The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough rye bread and molcajete

Felila's picture

Sourdough rye bread and molcajete

I posted about my first attempt to make sourdough rye bread following the recipe in Peter Reinhart's Artisan Bread Every Day. I thought the rye flavor was somewhat weak. Someone advised grinding up some dry rye bread and adding the crumbs to my next batch of rye dough. (In addition to everyone's advice to buy and use some caraway seeds and to increase the rye/wheat ratio.)

I saved the end of one rye loaf, let it dry, and then tried to figure out how to grind it. My spice grinder didn't work. I did not think my old blender could handle the dry, hard bread. I don't have a food processor. So ... I ended up grinding the bread in the granite mortar (molcajete) I recently purchased from Costco. Worked fine. 

This may have been the first time in history that someone used a molcajete to make rye bread. Or perhaps not :)




dabrownman's picture

a mano; a rounded cylindrical shaped stone held in two hands, is rubbed on a long flattish stone called; a metate, to grind all kinds of seeds, grains, chilies, corn and nuts.  The worlds first food processor.  An interesting, fun and historical way to make all kinds of great stuff like.... moles which uses most all of these ingredients.

They weren't grinding rye in Mexico but i'm sure the first rye breads were made in Europe long ago by grinding rye seeds, and later altus, on similar equipment there. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and add whatever amount of water to achieve your end hydration.  If your loaf is a 80% hydration, then to 100g dried bread add 80g water.  Let it soak up the water and then squish it through your fingers or mash it with a fork, often the beaters of a mixer will do the work kneading the bread dough.  No need to break any machines or join the stone age.  Little chunks of torn bread help the rye matrix.

If I save a slice or two of day-old bread and freeze it right away, I don't bother making any adjustments to the hydration.  Just toss into the liquids and let it thaw out (or nuke it) and crumble.