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Danish Rye (Rugbrot) Problem, Help Please, You Seeded Rye Experts!

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Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Danish Rye (Rugbrot) Problem, Help Please, You Seeded Rye Experts!

This weekend, I had baked two danish rye (rugbrot) loaves but both came out with extremely hard exteriors, especially the top.  My first bake came out a bit less hard and after a few days it tamed down to a tough/hard chew.  The main problem is the top, which is exposed during the bake and I guess dries out the exposed rye berries.  These rye berries then turn extremely hard and almost inedible.  The long low temp baking process for this type of bread dries the top out quite a bit.  I use Chad Robetson's recipe which calls for baking with steam for 15 minutes then without for the rest of the bake.

Any suggestions or solutions to this problem?  Phil? Mini? Jorgen? :)

John

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

I cover in foil and bake with a reducing tenperature profile for a longer time.

Hope this helps in the future

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Thanks.  I was thinking this might be the solution.  Wonder why Chad's recipe doesn't suggest that.  Pesky genius.

John

PiPs's picture
PiPs

I use a pullman pan which makes a big difference ... perhaps try covering the pan with foil during the final part of the bake.

How are you storing it?

Cheers,
Phil

 

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Phil.  As per your (and other's)suggestions, I let it cool completely, then in fridge wrapped in plastic.

Does your pullman have a top cover that you use for a portion or all of the bake?

John

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

but I never ever put baked bread in the fridge.  It just goes stale faster and sucks all the moisture out of the bread.  Chad bakes this bread at one temperature 425 F and with a big loaf pan.

I would let this cool, wrap in cotton or linen and then some plastic and let it sit for a couple of days so the moisture a=can redistribute and soften the crust. 

I also wouldn't bake this a 425 F all the way either.  I would cover in foil for the first 15 minutes at 425 then uncover and start cranking down the temp,  say 375 for another 15 minutes and then 325 and finally finishing at 300 until the middle was 200 F - no more.  But then it wouldn't be Chand's method either.  

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Hi John

I'm with DBM on this one. Storing bread in the fridge dries it out - absolute no-no IMO. The freezer is OK if you have some you want to preserve for a while, but it never comes out as good as it goes in.

Good on you for exploring rye as you're doing. Watching on with interest.

Cheers
Ross

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Also, wishing I was down under to watch Djokovic at the open.  :)

John

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

leaving some room to spring.  Tenting or steaming longer.  You can do both inside the roaster.  That way if the foil is loose, you still get lots of steam.  Uncover  a little over half way thru the bake or 20 minutes before the end.  Might also try narrower pans making a taller loaf and therefore less top surface to overall volume.  Do wrap the loaf tightly after it is cooled.  If you really flub up, you can steam the cold loaf to soften the crust, then let it cool.  Surfaces should be moist but not wet before wrapping.

I tend to push berries back into the dough if they're popping out because they do dry out and get hard, same with rice.  

I just pulled two loaves of 100% rye out of the oven this afternoon. Each started out as 2100g dough and weighed in cool at 1690g.  I was testing two new narrow pans.  Alu-foil works for me but when I bake one loaf, I can tent it with the other pan sprayed with water.  A narrow strip of foil to seal the edge or two safely pins in opposite corners work too!  

I sprinkled raw sunflower seeds on the bottoms of the pans and spooned in the dough.  Sprinkled seeds on top too.  I was thinking...  How do I help you tell if the seeds get hard or become crackly on the outside of a loaf?  Hmmm.  That might have to do with the fat content of the seed or berry in question.  If it contains high amount of oil or fats, the seeds get crispy nutty like flax, squash, nuts, sunflower and easy to bite.  Those like grain high in starch, tend to get hard.  Grain flakes don't get hard and if they can soak up some fat are down right yummy as they roast during the bake.  

