Difficulty kneading rye bread
I've been having the most difficult time kneading rye bread, even though the rye bread formula I'm using only is 39.5% rye. The dough is very soft (lacking structure). It did help when I did a combination of hand kneading and machine mixing. I didn't machine mix the entire way through knowing how easy it is for the Kitchen Aid mixer to overknead the rye and make it become a gloopy, slippery mess. However, even after this, it was very difficult to shape the bread. I try to shape it and when I lift the loaf into the pan, it just kinda sags and gives.
I'm pretty good, I think, at making whole grain wheat breads. To me, my whole wheat loaves basically have good taste, good shape, nice form, good structure. I'd even say it's comparable to some baked breads that you buy commercially. But, rye flour is a whole other animal and I could certainly use some tips in how to better work with rye flour!
Here's the Peter Reinhardt formula I used, with some caveats that I list:
• Whole wheat flour - 60.5%
• Whole rye flour (I used Hodgson's stoneground whole rye) - 39.5%
• Salt - 1.7%
• Instant yeast - 1.5% (this is in addition to using sour dough starter which is used earlier in the making of the bread but isn't listed separately in Reinhardt's formula)
• Vital wheat gluten - 1.3% (I added a LOT more vital wheat gluten than this in attempts to give the bread more structure, make it less saggy, and form more gluten)
• Milk/Yoghurt - 31.5%
• Water - 28%
• Molasses - 5%
• Honey - 2.5%
• Oil - 5%
Reinhardt's formula is basically to first make a Soaker (combination of whole wheat flour, salt, yoghurt, vital wheat gluten) and let that ferment at least for 24 hours.
Paralleling this is to make a Starter (combination of whole wheat mother starter, whole rye flour, and filtered water) which you let double in size (takes anywhere from 8 to 12+ hours) and then you are ready to make the bread.
For the Final Dough, you combine soaker and starter plus additional whole wheat flour, salt, instant yeast, molasses, honey, and oil.
My troubles come in making the final dough when I'm hand kneading. I add a LOT more additional whole wheat flour and vital gluten in hopes to create structure for this loaf. I find it easier to do a combo hand and machine mix. It's almost impossible for me to hand mix alone, although this indicates to me that my hand technique isn't good enough so I'd like to learn some tips on how to handle rye dough.
Thanks for your help!