The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Experimenting With Rye

  • Pin It
ehanner's picture
ehanner

Experimenting With Rye

After seeing Shiao-Ping's post last week about the Sonoma Bakery near her, I was awakened from a long slumber. My other half has been working on a high protein diet that forbids grains, potatoes and rice. I have been supportive of the diet plan and have tried to not create things in the kitchen that would test her strength. What happened was I also was keeping to the plan and found surprisingly that I did not crave starches. So my self imposed hiatus has come to an end.


The beautiful crumb image from the Sonoma Miche really caught my eye. The red/brown color with the open crumb pattern and gelatinous structure seemed a contradiction of possibilities. Reports of long spoiling times and moist mouth feel were clues I can follow.


I thought I would deviate from the norm in creating this mix in that contrary to most SD mixes that use rye, I did not mix the rye with the levain. I poured boiling water into all of the rye (360g) at 100% hydration. So equal amounts of dark rye and hot water. To my surprise the dark rye absorbed all of the water and I had to work to get it mixed evenly. This I left on the counter for 24 hours as a soaker. The next morning it was a very firm Frisbee. The next time I will use much more water. I had an awful time getting a smooth mixture but eventually it came together. I added all the water for an overall hydration of 80% and mashed with a potato masher. I then added the levain and the 60% bread flour and salt. The dough looked more like chocolate frosting and was smooth and soft. I used 15% of the flour weight for levain and expected a good first rise in 4-6 hours. It had doubled in 6 hours with 2 stretch and folds in between.


I did a final shape on the counter into a boule and rolled the 1160g ball into a large banneton dusted with flour. I'm working on a distinctive slash pattern and thought I would try my first initial "E". No snickering please. A surgeon I am not. I'll have to think of something more simple to execute.


After proofing for 1.5 hours, the dough had risen respectably. I had preheated my oven/stone to 480F for the initial phase of the bake. I steamed normally and removed the block after 12 minutes and lowered the oven to 430F for 20 additional minutes. At this time I checked the internal temp and found it to be 180F. I again lowered the temp to 410F as the crust color was looking good. Another 10 minutes and the temp was 200F so I again lowered to 380F for another 10 minutes. The internal was 210 now so I shut the oven off, propped the door open with a blade and let it dry for another 10 minutes.


After cooling for 1 hour, we cut it open. The crumb was more like I would expect from a rye recipe. Some aeration but not too tight. It is very moist on the inside. After a day of being out and covered by a towel it is still moist in the center. Longer and lower baking next time. The flavor is exceptional and different from any sour rye I have made previous. There is a mild sour taste but another sweet aroma and flavor I am not familiar with. The soaking of the rye and then not souring the rye must be the difference. I dried a piece in the toaster today and it was delicious.


I do want to get a more open crumb than I did here. I think I'll try 30% dark rye next time and the extended ferment. It's a very good loaf if a little heavy. A longer baking profile will help that.


Eric


Added by Edit:


Note: I really like the finely milled dark rye I get from Stan at NY Bakers. It gets nice and dark when scalding and has a wonderful aroma. No caraway seeds here. Just the flavor of scalded rye and a hint of sour.


Overall formula:


Dark Rye flour, fine milled, from NY Bakers. 360g
Bread flour  800g
Water  928g
Salt  23g
Levain  174g


Soaker:
360g Dark Rye or whole Rye sifted.
720g Very hot water
Stir in a large bowl. Cover when combined and cover for 24 hours.


Dough:
All of Soaker
208g water at 80F
Combine water and break up the soaker.
When soaker is broken up, add 174g of Levain and combine.
Add flour and salt. Mix until well combined and gluten starts to develop.


Ferment at room temperature until doubled. During ferment time, every hour perform a gentle stretch and fold and return to bowl.
When doubled, gently pour out on floured counter and gently shape into desired shape, tightening as you go. Place in a banneton and proof for approx 1.5 hours, or until 80% expanded.


Preheat oven to 470F. Bake at 470f for 12 minutes with steam. Release steam and lower oven to 430F for another 30-40 minutes. Check for internal temp of 210f. Prop door open with oven off to help dry the bread for 10 minutes.


Allow to cool on wire rack for at least 1 hour. The moisture does spread out after a day of being covered with a towel.
Enjoy!




Comments

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

yummmm, such good-looking bread :)

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Eric, it's really a great loaf!


Over time I realized that I prefer my rye bread just a tiny bit undercooked in order to retain moisture for several days. Generally the third day the crumb will have already dried at the right level. Your bread seems perfect to me.


The soaker can be made more manageable if you use double weight (or even triple!) of hot water over rye flour: the finer the flour the more water it will absorb in no time. The container had better be quite large rather than tall in order to facilitate stirring.


I was really wondering if you had vanished. Nice to see you again!