Mini 

 

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Thanks for all the info Mini.  I will definitely try to bake covered with foil and inside the roaster for the majority of the bake, then remove about 3/4 of the way through.  Also, given your reasoning on the seeds getting crispy and berries getting hard, I will go back to my original ground up flax and sunflower topping next bake.  With it tented for 3/4 of the way, the topping should come out nice and toasted and not dried out and hard.

Common sense is always best I am learning.

John

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Before baking you could cover the top of the bread with a layer of slurry made with water and rye flour, of the same consistence of the sourdough. It helps!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

:)   I was thinking of something more complicated but that would work out lovely!  Thanks!

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

but efficient:-)

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

in the posts above.

I agree with all of them.

My experience with long-baked and heavily seeded bread is quite limited. but I believe that a lot of German bakers use oat flakes to cover the loaves.

I did some experimenting with Pumpernickel (using only rye flakes), but that's an ongoing project, and I am prepared for some failures...

By the way, the breads you are showcasing in your other recent posts are amazing!

Juergen

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Juergen.  I know exactly what I will be doing different next time.  I will cover with foil for 3/4 of the bake, and top with ground sunflower/flax seed mix, as these would not only toast up with nice flavour, but get less hard as the rye berries do.

Thank you for your comments!  Just curious, what recent breads are you referring to?

John

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

your 40% ryes.

Stunning bakes.

By the way - coming back to your initial enquiry about Klosterbrot...

I have been experimenting with mashes recently, 

They could have used a technique like that...

20% wheat, 80% rye

20% the wheat flour in a yeasted preferment, 20% (rye) boiled with malt for 4 hours, 30% (rye) from a sourdough starter, plus whey...

 

 

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Juergen.  Thank you for keeping me in mind for the Klosterbrot.  I had given up on that one as I have been trying to learn more basic rye techniques.  Now that I understand a bit better of how rye dough acts, I will give the Klosterbrot another go soon.  I am afraid I don't understand the method you describe above as I have been working with very simple standard techniques until now.  When it comes time for me to try it out, I will message you directly for some help, if you don't mind :)

Thanks again!

John

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

HI Juergen,

(Hope this isn't hi-jacking your post John but I saw the word 'mash' and want to ask Juergen a couple of questions.)

I see above that you are experimenting with mashes.  I am wondering if you are keeping the water at a certain level so as to not destroy all of the enzymes (165°F/75°C tops for one of the ones I do.) or if you do allow it to reach boiling point.  I am curious to know if you have tried both ways and what differences you see when doing them with different temps.

Thanks,

Janet

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Janet, John, 

I am pretty much a beginner when it comes to mash.

I got inspired by a German post for the world bread day, Mr Suepke posted one of his production formulas.

http://baeckersuepke.wordpress.com/2012/10/16/meister-supke-kruste/

He uses a thing called Kochstueck or Aromastueck in German, it is not exactly a mash, but this is the closest word I could find.

A mixture of water, coarse rye meal (in his recipe) and diastatic malt are boiled for several hours. (I use a pudding bowl with lid in boiling water) 

The breads I made so far (using a wholegrain rye recipe as a base) with rye, barley and millet all taste wonderful, the technique somehow unlocks more of the intristic flavor of the grains.

I'll post the formulas and procedures shortly. Need to do some more research.

Cheers,

Juergen

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Interesting recipe 374g rye to 92g wheat.  :)        >>>Tangzhong<<<!

 

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Which recipe Mini?

John

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

If I translate correctly the recipe temperature on the "mash" is to "boil it."  That takes me back to many an early loaf where sleepy eyed I was doing this w/o added malt enzymes using left over cooked breakfast cereal in the bread.  

In reading the recipe... Süpke says to use active malt but then "boils" it without specific temperature making me wonder, why bother to use active malt if you zap the enzymes?  Then Janet's comment became very real.  I went off to finally check out mashes, what are we talking about here?  Gee Whiz!  I thought all this mash business was a lot more complicated, figuring it had more to do with... i don't know... fermenting beer or something...  never was that interested or took the time to understand, "what's a mash?"  My Bad.  My eyes popped open (and I feel pretty stupid) when I recognized that it is not different from gelatinizing starch and using it in the dough.     so...  There is the inclusion of active malt (diastase) but then, temp would be a big factor as to the enzyme's effect.   

