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An Attempt (1st) at Eric's Rye

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davidg618's picture
davidg618

An Attempt (1st) at Eric's Rye

A couple of days ago I made an attempt at Eric's Rye using this formula

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/5076/eric039s-fav-rye#comment-25620

substituting Bread Flour in the Final Dough since I had no access to First Clear Flour

Specifically: 

I built a Rye starter with three progressive builds over 24 hours, 2:1:1 with the following results

Build 1: 20g seed starter, 10g Whole Rye, 10g Water; the seed starter all white Bread flour, 100% Hydration

Build 2: 40g (build 1), 20g Whole Rye, 20g Water

Build 3: 80g (build 2), 40g White Rye, 40g Water

From this I used 100g of the Rye Starter + 275g White Rye + 275g Water for the sponge. I put the sponge in the proofing box (82°F) for three hours, then placed it in the wine coller (54°F) over night for 12 hours.

The next day I mixed the final dough in accordance with Eric's instructions, using Bread flour instead of First Clear flour as mentioned earlier.

I bulk fermented the dough for three hours at 82°F. It double in volume.

I shaped 1 Boule, and one Batard. The boule was 100g lighter than the batard.

I baked them at 400°F for 35 mins. Internal temperature was 198°F when I removed them. I didn't use steam, but I sprayed the loaves with water every minute, for the first 10 mins. I glazed them with the cornstarch glaze prescribed. I gave them two coats of the glaze.

Here is a photo of the crust and crumb

This dough behaved unlike any rye dough I've ever baked before, although I'm not an accomplished rye bread baker. In fact, I started with Eric's Deli rye because I'm on a quest to improve my rye dough handling/baking skills.

Specifically:

This bread doesn't have a rye flavor! I put ten percent Whole Rye in my "go-to" sourdough bread. This bread has 2% Whole Rye and 27% White Rye, yet it has no more Rye flavor.

The crumb appears fully developed. The crumb appears more open than other examples of Eric's rye pictured on TFL, but didn't surprise me: the dough is 73% Hydrated, and contains 71% bread flour. The crust is lighter than I expected even though it baked at a temperture higher than Eric's specified 370°F but at the mid-point (35 mins of his 30 to 40 min. estimate.)

The glaze was absorbed by the crust--both coats. This really surprised me because I've used cornstarch glaze before (Secret's of a Jewish Baker deli Rye) with high gloss results.

I attribute the lack of flavor to the high percentage of white rye, and the low percentage of Whole Rye, but maybe its also dulled by the high hydration.  Another alternative is I need a more agressive, mature starter--like Varda' description of J. Hamelman's rye starter she experience in her recent rye class.

The light crust color I attribute to not being steamed continuously in the early time baking.

I've no idea why the glaze didn't behave as I expected.

And, I'm very uncertain my analyses are correct. Please, offer opinions what went wrong, and suggestions what to do next: changes to make, or alternative deli Rye formulae to try. My goal is to bake a deli Rye loaf, consistently, to match the rye breads I ate in NYC when I was a kid eating in the Silver Dollar on Broadway with my Dad (I think it was there) before grabbing the subway to Yankee stadium.

David G

Comments

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

so I don't know how it would taste with white rye.  Nor have I ever used first clear flour.  The whole rye flour gives it a lovely rye flavor.  

It may be that switching to whole rye, and possibly first clear flour, would move the bread closer to your flavor memory.  Having an active rye sour also helps boost the flavor.

It is just possible that the breads you remember had a higher rye percentage than Eric's bread.

Paul

davidg618's picture
davidg618

I'm going to try Andy's formula since it's very close to Erics.  But first I'm going to build a mature Rye Sour entirely with whole grain rye. The problem is, I don't know what a mature, active Rye Sour is.

