The Fresh Loaf

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milkitten's picture

I've wanted to make this bread for a long time. Since I always finish my bread entirely, I don't even have the chance to have leftover to make altus.

Because lately I made too many loaf simultaneously, I finally got my 'old bread'.
However, I don't have rye berries and blackstrap molasses, I change the recipe a little bit. Moreover, I add some dried fruit and nuts, in case of that if the bread is gummy, I still can swallow it. I hope this won't ruin what the bread should taste like originally.
Hamelman mentions that blackstrap molasses is used to provide a slight bitter note and deeper color, for the reason, I took it upon myself to use 1T cocoa powder and a packet of Starbucks via(approximately 1/2T), and the old bread I used is Peter Reinhart's rye bread in ABED but with high percentage of first clear flour.
I was quite exciting when I made the old bread soaker. After they absorbed the water, they just look fat and cute. And the smell is depth, complex, and pleasant. When I squeezed it, because of its confortable touch, I smiled.:)

The whole process was pleasant, too. As Hamelman says, "The aroma will fill the entire room", the keep-coming aroma give me a high expectation of this black bread. The only torture is that : you have to wait at minimum for 24 hours to slice it while you're smelling the bread.
When the time I sliced it in the morning, I felt like I'm in the Christmas morning, opening up my present under the tree...I took my first bite, I felt surprised. It is truly delicious! The sour-sweet taste make it unique and totally please my palate. And the texture, the crumb is better then fruit cake for me. Though the crust is a little bit hard, but I enjoy chewing, it is flavorful. I also toasted some of crust, they've just become biscotti.~:)
I will appreciate if anyone can give me comments or suggestions! 

milkitten's picture

I can't wait to put this bread on my blog! It's the best high percentage rye bread I've made and eaten so far. I’ve been making many rye breads recently, trying to figure out how to deal with high percentage rye dough and the optimum way to make good rye bread that is flavorful, tender, moisture and airy with many tiny holes, but not gummy and sticky. “Local Bread” written by Daniel Leader introduces different methods that used by people from different areas and it truly gave me a good guide on making rye bread though I haven’t tried the recipes from the book yet. Anyways, the recipe, 3 stage 70% rye bread, is from Hamelman's "Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes". Since I was satisfied with his “flaxseed rye”, I was eager to try this 70% rye bread. The technic used in here to get mild flavor sour rye is to use warm water, make fast fermentation in order to promote production of lactic acid. I did some modifications on the time for fermentation and proofing since the weather here are cold these days and adding lots of soaked dried fruits, pecan and spice to make the bread luxury~


Honestly, I had been worried during the whole time I made the bread because the dough seemed to be a little too stiff comparing to the dough I used to dealing with. And the short fermentation made me nervous that I might get a “rye brick”. ~’’~

The result was beyond my expectation! It has crispy crust even after 12 hours rest after baking which has never happened when I made rye bread. (They were usually got soft next day.) Moreover, it has great texture and is so moisture and tender that you won’t want to re-warm your bread even in such a cold day. I can taste mild sourness as well as a hint of sweetness with every bite, feel like I'm close to the nature. :D

Ingredients for fruits and nuts:
- 50 g pecan
- 50 g dried berries
- 30 g dried apricot
- 30 g dried fig
- 1 tsp neugewürz
- rum

Add 1 tsp. neugewürz in the rum and let all the dried fruit be soaked in rum for 24 hours.

+ Since I add lots of things in the dough, I made some modifications on the steps for mixing and kneading. When final dough were done, I allowed the dough rest for 10 min., then used the spatula mixing the fruits and nuts into the dough via S&F until all the ingredients were incorporated. I let the dough rest for 15 min., then do another S&F to make the dough into a smooth ball, and then rest for another 15 min.
+ I baked the loaf in the bakeware with lid for 20~30 min. and without lid for 10~20 min., then turn off the oven leaving the loaf in the oven for another 10 min. with the door ajar. (250C for first 10 min. and 220C for the rest of the time)
+ I scored it before proofing.

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