More experiments today. I baked a Jewish-style rye bread for the first time and I riffed on Tartine’s Basic Country Bread.
The Rye and Wherefore
I have been meaning to bake a Jewish-style rye bread for quite a while. It hadn’t made it to the top of the list largely because my wife, though a devout Carbotarian, is not a fan of rye breads. I have very fond memories of the “corn rye” from Karsh’s Bakery in the old country (Fresno). And, though I don’t like the dense high-percentage rye breads that some TFLers do, I do consider rye sandwich bread to be among the most important breads.
So, with promises not to include caraway seeds and—more important—promises to also bake Tartine Basic Country Bread, I managed to get the (completely unnecessary) spousal consent to bake a rye bread.
I chose the New York Deli Rye from Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. The formula includes about 35% white rye flour (I used Central Milling Organic Light Rye), half of it pre-fermented. The formula calls for first clear, high gluten or bread flour. I would have gone for the first clear or KAF Sir Lancelot, but I don’t have any, so I used BRM bread flour.
The dough was nice to work with once I got it hydrated enough. It was easy to shape into nice cylinders. Both the primary ferment and the proofing took less time than the book specifies (I guess my kitchen is warm today). The loaves came out looking pretty good. I like the medium dense, medium moist texture.
The flavor is good, but a bit too sweet from the brown sugar. It made for an excellent corned beef sandwich (the real purpose of Deli Rye).
Nothing wrong with this bread, but I think I’ll try another recipe next time, maybe a Hamelman.
A couple weeks ago, I baked the Tartine Basic Country Bread for the first time, and I was delighted with it in every way, except (1) the formula calls for a levain that is twice the amount needed for the dough, and (2) the formula makes two one-kilo loaves, and that is just too big for our normal use.
I have said before, in discussions about humungous miches, that I just don’t think the texture and flavor differences of a huge loaf are as big as the inconvenience of trying to consume one. I needed to find out if Mr. Robertson’s much ballyhooed BCB formula could be tweaked to work better for me.
So, I mostly followed the formula, but I made half the amount of levain called for (just enough for one recipe), and I divided the dough into one one-kilo boule and two small batards of about 500 grams each.
I used all Central Milling flours: Organic Artisan Baker’s Craft white flour and Organic High-Protein Fine whole wheat flour. The fermentation time and proofing time were shorter than last time (again the warm kitchen). I baked the small batards on the stone, and the boule in a Dutch oven. [edit: here's a photo of the boule in the DO].
Because of the smaller loaf size, the batards baked 18 minutes on stone with steam at 450 F regular bake, then 18 minutes dry at 425 F convection. The internal loaf temperature was 209 F. The full-size boule baked in a cast iron Dutch oven at 425 F convection covered for 20 minutes, then uncovered for 17 minutes. Internal temperature was 210 F.
The batard was just as delicious, and the crumb just as holey and moist as the previous bake of this (full-size) bread.
I have rarely achieved such a big grigne…from ear to ear (yes, I had a bit of fun with the scoring).
I failed to capture a photo of the equally broad grin of my Number One Bread Taster. I think I’ll be baking this bread a lot more often now that I know that size doesn’t matter.