I've read in Bread, I can inoculate rye flour with my white flour sourdough starter, and develop a Rye Flour levain (is this an active, mature Rye Sour?) I can't find the phrase "Rye Sour" anywhere in Bread. However, that's what I did in making the bread above. However, I'm a bit confused by what I've read in Secrets of a Jewish Baker, and Inside the Jewish Bakery each of them  prescribes building a Rye Sour from scratch, and Greenstein uses commercial yeast to do so . All three of them also use some amount of instant yeast in there final doughs containing 30% to 40% Rye flour;  so too does Eric's Rye.(which I used, reluctantly) Why? Andy's nearly identical formula used only a natural levain, and seems beautifully oven sprung. (which has become my final measure of the natural yeast's development in sourdoughs.)

Is the addition of instant yeast simply a Belt & Suspenders approach, or is there some peculurarity in rye breads that warrants its use? I ask because I've encountered many white flour sourdough formulae that prescribe using yeast as well as natural levain. I slavishly followed those prescriptions early on, but I abandoned the practice long ago.

Thanks for your advice, Paul

David G

 

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Let's start with what to look for in a mature rye sour (levain, if you prefer).  It should be noticeably inflated from its just-fed state; perhaps not doubled but definitely larger.  If it is in a clear container, you should be able to see that the structure is riddled with numerous bubbles.  If you can't see through the container, scrape off part of the top layer; you should be able to see the same matrix of bubbles in the paste.  Most will be fairly small, similar to what you see in a carbonated beverage.  There may be some that are upwards of BB or pea size.  The odor will vary from one sour to the next (and from one observer to the next) but could typically be described as sour, yeasty, vinegary, fruity, beery.  In other words, the kinds of odors you would associate with a healthy yeast fermentation, plus those contributed by the LABs.

Greenstein's book and ITJB feature formulae from commercial bakers; people whose financial well-being requires a degree of predictability in when the bread will be ready for the oven.  Consequently, they use commercial yeast.  It is not required for leavening purposes, since the sour can accomplish that on its own.  The wild yeasts in the sour will simply accomplish their work much more slowly than their commercially-farmed cousins.  I don't know why Eric chose to include it in his formula.  Perhaps he also wanted a more predictable, shorter fermentation time; perhaps it was a carry-over from a formula he adapted.

Andy keeps his sour at a higher hydration level than I choose to (mine is more like a soft mortar consistency) but both work well, as do many others at points in between.  Don't fret about an "ideal" hydration; just keep track of it so you can factor it into your final dough hydration.  The primary thing is that it isn't so dry as to be too stiff to permit expansion.  As you propose, I use a bit of my mostly-white starter to inoculate the water/rye flour paste.  After two or three elaborations with only rye flour, the rye content approaches 100%.

I hope this is useful.

Paul

davidg618's picture
davidg618

You've corroborated my suspicions. I thought I was passed the Tower of Babel bakers, folklore, and geography has created re sourdough. However, it would appear the same is true surrounding the mystique of Rye breads. Hereafter I will use Rye Sour to mean the rye levain destined to form dough. Furthermore, I'll continue to treat rye sour building, the same as other naturally leavened  specialty flours I use (WW, Durham), i.e., I'll keep my seed starter bread flour based (refrigerator stored) and build Rye Sours, and specialty flours levains as needed. This will be the simplest approach for me. I won't be baking enough Rye bread to justify feeding a Rye Sour weekly.

Thanks also for the sensory description of a Rye Sour. This is important to me too, in that my levains generally have very little odor. What I've come to expect in mature levains is a faint, clean odor with hints of the predominant flour, and a distinct acidic "bite" when I place a small drop on my tongue. Varda's sensory discription of J. Hamelman's Rye Sour is far different than anything I'm experiencing.  Perhaps the way I handle my seed starter--ala Debra Wink--replacing it every week to ten days entirely with freshly built levain. contributes to it's minimal odor. Nonetheless, managing the seed starter this way, I've been delighted both with the leavaning strength and  bake-to-bake consistency it delivers. It also appears to have a healthy bacteria population as well. I'm able to manipulate sourness, mostly with time and/or temperature.

