The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

refreshing rye barm

  • Pin It
ldsheridan's picture
ldsheridan

refreshing rye barm

Hi All. I am making a barm from "The Bread Makers Apprectice" to bake some Pumpernickel.    But Mr. Reinheart only gives instructions for refreshing non-rye starters, irritatingly stating, "Use high-gluten flour for the refreshments (except in the case of a rye barm) as it has more gluten etc..."  and proceeds to ignore any instruction for the exception.  Could I get some advice on how to refresh this barm for use in Pumpernickel?  I have no interest in sourdough, levain or any sour white breads.

I am brand new to baking. I bought Reinheart's book because I heard it had an Italian bread recipe in it that tasted like the old Amoroso rolls I used to eat as a kid in W. Philly in the 50s.  (One of their bakers used to come out and give us freshed baked rolls.)  I had never baked before but much to my wife's surprise I'm making great Italian and French bread from this book.  We are also fond of Rye and Pumpernickel and thought I'd give that a try. I'm in the 3rd day of the seed culture for the barm and that's going well but I'd like to know how to keep the barm refreshed for future use.  I'll probably also make his Deli Rye, since I was astonished to learn that my favorite rye bread from the deli was a sourdough!  And I thought I completely disliked sourdough!

Thanks,

Dennis

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

If that makes sense.

You would refresh your "rye" starter as described with "rye" flour. He mentions this in the side bar in the instructions(recipe) for the seed culture, saying something to the effect of: if you want to make a pure rye starter, use white rye flour wherever high gluten flour is listed.

I will suggest that you can use whatever type of rye flour you keep on hand. I suspect most people use whole rye, or something closer to whole rye(as opposed to white rye).

So however he instructs to refresh using high gluten flour, you do the same, but with rye flour instead.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

When it is ripe, remove about a heaping teaspoon of the goop from the inside.   Make another barm but include this spoon of ripe rye sour goop.  Mix well and shape into a ball and dust with rye flour just as you did before and let it ripen.  I will warn you that this time it will take less time to ripen.

If you want slow down the ripening process, you can refrigerate (soon after making it) dusted with a little rye flour in a not too tight container (so gasses can leave) for at least a week if not longer.  For use remove from the fridge, and check the ripeness, remove a heaping teaspoon and make another barm ball to ripen for your next rye loaf.  Always save a heaping teaspoon to keep it going.  

I got one sitting in my fridge now for 4 months and plan to activate it when home.  The dryer the mix for the "barm" the longer it's keeping time in the refrigerator.  Mine is about the size of a golf ball.  And I expect to feed it about 2 -3 times with a half water /half rye flour  (50g each by weight) to perk up the yeast.   

Welcome to the world of rye and rye sours!   (I think you have a wonderful world ahead of you with your very own rye sourdough starter.  >smile<)

Mini

ldsheridan's picture
ldsheridan

mrfrost, I must have read that sidebar comment a dozen times and just could not work out exactly what he was saying. (as well as the comment below it)  My brain kept insisting he's saying that if you want a pure rye starter, just use rye flour; not the 1st day rye flour and days 2, 3 and 4 the white bread flour his seed culture instructions use.  Which confused me even more, as my understanding so far (which doesn't really go far since I'm as dense as an iron post) is that rye flour wasn't suitable by itself for creating all the gluten you need.. if I expressed my confusion correctly, which I doubt.  So thank you for clearing that up.

 

Mini Oven, thank you for the instruction.  Just to be clear that I understand - I'm going to make a second barm using a heaping teasoon of the seed cullture. I am going to assume that I am scaling down the other ingredients.  Reinhart calls for 1 cup of seed culture with 3 1/2 cups flour and 2 cups water. So I'm going to do the math and make the barm in proportion?  Oh wait..  I just realized he says to discard half of the final seed culture so I'll just make two barms and refrigerate one of them for a day.  That way I can make the Pumpernickel one day and the Deli Rye the next.  I can then start another barm and get ahead of the game, refreshing it before I bake so I'll always have it.

I must state though, that I really dislike sourdough bread. Even the smell puts me off.  I had no clue whatsoever that Pumpernickel and Deli Rye were soudough breads, so I'm still somewhat in a state of shock. But if these breads are even remotely as good as his other formulas I've tried, then you are absolutely correct that I have a wonderful world ahead of me!

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

"Deli Rye" is not necessarily sour dough. I know of at least 2 recipes that are not sd. At least one of these is very good and very popular. If you do a web search for smitten kitchen deli rye , the first hit should link you to a version of a very popular recipe. I don't use rye very often, but I have made that one a few times and enjoyed it a lot.

So if you are really that averse to sourdough, it is possible that the breads you enjoyed were not sd. If you bought them from a U.S. supermarket, they probably were not.

ps: There will always be those that argue that it is not really pumpernickel, or really deli rye, if not made with a sd starter, but I won't get involved in that.

ldsheridan's picture
ldsheridan

You hit a sore point here.  I have been forced to purchase a commercial Dark German Rye since moving to San Francisco. I am unable to find a single bakery that produces any of the dleicious bread we could buy both in Philadelphia or in Victoria on Vancouver Island.  There was one bakery in Victoria, Rosebud, that made the most delicious Pumpernickel and Rye breads.  Could not get enough of them.  Here all I get is Rye with caraway seeds, with walnuts, with this thing and that thing. No one I can find makes a plain dark rye and forget about pumpernickel. The term is as foreign as some of the tourists. In fact, I find the bread in this goumet capital to be lacking in many regards, which is why at 70 years of age I had to arise from my rocking chair and make my own damn bread.  At least now I can have some of the white breads I enjoy and if this rye and pumpernickel works out.. well then, life will be good again, won't it?

baybakin's picture
baybakin

Slighty off topic, I know we are all for baking everything ourselves here, but have you tried the dark rye at cinderella bakery?  Pure Grain also makes an awesome pumpernickle bread which can be bought at Rainbow Grocery last time I checked (also a great place for flours/bulk grains).

Edit: Turns out Acme makes a pumpernickle as well, but it is only available on Sundays and Tuesdays, and probably only at the Ferry building location or on the other side of the bay.

ldsheridan's picture
ldsheridan

Thank you. Until like 3 weeks ago, we bought virtually all of our bread at Acme at the ferry building or their truck in the market.    We are also frequent shoppers at Rainbow. I have never seen a pumpernickel at Acme or Rainbow but I will certainly take a more careful look.  Never been to Cinderella. We live in SOMA, they're too far out for us, although my wife used to go out to some godforsaken place to grab a loaf of white bread she preferred.  Fortunately, one of Reinhart's white bread variations she thinks is even better than the stuff she used to buy..  so we really haven't purchased any since I started baking.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

yup, thats one huge barm.  Barmzilla!   I think you can go much smaller.   Increase when you need it.  Basically take the amount of starter, double the volume with water and add flour to make a stiff dough.   Pretty easy when you think about it and very basic.

Rye and rye sour go together.  I wouldn't start a pumpernickel without it.  :)

ldsheridan's picture
ldsheridan

I should have everything ready to bake this weekend.  I'll let you know.  I'm really looking forward to this.

ldsheridan's picture
ldsheridan

No luck with the barm. Laid there like an old mud puddle. I wondered about the culture since it wasn't rising at all, although there were plenty of bubbles. Starting over.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I'm sure there is something there.