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Mini's Favorite Rye - mostly happy, but have questions

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txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Mini's Favorite Rye - mostly happy, but have questions


I have been making mini's favorite rye (posted here) several times now , this last batch was my best so far with good volume, somewhat even distribution of small air pockets, and of course great flavor and moist mouth feel.


 


Baked in 3 mini moulds: one mini pan de mie pan (from China), two mini (0.25 quart) cast iron pots. Very cute and gave me an opportunity to test out different shapes.



 


While I am mostly happy, there are still imperfections and questions:


1) Since rye doesn't have gluten, everything I read says 100% rye dough doesn't need any bulk rise. However, mini's formula not only has a bulk rise, but a 3 hour long one, followed by a proof (mine was only 80min long). I have made high percentage rye with no bulk rise before, I think mini's method gives me better crumb results. Why? What does this bulk rise do? Are the bulk rise and proof in fact just a very long rise, interrupted by shaping and redistribution of air pockets? Which then leads to a more even crumb?


2) I steamed the breads by covering the moulds with another mould/pot



I baked them at 460F for 10min, removed the lids, gradually lowered the baking temperature until done. When the lids were first removed, I noticed that all three doughs rose very high, well above the moulds. However, after that, as they got baked more, they shrank somewhat. In the end, the bread still domed well and had decent volume, but I am wondering what caused the shrinking? And what can I do to prevent it? Is it because rye dough has no gluten to trap all the air gas? Should I have removed the lids later/earlier? Or maybe higher/lower heat?



3)While crumb was mostly even, but the following picture does show that the bottom layer was a bit denser than the top. How can I fix the bottom? Longer/shorter proof? Higher/lower temp? More/less steam?



 


Anyhow, you may think I am nitpicking, but in fact I am super happy with the breads, just want to make them even better. The crumb shot in mini's post is my dream goal!



 


Sending this to Yeastspotting.

Comments

teketeke's picture
teketeke

Rye Rye Rye.. that is in my mind....   Your loaves look great as always! good looking crumb for 100% rye bread.


I have had the same question of the bulk fermentation and proof.  I have made Katy and Rebecca's simply white sourdough loaf   www.thefreshloaf.com/node/19923/bread-art-heritage-katy-and-rebecca-beinart039s-work-and-simple-white-sourdough-tin-loaf  that posted by Daisy_A doesn't require the bulk fermentation, either. However, the crumb are airy like your rye bread. They are both high hydration..   Other hand, I don't need bulkfermentation to make bagels sometimes. I really don't know what the bulk fermentation is when you said it.  


I also had the same other questions on the other kind of rye bread that you asked above. Shriniking while baking and little dense on the bottom... I have tried the bread up side down and cool on the rack after baking like cooling off the ciffon cake although the top will be very flat like a pullman loaf.


Best wishes,


Akiko


 


 


 

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

For wheat breads, bulk rise develops gluten and flavor, so breads without a bulk rise tend to have less volume, less strength, less "strong" holes, and less deep flavor. Bagel is an outlier since it's very dry and does not need to increase much in volume, but for a very flavorful bagel, I still think a long proof is necessary.


However, for rye breads, there's very little gluten, so the issue of dough strength is not there. Higher ratio of starter and rich taste of rye flour itself make up for flavor - that's why I am asking why I get better result with 100% rye with a bulk rise than without. But judging from some responses and my own guess, I think the shaping between bulk rise and proof redistribute airpockets and food for yeast, which leads to a more even crumb.

teketeke's picture
teketeke

Thank you for taking the time to explain it to me, Txfarmer. I simply understand what you said. RobynNZ told me about the bulk fermentation before, I had forgotten about it. Thank you, again.   Your problem is much higher class topic that I still don't understand even I read Andy and Mini's comments.  Hopefully, I will be able to comprehensive about  rye flour in the future.


Best wishes,


Akiko

Syd's picture
Syd

I had exactly the same 'problems' that you had: the shrinking and slightly denser at the bottom than at the top.  Did you use the bread spices?  It is one of the best tasting loaves I have ever eaten.  How much can I eat at a sitting?  Just one more slice... :)


Syd

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

I skipped the bread spices this time since I was just experimenting, but I will certainly use them next time! Even without them, the bread is super yummy.

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi txfarmer,


The shrinkage you refer to can also happen in wheat breads.   Basically, the dough structure has been allowed to prove too long and is no longer strong enough to support itself.   When it happens like this, to just a small degree, and in the oven, then the level of overproof is not terminal.


The resulting collapse obviously accounts for why your crumb looks somewhat uneven, as the structure willl collapse at the weakest point; that being the area around the middle of the loaf, which is the last to become set, or, baked.