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Eric,


Just to echo what Nico said.


A top quality loaf, as ever; you have returned to your blog with a bang!


It's a great loaf, and a fitting response to the work of Sonoma as posted by Shiao-Ping.


Do you have a formula for us to look over?


All good wishes


Andy [I really am catching that aeroplane tomorrow morning!]

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

That is so nice, Eric!  I would love to follow your broad sketch outline in the post and try making one myself. 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Thanks Anna. It really is good.


Eric

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Thanks Nico. I'm going to add the formula as an edit and I will use 200% hydration. You are of course the man when it comes to experimenting with rye.


I've been swamped with computer work and then we had a tornado that took down 10 trees in our back yard followed by a record breaking rain flood. We got 14 inches in 48 hours, 7 of them in one hour. Water everywhere.


Eric

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Thanks Andy, go pack and stay off the computer. You are supposed to be on vacation!

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Thanks Shiao-Ping.


It's a very simple formula. I'll post the summary in the starting post. I need to figure out how to get that perfectly aerated structure.


Eric

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I've never done a rye mash. I may try your bread, after you have perfected the formula. ;-)


I hope you get some less exciting weather soon.


David

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I could use some calm weather for my nerves. First tornadoes then floods. I was joking when the trees blew down I was going to have the trunks ripped into planks for the ark. Everyone laughed for about a week until it started to rain.


Is that what you call the process I'm playing with, a mash? I figured that the soaker with all the released sugars would get the levain a kick and help make the total dough active, thereby creating a lighter crumb. Next time I'll do the long retarded ferment once it gets started.


Eric

Franko's picture
Franko

It's a beauty Eric, and I like the slash. I think it looks cool. The crust has the most amazing color to it of any rye I've seen recently so this definitely goes on my list of ones to try . Thanks for sharing the formula with us.


Franko


 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

My daughter thought it looks just the golden arches. The crust color does demonstrate the benefits of scalding the rye. Glad you liked it. The flavor is very deep and memorable. Let us know if you try it.


Eric

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Larry,


Just a couple of questions. How much more hot water do you think you'd use next time around for the soaker? As far as fine dark rye flour goes, I'm limited to Bob's Red Mill so absorption may vary a bit from NY Bakers flour , but not by a significant amount I don't imagine. You mention "removing the block" and I'm not certain exactly what the block is. Is it a block between the lower element and the rack the bread is on? I'm looking forward to trying this out and wanted to check with you first.


The last thing I wanted to touch base with you on is our mutual interest in slow smoking. I've been doing it for over twenty years now (just surprised myself when I counted the years) and wondered what sort of Q yer up to. I used to do some sanctioned competition events here in B.C once or twice a year, but now I just do it for a few pork loving friends of mine, and myself from time to time. It's always good to meet another practitioner of the fine art of BBQ.


All the best,


Franko

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I'm guessing you meant Eric and not Larry.


I changed the formula when I posted it above to call for 200% of the rye flour weight in hot water. That should be more workable the next day. You wouldn't need to wait the full 24 hours if you are short of schedule.


Removing the block refers to the block on my vent on my electric oven. I roll up a towel and place it on my steam vent to help keep the moisture level up. That's ONLY for electric ovens.


I have been a low and slow pit master for a long time. Just recently sold my 6 foot rotating smoker I used for festivals and party's. Capacity of 99 full size baby back ribs at one time. Every one as tender and tasty as the next one.  The thing I got famous for was turkey drums. They are just so good and better tasting than any other kind of poultry I have had on a smoker. Mmmmm. I stopped doing commercial work 2 years ago and scaled back to a "Smoke Vault" the large one. Just for home and family use. I can do 8 large brisket pieces at one time if need be. Just made a batch of smoked pastrami that was to die for.


Eric

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Eric,


My apologies for getting your name wrong. It's been a long week.


Good tip about the steam vent, I hadn't even considered that with a domestic oven but I'll try it next time.


I'm waiting on delivery of a couple of different size round bannetons I ordered from TMB last week before I make your bread . Also in the process of rebuilding my starter which died because of the heat... and some neglect on my part.


One of these years I'd like to get a proper set up like yours. I just have a little Brinkman style Q, which certainly does the job but has it limitations in terms of how much I can cook at a time. When I used to compete in The B.C. Open I was always amazed at the size of some of the rigs the stateside crews would bring. I remember one fellow from Redmond Washington who had a Klose pit that he trailered in, big enough to do six whole hogs on. I don't follow the BBQ scene as closely as I used to but I know that turkey drums have become quite a popular item to smoke over the last ten or more years. I'm guessing it would shred similar to a butt? How long do they need in the pit and what sort of smoke do you use for them?


Now that I finally have a day off I think I might just fire up the smoker and do some cookin.


