The Fresh Loaf

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Hamelman's Light Rye

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holds99's picture
holds99

Hamelman's Light Rye

I really like Hamelman's light rye bread (from his book "Bread", page 197).  I bake it fairly frequently and use it mostly for sandwiches and toast. I prefer a little tighter crumb so I don't use his 6 fold French method (page 249) nor Bertinet's slap and fold method when making this bread.  I simply use my Kitchen Aid and give it a couple of stretch and folds during bulk fermentation.  Anyway, for my taste this is a great bread, as is his Vermont Sourdough with Whole Wheat (on page 154).  For those who haven't made this bread, it's a winner and fairly easy to make.


Note: I doubled the recipe and these boules are approximately 3 pounds each. 


Howard



In the oven


 



Cooling rack


 


Comments

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Great looking boules, Howard.  I'm thinking grilled corned beef with a tart dill pickle.


I've not baked any of the Hamelman ryes yet; checked the recipe and yes, it does look like something I could do after work - and not have to worry about baking at midnight.


Thanks for the suggestion.

holds99's picture
holds99

Thanks Lindy.


Howard

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

How do you set your oven, and for how long do you bake with 3 lb rye loaves?


David

holds99's picture
holds99

They were proofed in large, round, linen lined bannetons.  I followed Hamelman's baking instructions by starting out with the oven preheated to 460 deg. F.  Scored the loaves, put them in, gave them a blast of steam (1 cup of water in a cast iron skillet) and left them for 15 minutes.  At the end of 15 minutes I lowered the oven temp. to 440 deg. F and left them for another 15 minutes.  At the end of the second 15 minute interval (30 total minutes) I removed them from the baking pans and parchment and put the loaves directly onto the stone, switching sides on the loaves, and left them for about another 10 to 15 minutes for a total of about 45 minutes.  I had the exact times written down on a piece of scrap paper but I've misplaced it or it got thrown out.  But 45-50 minutes total is what I recall.


During the final 10 minutes they were getting a little brown on top and I was concerned about the bottoms scorching, so I lowered the oven temp. to 425 deg. F.  The bottoms did not scorch at all.  In fact they came out about the same color as the tops.


I checked them a couple of times during the final 10-15 minute baking phase and pulled them out when they reached an internal temp. of 210 deg. F.


Howard


 


 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I'm refreshing and building up my white rye sour to make breads tomorrow. I usually make 2 long loaves, but you've inspired me to try one larger boule. I've done this with the Czech and Polish rye's in "Local Breads," but never with my standard Jewish Sour Rye.


David

holds99's picture
holds99

David,


I'm serious when I say that I think you should start a blog site with an emphasis on rye breads.  There are so many rye breads and there seems to be a huge amount of interest in the subject and you certainly have "the touch" with all the breads you make, particularly ryes.


Anyway, a while back I froze about a pint of Greenstein's sour rye starter and need to get some of it out and get it cranking again.  I really like the sour rye.


Howard

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Howard.


Thanks for the compliment, but there is so much about rye breads I haven't explored and don't know.


I've not really done a 3-stage Detmolder rye "by the book." I really haven't made German ryes. I have never made a really dense, slow baked rye like a German pumpernickel. I haven't really explore French-style ryes. Or Scandinavian ryes, for that matter.


I would be happy to contribute what I know. Maybe Eric has broad enough experience to take the lead on this.


I don't want to get too far off topic, but there should be a rye bread section in the Handbook Floyd's got in the works. It's a large and complex subject.


David

mountaindog's picture
mountaindog

Howard, those are beautiful. I've never made any kind of rye bread before and look forward to the arrival of this book to give this recipe a try.


I'm curious as to what percentage of rye flour in the total flour does a bread become considered a "rye"? I haven't really studied rye recipes that much for some reason, but your light golden loaves look tasty.

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

In Germany, a rye bread (Roggenbrot) contains at least 90% rye flour. A mixed rye bread (Roggenmischbrot) contains between 51% and 89% rye flour. Less than that, and it's no longer considered a rye bread.


What's interesting, is that adding a small percentage of rye flour to a wheat bread, say about 5%, will often increase the volume and the openness of the crumb. This small percentage is not enough to reduce the gluten properties of the dough, but it will ensure that your dough is able to soak up more water (due to the thirsty pentosans in rye). So not only does rye add extraordinary flavour, it will also improve your crumb and bread profile.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, hansjoakim.


I often add 10% rye to my sourdough breads. It enhances the flavor. I had never heard of it increasing loaf volume or opening up the crumb. You say this is because rye absorbs more water, if I understand correctly.