Thanks,

David G

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

for large quantities of rye sour maintained at room temperatures.  I had to build up a large quantity (nearly 40 pounds) for a recent class, which I did over about 3 days.  When I opened the container the morning of class, I got a faceful of rye perfume and it was considerably stronger than what I usually perceive from a much smaller amount destined for just a couple of loaves.

Leader mentions a German bakery having an intense rye sour; I think he used the term "eye-watering".  I've seen similar accounts from other bakers.  Most likely it has to do with temperature and which organisms are favored thereby.

Have fun!

Paul

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi David,

I don't think White Rye has much flavour.   It's even lower extraction rate than white wheat flour.   So it functions better than higher extraction rye in the dough performance, but it contributes very little in flavour, just as you suspect.

The version of Eric's Fav Rye I made contained fried onions and caraway, and I made it with my rye sour which is wholegrain...now that packs plenty of flavour and the rye is obvious.   See here: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/31094/my-version-eric%E2%80%99s-favourite-rye   Franko did something similar which he posted on his blog, and others besides, to honour Eric; see: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/31106/erics-favourite-ryea-classic-deli-rye

White Rye is virtually unobtainable in the UK; maybe that is because it is not viable as an ingredient....you have to throw 50% away [or feed to animals (???!)], or use it to create Dark Rye, which I believe Hamelman rejects as useless for breadmaking?   Cracker Dust perhaps?

Still, it looks like a great loaf of bread to me, even if it's not what you intended to make.

All good wishes

Andy

davidg618's picture
davidg618

Please read the post I sent to Paul (above).

Thank you for your input.

David G

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi David,

Yes, you could use your wheat starter to make your rye sourdough.

A couple of notes to help you along.   Firstly, my rye sour is a batter at 167% hydration.   It works for me, although I am aware that others, Hamelman and Mini Oven included use a much stiffer version.   You can do this, so long as you re-adjust the water level in the final dough so the overall hydration remains the same.

I used 2 elaborations in the formula for Eric's Rye.   Looking at the time of the final elaboration, you can reckon that I then left it for around 18 hours before use.   I tend to use rye culture as sour, where my wheat levain is distinctly not at all sour.   To that end, my rye sour is maintained between 28 and 30*C as it ferments.   Rye likes warmth.

Best wishes

Andy

davidg618's picture
davidg618

Next rye bake, later this week. (At the moment I'm in my last elaboration building levain for sourdough mixing this afternoon, overnight retard, and bake tomorrow morning.)  I'm going to make your take on Eric's rye, prefermenting 30% all Whole Rye flour in the Rye Sour build. I'm planning on using my usual 3-build approach, with the third build going 12 hours. (I'll build at 100% hydration.) Of necessity, the remaining 70% flour will be bread flour; I can only get First Clear flour via the internet--($$$).

I'll also use my proofing box, for bulk fermentation and proofing at 28°C.  I think for this bake I'll build the Rye Sour at room-temperature. (22° to 24°C). My wife does not like overly sour bread--I generally tune my sourdough levains to favor yeast development. Also, I'm not going to use onion nor caraway seeds in this bake. I want to learn to manage the base Rye flavor first; additional flavors--we both like onion (fried or dried) and caraway--will come later.

You're a great mentor, Andy

David G

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

I had the same problem when I made my first loaf.   It needs to go on a very hot loaf and some even prefer an egg wash or just rubbed with some butter.  You can google the recipe for cornstarch glaze for bread and rolls.

Sylvia

davidg618's picture
davidg618

I used Eric's recipe (1T cornstarch, I cup boiling water) and applied it moments after the loaves emerged from a 400°F oven. I've use "thicker" Cornstarch Glazes previously, (2T cornstarch, 1 cup boiling water) with good success (shiny crust). I'm going to use the thicker glaze next time.