Discussion of point 1 is quite complex, actually.   Mini makes the point that it is important to prepare a starter which works for you and your schedule, and the bread you want to make.   I totally agree with this.


Mini makes a stiffer sour than I do, more akin to that used by Hamelman, if I read her posts correctly.   Mine is much more liquid, maintained at 100:167.   I also ferment it right through for 18 hours.   What this does is to produce more acid.   I do this to try and protect the pentosans in the flour at the very stage in the oven discussed above.   The pentosans are the fibrous matter which knit the starch molecules in the rye flour together.   They are the glue which substitutes for rye flour being so low in gluten content.   But in latter proof these pentosans become very unstable.   That is why I haven't been one for long periods of bulk proof.   I'm sure Mini has counselled the same about excessive bulk proof [and final proof too].   But hopefully she can clarify that for you herself.


I love the baking containers you are using.   Are they made by Le Creuset by any chance?


Very best wishes


Andy

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Thank you so much Andy for chiming in. I read your response this morning, went out for a 7 mile run, and tried to digest all the info the whole time. :)


1. I know mini keeps a firm starter, however for this bread, she specifies a 100% starter, which is the same as mine. It's still firmer than yours, and ferment only for 8 to 12 hours prior to mixing, so it's less sour than yours, which may be why the total rise time (bulk + proof) is a bit longer. I guess my first question boils down to comparing thow methods for 100% rye: "rise + shaping + rise" VS. "shaping+rise". The total rise time may be similar, I am just wondering whether the shaping in the middle helps to redistribute everything (airholes, yeast, food for yeast etc) to make the crumb more even. So far I seem to get better crumb with the first method (shaping in the middle), but then I have not done a side by side comparison.


 


2. So I need to proof even less to prevent the shrinking? Will try that next time. At the same time, is steaming amount/time also related to this shrinking? As welll as baking temperature? I was trying to picture the baking process for 100% rye: yeast generates CO2, which expands, but the rye dough can hardly hold them all in, so some of them escape through the top. If the dough structure is set before all/most the air pockets escapes, then the crumb would have evenly distributed air holes right? Which means a highter baking temp/less steaming time would help? Am I totally off track? I guess some more things to experiment with.


 


Edit to add: these mini cast iron pots are made by Staub, got them for free when I bought the big one last Christmas. They are super cute for pudding, cake, souffle as well.

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi txfarmer,


here are some thoughts to address what you discuss above:


1. The answer to whether to extend bulk is that it depends on the state of proof and your dough when you choose to "knock back", by shaping and panning your loaf for final proof.   To this extent, Nico is spot on.   But if the level of proof has gone too far, then the dough will not recover, and the volume achieved in final proof will be poor.   In this respect, surly wheat dough is just the same.   It's just much harder with rye, because gluten quality is so vastly inferior.


2. As regards shrinking, all bread will undergo a small decrease in volume towards the end of the bake.   Given all the necessary changes in proteins and starches have taken place, and the yeasts long since killed off, there is no chance of further dough expansion.   Instead, what is happening as the Maillard reactions colour up the loaf and create flavours through caramelisation, a small amount of moisture continues to be driven off the loaf to dry it out, as necessary.   This manifests itself as a small decrease in loaf volume...even industrial plant bakers take this into account when analysing bake profiles to achieve their all-important volume maximisation.   So think this through and apply it to high rye breads.   Well, moisture content is extremely high [I believe most of us centre around 85% water on flour]   So the bake profile has to be long in order to guarantee the loaf is baked out with no residual moisture.


I don't tend to use intensive steam when baking panned rye breads, just a small container of water in the bottom of the oven.   I always bake as hot as I can to achieve the desired bake profile.   I know Mini often bakes from cold, and I believe Akiko does the same.   I have no experience of this...given my commercial background, I'm sure you understand.


As for overproof, you don't need me to advise you on the likely catastrophes from taking rye paste over the edge.


Keep on running!


BW


Andy 

GAPOMA's picture
GAPOMA

One of the problems with this bread is that it's easy to over proof the dough.  We all want to get the most volume that we can, but proofing too long can cause it to shrink back and have a more dense bottom.  And since the rye doesn't have much gluten, it's a much more fragile dough, especially when fully risen.


Mini gave me a couple of suggestions about a year ago in regard to this bread that really helped me get more consistent results.  She suggested that I do an experiment to find out how long to proof.  She suggested that I take a bit of my starter, and mix it in with the water, flour bread spice and salt in exactly the proportions (and times) listed in her recipe, then see how long it takes to reach "Maximum" expansion of the dough.  She then suggested that I make sure to put the bread into the oven about an hour BEFORE this time point.