Wouldn't this result in an effectively lower hydration dough? Or are you saying the rye absorbing water would prompt one to add more water to keep dough consistancy constant, thus resulting in a (mathematically) higher hydration dough?


Please elaborate.


David

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

If you add 10%, there's definitely an impact on the flavour of the bread, especially if you're using medium rye or upwards in terms of ash content. I think that Hamelman is right in saying that the typical white rye flours, with low ash content, doesn't add much to my doughs. That's also why I'm not a huge fan of the white ryes in Leader's "Local Breads"; I think I'm partial to the stronger flavour of the more ash and mineral rich rye flours. I use stoneground medium rye (I guess that would be the American equivalent of a typical German Type 1150 rye flour) or whole rye flours (with a 1.5% and 1.7% ash content, in the European way of measuring ash), and I think that adds a lot of flavour.


And you're right, David, as you add rye flour, you also need to add more water to have a dough with the same feel and consistency. That's why you can expect to open up the crumb and improve wheat bread qualities when you add a small amount of rye.


I've read about recent experiments where researchers have added rye pentosans to a dough, and noticed that not only does the dough soak up more water (the hydration level went from 57% hydration to 64% hydration when 1.5% rye water-soluble pentosans were added), the loaf volume also increases (volume went from 596 cm3 / 100 gr. flour without added pentosans to 644 cm3 / 100 gr. flour when 1.5% rye water-soluble pentosans were added). They also found that the crumb of the bread stayed fresher (i.e. less "hard") as time went on, when pentosans were added - a find that they used to argue that pentosans, with their water binding properties, produce bread that keeps better. I first read about this in a paper called "Effect of Added Pentosans Isolated from Wheat and Rye Grain on some Properties of Bread" in the European Food Research and Technology journal. I also think that some of the bread baking books we use mention this fact... Suas or Whitley maybe? I'll have a look when I get home.


These guys are doing this in the lab, where they extract rye pentosans and add them directly to the dough. I've no idea how much rye flour one should add to get the desired 1.5% pentosan level, but I recall reading that approx. 5-10% medium rye flour (based on the total flour weight) brings about all these good things in your loaves. The moral of the story: Add rye. Add water. Bake and enjoy your loaves :)


EDIT: Someone just mentioned the quote from Hamelman: "Water makes the baker rich". Indeed! Pentosans are actually able to soak up seven - seven - times their own weight of water. It reminds me of a Vollkorn rye I baked last weekend where the overall hydration was 105% :-)  A great loaf that kept me going the entire week.

mountaindog's picture
mountaindog

Hansjoakim, that IS interesting about the 10% rye. I've never used more than about 3% rye in a mixed flour miche. I'm going to try making another miche Pointe a Calliere today and I'm low on whole wheat flour, maybe I'll try adding 10% rye to my AP flour and see what that does. Also interesting about the different grades of rye bread in Germany, that seems a high threshold of % rye flour compared to what I see as rye breads in a lot of American bread books (e.g. Greenstein's Sour Rye recipe in Secrets of a Jewish Baker looks like it has about 30% rye flour including the starter, the rest is "common flour" or first clear.).

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

Re: Rye, MD


I'm not suggesting that 10% is the magic number, mountaindog! It might be more and it might be less, it all depends on the flour one is using. Even the pentosan content in different flours vary greatly, so it seems difficult to narrow it down to a magic number without doing the full check-up on the flour components you're combining. Wheat flour contains in typically 2% pentosans, whereas rye can have as much as 10% pentosans.


From what I can remember, I'm pretty sure that I've read suggestions that a rye addition at around the 5% mark of total flour weight, will give you improvements in the final product. From my own experience, I'd expect additions of 10-15% to start to alter the texture and overall consistency of the dough. I'd guess that around that point, again depending on flour characteristics, the gluten will start to suffer.


When it comes to grading breads and labelling, I guess a lot of it stems from the different bread cultures. One prime example is the different versions of the pumpernickel.

mountaindog's picture
mountaindog

I understand! Great info nonetheless and I will read up on it more. It is always helpful to hear of different bread culture's ideas as you say, so I appreciate the info on the definitions in Europe of various ryes. (My great-great-grandfather was a German baker, I wish I had a way of tapping into that knowledge now!)