Not to complain but all the different names confuse!  Why so many names?  

Probably a way to protect job security, language having a history of being used to confuse the competition and claim credit to a "new method" that has been used for a very long time.  Cold gelatinized flour & water?  Heck! I can even throw altus into that category!  What we need here is a digital amylase probe since that seems to be what everyone wants to control.  ...and a gelatin chart.

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Maybe amylase works up to a certain point and then denatures. 2 hours seem to be really useless to me, especially because stuff like that tends to stick and burn easily.

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Suepke recommends to boil it in a water bath, (like a christmas pudding).

This works well for me.

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Suepke says that at first the amylases get busy making sugars until they denature, and after that the long boiling will start off some Maillard reactions.

Of course, the bulk Maillard will happen above 140C, but apparently there are some reactions going on even at room temperature.

This is one of the points of this recipe where I feel I need some more research. (Tried barley, rye and millet - the rye changed most during the 4 hour boil, the millet least)

The other point I am unsure about is the hydration of the Kochstueck. I didn't have rye kernels, so I boiled course wholegrain flour. I needed about 200% water to avoid getting too dry. Barley flakes needed about 300%, and millet soaked up 400% and was still too dry after cooking. 

With respect to your last paragraph, Mini, I would like to add a chart of Maillard reactions with their temperature dependencies in different flours ...

 

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Juergen,

(Sorry John - Here I go again :-)  

I find the same results you do depending on the grains used and the amount they are ground.  (I mill my own grains so I have a lot of control over the textures of my grains.)  Same with flakes.  I start with the recommended amount of water but then add more if the 'gruel' is too dry.  I make adjustments in the final dough.

On adding diastatic malt.  When I add that to the mix I add it when the cooking part of the process is over.  Like Mini said, makes no sense to add it earlier as it will kill off the enzymes and one might just as well use non-diastatic malt in the first place which adds just sweetness not enzymes...

As to the Maillard reaction - I know Dan Leopard takes some of the gelatinized grains and recommends coating the top of the loaf with it.  (In reference to his 100% Rye Sour loaf.)

Mini - The term 'mash' is used in beer making...at least in the US.  I know brewers have detailed temp. charts showing which enzymes are denatured at what temps.  which makes a big difference when brewing beer, or so I would imagine....I haven't ever tried.

 This whole discussion has made me look at the term more closely as I was getting confused with people labeling things scalds, gelatinized grains, cooked grains or mashes.  Methinks now that we are all talking pretty much the same thing with differences being in temperatures and amount of liquid being used along with our intention for using cooked grains in the first place.  I have read enough bread books now to know that different authors use different words to describe things that essentially the same...No standardized language which would be quite an undertaking to try to co-ordinate and I kinda like all of the cultural differences.  Lots of history there and would hate to wipe it out just so we are all on the same page....Kinda like painting everything beige....(This is coming from a 'home' baker - not someone baking in a shop where details are more important.)

Thanks for the thoughts and the clarifications.  Good discussion :-)

Take Care,

Janet

grind's picture
grind

sounds a bit like a gruel, also.

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Hi Juergen,

Thanks for the response.  What you describe is how I cook grains when I do a whole grain bread that is wonderful.  The texture is a delight to work with.  I wouldn't describe it as a mash though based on what I have read about mashes and temperature but this is where we get into vocabulary differences I think as MO pointed out above and what I discovered too when I did a bit of searching based on your first reply that got me thinking about mashes today.  Seems like they can be called a mash, a scald, a water roux or tanzong....the list can go on I am sure...  

I read about mashes in Peter Reinhart's book Whole Grain Breads wherein a mash is described thusly:  Grains and a bit of diastatic malt are added to water that has been heated to 165°F/74°C and then held at about 150°F/66°C for 3 hours before being allowed to cool and then being added to your final dough.  The temp. he uses 'denatures the beta-amylase but allows the alph-amylase to function creating a perfect environment for yeast to thrive.'