Thanks for your advice.

David G

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

Hi David,

I agree with what Paul and Andy write above; there will not be much flavour added to the finished bread by white rye flour, and Paul's description of a ripe rye sourdough is spot on. From my experience, it's important to maintain a rye sourdough at a hydration that will allow it to expand easily as it ripens. I keep mine at 100% hydration (that keeps the maths simple!) and feed it with whole rye flour. There are no large chunks of bran in the flour, so the flour is finely milled. At this hydration, it's a breeze to feed and mix the sourdough as well, as it's basically a sticky paste that you mix together in a small bowl with a spoon. Paul's carbonated beverage description is a good one, and also what I look for in the ripened sourdough. You should be able to jump start a rye sourdough by feeding your white sourdough some rye flour over a few days. This seems to work for a lot of people, while others report slow activity in the new hybrid sourdough. An alternative route is to start a new rye sourdough from scratch; with patience, care and good quality whole rye flour this shouldn't take more than 5 - 6 days (feeding once every 24 hours the first 3-4 days, then once every 12 hours the last day or two). I believe the volume expansion will depend significantly on the hydration being used, but for a 100% hydrated sourdough, I would be looking for at least a doubling in volume.

If you'd like to see alternative formulae for a "deli style" rye bread, I would suggest either the "New York rye" from Suas' Advanced Bread & Pastry (link to formula via Google books) or Hamelman's 40% rye in Bread (omitting the caraway if you don't care for this flavour component in your rye). The "New York rye" uses commercial yeast, while Hamelman uses this in combination with a rye sourdough. If you're not in a production environment, churning out hundreds of these every day, I would recommend adjusting the formulae to using rye sourdough for leavening (and flavour!!). As a starting point, I would try to put some 15%-20% of the overall flour weight in a rye sourdough. Once the sourdough is ripe, mix and bulk ferment roughly 60 - 90 minutes. Pre-shape, shape and proof some 90 - 120 minutes.

davidg618's picture
davidg618

What you've written further strengthens my confidence I've not done anything "wrong", and my planned approach is good. For now I'm going to rely on my white flour seed starter and build Rye Sour for each Rye bread bake. As I remarked to Paul, above, I don't think I'll be baking enough Rye bread to justify keeping a seperate Rye starter, nor starting one from scratch. My white flour seed starter works every time, and in 24 hour builds formulae ready levains. That's good enough, and simple enough for me.

I hadn't thought to look at Saus' book. I have it on my shelf, and I use it frequently for referencing techniques and ingredients, but I've not done many of the formulae--croissants and baguettes excepted. (I think the book intimadates me a little, or maybe I just don't like wrestling its size and weight.). Thanks for the tip.

Best to you,

David G

davidg618's picture
davidg618

I feel, with all your collective help,  I'm on a good learning slope for a deli rye.

Now: goal 2. I want to also add to my bread baking repertoire a "cocktail rye". I'd like something with a dark, dense crumb and crust, and flavor to stand-up to gravlox, cured salumi and strong cheeses. I plan on baking 3" x 12" loaves in a Chicago Metallic 3-bay lasagna pan. I've never baked bread with coriander, or cardomon in it but wonder if there might not be rye formulae out there using these spices (or others). I've baked Hamelman's Volkenbrot; it's a candidate, but I'm looking for others with "in your face" flavors to consider.

David G

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi David,http:

You could look at this:  http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/29875/baking-powburn-show-2012-my-account-codrutas-visit

See recipes 10, 11 and maybe 12.   First 2 are Russian, last one German, so I'm not familiar with the concept of a "cocktail rye", but am pretty sure all these breads are the sort of thing you have in mind.   You can get Crystal Rye Malt from a good home brew supplier to use in place of the authentic Russian Red Rye which is not easy to find.

Thank you for your kind words asbove

All good wishes

Andy