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

Hi mountaindog and David,


It seems that the topic is briefly touched upon in "The Bread Builders", p. 34:



It is interesting that some of Europe's best bakers put a small percentage of rye flour in their sourdough country-style wheat breads. Although this is usually done for flavor, it is possible that the amylase in rye flour provides something of a fermentation boost to the wheat dough (by liberating more sugar), as long as the pH does not drop too low. This increases not only fermentation, but also crust browning if there is some increase in the sugar content of the dough as it is baked. European tests indicate that bread with a little rye in it has more volume and keeps better than a similar 100 percent wheat bread. This is in part because small amounts of added pentosans increase the effective strength of wheat flour, and may interfere with the process by which bread becomes stale.



That's it, no more numbers, unfortunately.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

That's very interesting. I haven't gone looking for a pentosan number but a little experimentation sounds like it might be in order. The ratio of pentosan level and need for additional % of water should be key I would think.


Eric

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, hansjoakim.


That is very interesting! The role of rye amylases you describe would certainly explain some of the flavor augmentation that rye gives to wheat breads. 


The different roles rye plays at different percentages is also thought-provoking.


David


 

holds99's picture
holds99

I'm no expert at this craft, far from it, and I learn something new everytime I bake.  I love this craft because, for me, it's a challenge that offers great rewards, in terms of self satisfaction...and the best part is I can share the results with family and friends. 


I think you'll thoroughly enjoy baking from Hamelman's "Bread" book.  It's one of my favorite baking books, which I bake from frequently.  The first 92 pages ("THE BREAD-MAKING PROCESS from MIXING through BAKING") alone is well worth the price of the book.  Once a baker understands that baking is a systematic process made up of the 11 steps (which Hamelman describes in detail in the the first 92 pages of "Bread") it comes together seamlessly...start to finish. 


As for what constitutes a "rye bread", I think the answer to that question depends on who you ask.  Personally, I think of rye bread as having a minimum of 10% rye flour, but that's only my thought.  WordNet Search's definition is below.


WordNet Search - 3.0 -  relations Noun • S: (n) rye bread (any of various breads made entirely or partly with rye flour)


Best of luck with your baking adventures and keep us posted,


Howard


EDIT: I believe WordNet Search is an on-line service provided by Princeton University.


 

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Howard Very Nice looking loaves!  I love a large loaf of bread like these....they are just great for sandwiches 'large or smaller', toast or just about anything!  It can be a bit more work getting them baked just right and the flavor had to be good...very nice!


Sylvia

holds99's picture
holds99

Appreciate your kind words.  If you decide to try this bread Charlene says to remind you to be careful about overproofing them.  She's the one who usually does the floured "finger poke" to see if the dough springs back or not.  If the dent in the dough returns very slowly then the yeast had reached, or is reaching, it's peak...score them and get them into the oven toute suite with a blast of steam.  This bread has very good flavor and is great toasted.


Howard

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

I will definately have this one on my to do list.... would you call it a 'miche'...since it's such a lovely big loaf?  I have to make another batch of cinnamon rolls toute de suite...I had funny little surprise reply/message just left on my Cinnamon Roles blog!  The little buggers...Im going over to their house tomorrow...it's my Daughter's Birthday!


Sylvia

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Very nice rye Howard. Rye is such an interesting grain, there are so many things one can do with it. I made Hamelmans Vermont SD with additional whole grains (rye) and we really liked it. Not to sour just a mild full flavor.


As much as I love the various rye breads I have baked, I don't think I would like to take the lead on a rye chapter as David suggested. I'm still a rookie with rye. I can follow the directions and usually bake a good loaf but I'm always surprised when I do the first time.


I think Hansjoakim would be a better lead. He seems to have his ducks in a row so to speak, when it comes to rye breads.


Eric

holds99's picture
holds99

Good hearing from you. Appreciate your kind words.  It would be good if someone who has in-depth knowledge took the lead on the Rye Chapter.  I'm just a general practicioner, so I don't quality.  I think Hansjoakim would be an excellent choice.


Howard

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I've been thinking some about this. It seems to me that there are some "universals" about rye. Hansjoakim's recent post about the action of pentosans and small amounts of rye in wheat breads is an example. What Hamelman has written about the differences between rye breads with low rye percentages versus high rye percentages is another.


But, when we get down to recipes, the differences between German, Czech, French and Scandinavian ryes are considerable. I don't know of anyone here, or, for that matter, any one cookbook author who has a truly comprehensive handle on this. 


Maybe we can use the Handbook Forum to create a topic to discuss this topic  and form a workgroup to develop an outline for those interested in collaborating on writing a rye section of the Handbook.


David

holds99's picture
holds99

would be a good way to get started. I don't have a great deal of experience with rye breads but I would be interested in participating at whatever level is appropriate. A Rye Section in the Handbook Forum might prove to be a good way of promoting more interest, discussions and experimentation with various types of rye breads.

Howard