In Dan Leopard's book The Handmade Loaf  (pg 31) he has a 100% rye loaf that uses grains in the way you are experimenting with and he also goes into a bit about how, just by varying the temp. of the water, you end up with at totally different outcome.  The starches gel in different ways.  (The temps he refers to are 176°F/80°C  or 196°F/90°C and states that the 'cooked grains/flour add elasticity not only to the crust but to the crumb as well'.  Said he learned this method from Jan Hedh.)

I have only experimented using the method you have descried with boiling water and the method PR outlined.  I have also tried the tanzong method that uses a high percentage of water compared to flour but I really can't see a whole lot of difference.  Mind you, I can't taste anything I bake so I am going on appearance and 'behavioral' observations only.  So far my favorite is the one you are experimenting with because I don't have to watch the water temps so closely.  Just boil and stir in the grains and cook while I am doing other things nearby.  People love the end result but I am going to give  the mash technique a try next week and see if I can detect any other differences since it has been awhile since I have done a mash loaf and I have a bit more experience beneath my belt so maybe I will discover something new.

By the way, both authors did state that gelatinizing or mashing grains/flours can be done a number of ways -varying temps and hydration levels and times so I guess whatever name being used has a wide description base :-).  Lots of room to 'play' in.

Thanks for stirring up my thinking on this subject.  I am interested in hearing about the loaf you end up with when you are ready to comment on it.  I am curious how it compares with the other rye loaves you do.  I know you bake with rye a lot and so know the subject matter well :-)

Take Care,

Janet

P.S.  Sorry John for getting off track here and using your post to ask my questions........ but it kinda ties in......I hope *-}

 

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Janet, 

It is quite incredible how many ideas and techniques are appearing in this thread now...

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

John,

I bake 100% rye (Vollkornbrot) in a covered loaf pan.  I put the loaf pans in one of two matching hotel pans with the  other one of the hotel pans acting as the lid.  The bread goes into a 500°F oven and is immediately reduced to 315°F and baked for a total time of 3 hours and 15 minutes.  When the loaves the oven, they are covered with linen and cooled in their loaf pan for about 15 minutes. They are then removed from the pans,  wrapped with linen,  and left to cool for at least 12 hours.  At this point they are either consumed or if they are to be held for a long time, I wrap them tightly in plastic or in a zip lock bag and put them in the refrigerator.  I do not and would not put any other bread in the refrigerator but experimentation has shown that it actually works with this bread without any notable degradation.

This method came about after much experimenting with various techniques as I experienced the problem that you are having.

I hope that this helps,

Jeff

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Jeffrey, doesn't it dry in the refrigerator? Generally my wholemeal rye breads don't need refrigerating because they don't mold even in 2 months time, but the few -sad- times that I ventured to make 100% light rye breads  mold appeared after just 4-5 days. Evidently this light rye flour doesn't acidify sufficiently. In the fridge those breads don't degrade as much as wheat breads, but they aren't even very palatable.

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

If the bread is wrapped securely it does not dry out in the refrigerator.  Also I should note again that I do this only with 100% whole grain rye bread and would not put any other bread in the refrigerator at any time for any reason.

Jeff

PiPs's picture
PiPs

I have read on quite a few occasions about the merit of refrigerating 100% rye breads. I would never store other breads in a fridge, but in this case I believe it actually does them good. They become easier to slice and if wrapped tightly in cling film the crust softens also... win, win!

Cheers,
Phil

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

it tends to sweat and get a wet crust from condensed water inside the bag encouraging mold.  In the refrigerator it holds out the best so I have to agree with you Phil.   I do tend to wait until about the 3rd day to put it there.  Seems to be more of a problem in summer or if the bread sits in a draft.

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Thanks for all the comments guys.  Glad I could help at least spark some good topics of conversation on here AND get the answers I was after.

Happy baking all.

John