Dark Russian Jewish Deli Rye with Porter, Onion, Sprouts and Aromatic Seeds.
My apprentice, Lucy, has been on a quest to make some rye breads that really pack the flavor of what she thinks a rye should taste like. Her last bake really came out well with a 40% rye and I thought for sure she wouldn’t try to improve on it any time soon but, she fooled me again.
Her reasoning this time was that how can she call a bread, rye bread, when only 30% to 40% of the flour is rye? To her, this is a white bread with twice as much wheat flour in it as rye that it should be called 60 to 70% wheat bread instead. So she wanted to rectify this by having at least 50% whole rye flour in the mix.
She also wanted to get the whole grains over 60% while keeping some coarse grounds corn in the mix. The hydration ended up at 85%. Lucy recently found out that part of my wife’s family came from Odessa, Russia and they love dark rye breads there. So she used a dark Russian Baltika Porter for the majority of the liquid.
To get the bread leaning more to the dark side she used some barley malt syrup, molasses, instant coffee and cocoa to bring out the color. She put in some Toadies, oats, potato flakes and 6 grain cereal to help round out and deepen the flavor. We loved the Eric Hanner dried minced onion inclusion in the last bake so much that we took his tip to use the soaker water from them this time too.
Lucy put the usual red and white malts and little VWG to boost the white unbleached AP and bread flour’s gluten content since these are bin flours from Winco and not much over 10% protein. The aromatic seeds are the usual caraway, fennel, anise and fennel with the emphasis on caraway. This time she used 100 dry grams of wheat berries that she soaked for 3 hours before sprouting them for an additional 25 hours until they chitted.
Rather tan baking this as a free form loaf in the MagnaWare Turkey Roaster, she decided to proof and bake this in the small enameled, cast iron DO and bake it to 200 F. We used our usual levain build for the rye sour but this time only used 10 g of seed. It was built over 3 stages of 4 hours each but it was refrigerated after the 3rd feeding overnight to develop the sour.
When the levain came out of the fridge the next morning for its 3rd 4 hour build we started the autolyse with all the dry except the salt, sprouts and seeds along with the dough porter and onion water liquid. After 4 hours the salt went in with the levain and we did 10 minutes of slap and folds and 3 sets of S&F on 15 minute intervals.
The seeds, sprouts and re-hydrated onions went in on the first S&F and were evenly distributed by the 3rd set. After resting for 1 hour we shaped the dough and placed it in an oil sprayed DO and put it in the fridge for a 15 hour cold retard.
By the next morning it had doubled and we allowed it to warm up on the counter for an hour. We fired up Big Old Betsy to 450 F and after she came to temperature we allowed the top and bottom stone to come up to the same temp 15 minutes later. We T-Rex slashed the dough and placed it, lid on, in the oven for 17 minutes of steam. We then took off the lid and turned down the oven to 425 F, convection this time and continued to bake for 8 minutes. At this point we took the bread out of the DO and it tested 129 F on the inside.
We continued to bake the bread on the oven rack between the stones for an additional 20 minutes until it read 200 F. At that point we turned off the oven but left the bread in it until it reached 202 F 5 minutes later. Total baking time was 50 minutes. We removed the bread to the cooling rack ad glazed it with a corn starch glaze to make it shine.
It didn’t spring much but didn’t fall either and was at or near 100% proof. The bread baked up dark brown and very crusty as was expected. We hope the corn starch glaze and the 24 hour’s it will be wrapped in a cotton towel will soften the crust. If it tastes half as good as it smells, Lucy has another winner on her paws. Will have to wait to cut it and get a peek at the crumb so will get back to this post then.
We were not disappointed with the crumb. Open, moist, soft, tasty; plain, tosted or as a sandwich This delicious sammy was an Irish Swiss and home grown tomato grilled cheese. This bread is every bit as good as Lucy'e 40% Jewish Deli Rye adn this one is darker, mysterious, full of flavor and lovey to eat. I didnlt thin that Lucy woulf do another Rye so soon but I am glad she did. Now I Have to talk her into a Tzitzel so Varda di=oesnlt think we have forgotten the quest entirely:-)
Rye Sour Levain
Dark Whole Rye
Levain % of Total
6 Grain Ceral
Coarse Yellow Corn Grits
Baltika Porter 349, Onion Water 73
Baltika 349, Onion Water 73, Water 65
T. Dough Hydration
Whole Grain %
Hydration w/ Adds
Add - Ins
Red Rye Malt
White Rye Malt
Dried Minced Onion
Instant Coffee, Cocoa
Anise, Coriander, Fennel
Weight of re-hydrated dried onions was 42 g.
Total Flour Soaker
Weight for rye berries is the dry weight.