I did exactly this.  I mixed a small batch (~100g) of dough according to the recipe, and I found that (for my starter, in my kitchen, with my ingredients) it takes just about 11 hours after I start mixing to reach maximum volume.  Now, when I make this bread I always make sure to put the bread in the oven 10 hours after I start mixing the dough.  And now every time I make this bread it always stands nice and tall with good crumb throughout.


Obviously, with your starter/ingredients/kitchen, YMMV.  But it's a pretty easy way to learn what works best for you.


- Greg 

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Thanks Greg!


Mini was nice enought to chime in and gave me the same suggestion. Makes total sense, and it's great to hear you had good result using it. 11 hours huh? I have a feeling mine would be something ridiculous like ... 4 or 5, just shows how different our starters are.

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Lovely, Lovely, txfarmer!

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Thanks Mebake!

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Txfarmer, I doubt that with a 100% dark rye bread you can get better results. Yes, the bottom is denser, but I guess it's unavoidable.


If I'm not mistaken the remixing after the bulk rise helps to redistribute a bit of everything (yeasts, food) and also to eliminate part of the gases that are harmful for the yeasts, thus the bread can rise more.

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Thanks! Your theory about redistributing yeasts, food (maybe even airholes) make sense to me.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Your crumb image is beautiful! This is a hard bake to get right. Yours is near perfect. Thanks for sharing txfarmer.


Eric

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Thanks Eric! You know what, after A YEAR, I am just starting to grasp what you said about lighting, shadow, dark background, "egg exercise with one light source", etc. I am experimenting to shoot with dark background and just one light source (with a reflector on the other side to vary shadows). The effect is great, a lot of ways to manipulate mood and richness. I am a rather "slow" learner, taking a year to digest what you taught. :)

ehanner's picture
ehanner

txfarmer,


Learning elegant photography skills is a learning process that happens at your own speed. I saw in you a good baker and the desire to display your work with style. Now that you are shooting with an informed eye and understanding the nature of light, you are making your own magic. Keep up the good work my friend, you are just now getting into the exciting part of photography.


Eric

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I think your starter is faster than mine so my suggestion would be to shorten the rises, both the first one and the second.  Shaping should be "half way" into the rise if you see it as one rise from mixing to baking.  Andy explained very well that as the dough heads towards over-proofing it becomes unstable.  I think the falling was because it was too close to being over-proofed.  I prefer to be a little bit under than to get too close to the maximum rising time.  


Consider your starter and how long it takes to reach maximum height in one continuous rise.  Because of the ratio you can test it easy enough on a small scale for your temps and beasties.  If you make another test adding salt, it will slow the rise down and give you maximum collapse time parameters.   Use this information for your loaves if there is difficulty reading the dough itself.  


One can easily watch the bubble structure forming between the bowl/glass and the dough, the first half (third of total volume)of the rise will have pretty much an even structure of tiny gas bubbles and not as much expansion as the second half.  The second half will show more differences with the top bubbles getting larger if not stirred or shaped, it acts just like a starter.  When allowed to overproof, the dough forms a sort of gas trapped canopy on top that is extremely fragile.  So for a test, it is important to disturb this top surface often as it will remain domed for a while longer even when the dough expansion is over and falling inside... leading to a false collapsing time.  I want to say poke but that implies a poke test which is too gentle and I want to say stir, but that might be too aggressive if it pops all the bubbles.  It would be helpful to know when the rise stops before it falls in on itself (regardless of what the top surface is doing.) Maybe I should say just to stir the top 1/2 inch of the test.   If rising stops at 8 hours, then by all means don't let it rise that long, reduce by an hour to stay on the safe side.  If it rises in 5 hours, then your proofs will be about 2 hrs long each.  Rye unlike wheat should have a shorter first rise because after the half way point in the rise, the dough just can't take any more folding or stirring.


Mini 

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Thank you both for such detailed response!


Having read both of your advices several times, my take away lesson is that the total rise time ("bulk" +  "proof") can't exceed what the dough can tolerate, and what I did (3hrs + 80min) was on the edge. I will do a test as Mini suggests, with salt, to see how long before it collapses. I have a feeling that it will be something ridiciously short. Can't wait to try, it will be like a fun chemistry experiment!


 

ananda's picture
ananda

That's what comes from living in Texas with the climate you have txfarmer!


Never experimented with salt in the way Mini discusses.   It should give greater stability to the dough.


Above all, from what both Mini and I have written, I guess you realise that it is just as important not to overdo the bulk rise as it is to risk overproof of the final loaves!


Keep us up to speed with your findings


Best wishes


Andy