All the best,


Franko


 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Franko,


I have found that poultry works better at a higher range than a typical low and slow smoke. I do chickens and turkeys at 300-325F. When you use 225F, the skin is rubbery and never get's rendered crisp. With the turkey drums, I get the biggest I can get, usually over a pound each. I use garlic salt before and during the 3 hours it takes to roast them to a 180-190F internal temp. The first time I went to 190 by mistake I thought I had ruined them. The first bite proved otherwise.


Another favorite is Pastrami. Corned beef covered in pepper and coriander for 11 hours at 225. Then simmered covered in an inch of water until fork tender. The best you will ever have.


Eric

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

loaf, the flavor sounds hearty enough for a good pastrami and cheese.   I was concerned about how the weather, all that rain was affecting you.  I hope things have setteled down and you can get back to baking.


Sylvia

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Thanks Sylvia,


Yes things have been warm and dry for 2 days now and I'm back to a single pump in the basement. The local frogs are in heaven. Lush water in anything that will hold water and plenty of mosquitoes. You should hear them at night.


You are right this would be great with pastrami. Hmmm, maybe I'll make a batch next week.


Eric

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Wow!  A far cry from the rye when you first joined TFL!  I could just picture you breaking up that great smelling frisbee!  I like your "E" too!  -Lol-  It has a timeless Lascaux quality about it.   And the color!  And the flavor! (I think I can imagine the caramel taste!)   And the size! ...A Beauty!


After a few days, slice and freeze.  I know how slowly the bread moves around here lately!   Summer heat also seems to naturally cut back appetites for bread. 


I think you should frame a picture of this loaf in actual size or get a pillow cover made...   You may think I'm joking but I'm not.   An interesting painting project to get that slash to come out ... a build up of transparent layers perhaps?  Or a cloth appliqué?  The floured surface might be white raw hide or canvas or linen...  Then you could write your final recipe inside on cloth and hide it inside like a time capsule.  It could also be more words of wisdom than a recipe.  Could even be a joint project?


Mini 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I'm married to an artist so I have some idea how a creative mind works. Your husband must be continuously entertained by your creativity. What an interesting idea.


Thank you for your thoughts and comments. Always an inspiration.:>)


Eric

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Great Loaf Eric! mmm.. must have been an aromatic sweet rye. So, are you going to call this loaf? Eric's second most favorable Rye?


I love your Slash Mark... work on it..


Khalid

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Haha, I hadn't thought about naming it yet. I want to perfect the process a little more.


I remember having an art style Exacto knife for cutting tissue masks when airbrushing photos. It had a swivel and a short arm so you could drag the blade around circular shapes and make smooth cuts. Maybe that would work here. The blade follows behind your hand if you get what I mean. I'll work on it. Thanks for your support and comments.


Eric

wally's picture
wally

And nice to have you back after your sabbatical.


Larry

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Thanks Larry. I'm glad to see my hall pass still works!


Eric

benjamin's picture
benjamin

Very nice work eric... a beautiful boule with perfect execution and presentation, and a well written post too!


ben

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Thanks Ben. I appreciate the kind words.


Eric

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

I actually love how the crumb looks. And the "E" on top is very artfully done.


 


I have been experimenting with 100% rye, the next step is to make a rye mesh, so it's very helpful to hear about your experience.

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Eric, what type of bread do you want to create? To me your (very good looking) bread has just the right crumb for a German/Austrian/Eastern European type of rye bread, similar to those I bake. These breads are eaten as open faced sandwiches with cold cuts, honey or jam, they don't have larger pores or holes.


I'm always baffled by the restraint some of you guys put on yourself to wait many hours - even days! - before you eat a rye bread. Of course a fresh bread tastes different than one that is more than a day old, but you can't eat it in one day, anyway, and therefore have enough opportunity to enjoy the drier, older rest of it.


In European bakeries bread that hasn't sold the day before is clearly marked as "1-day old" and sold for less. Before I joined TFL I never heard of anybody preferring older, drier, staler rye bread to fresh - except for people with stomach ulcers.


Karin


 


 

ErikVegas's picture
ErikVegas

Eric, I noticed one of your ingredients was Levain.  What is your formula for the Leavin if you dont mind putting it up.


 


Thanks,


 


Other Erik

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Hi Erik,


I feed my starter at what is considered a stiff or firm hydration. I keep it in the refrigerator until I need it and then, set it at room temperature for a day before I need it. I feed in the ratio of 1 part old starter to 1 part water and then 1.5 parts white flour. My starter expands in volume to triple at least in 12 hours where upon I feed it again.


After I am done using the natural levain, I feed it one last time and immediately place it in the fridge. Any time in the next week or two, I can use it directly from the fridge a tablespoon at a time for a bread mix. Hope that helps.


Eric