a log.

Bake in 180 preheated oven for an hour. 

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