The Fresh Loaf

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Dan Lepard's Black Pepper Rye

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JeremyCherfas's picture
JeremyCherfas

Dan Lepard's Black Pepper Rye

Dan Lepard had a great recipe in The Guardian magazine back on 19 September 2009. I don't recall anyone here posting about it, but when I tried it I encountered a problem. Nothing insurmountable, though, thanks to Dan's forum.


Anyway, I wrote about it in detail at my blog. I'm putting this here in case anyone else comes looking.


And here's the warning: be very careful not to overheat the initial mixture of rye and coffee.


Happy baking


Jeremy

Comments

danlepard's picture
danlepard

Hi Jeremy,


Lovely loaf, glad you liked it. One thing I didn't explain in the recipe, as I'm only given 225 words to play with, is why I add the coffee.


I remember being very hacked off with recipes from baking books from the 70s that used coffee in rye bread and thought, "how pathetic, don't they know how to make real rye bread". So many years and "real" rye loaves later I've come back to it and thought about coffee as a liquid, just like adding wine, cider or ale, that adds it's own dark smoky flavour to the dough without trying to mock more traditional artisan baking. I guess I used to get so maddeningly purist that I didn't wake up and smell...well, you know how block-headed we all can get.


It's very good toasted with peanut butter. Are they capers on the salmon?


Dan

JeremyCherfas's picture
JeremyCherfas

They are indeed. It's either that, or thinly sliced raw onion, for me. A teeny french cornichon is good too. Lemon juice in a pich. But, since I discovered this loaf, no extra black pepper.


Jeremy

foolishpoolish's picture
foolishpoolish

Hi Dan,


I've noticed several (well at least two - this one and another 100% rye) of your rye recipes involve boiling some percentage of the rye flour. Could you explain why this is done?


I understand it is a traditional technique used for making rye bread. However it's not clear what theory lies behind its use. In the past, I've made the assumption that boiled rye (gelatinized starch) allows more rapid/complete sacchirification of the rye starches to give a sweeter end product. This poses a problem in my mind -  since most of the 'structure' of rye bread hinges on long chain sugars (Pentosans in the case of rye?) rather than gluten which is minimal..would the process of boiling and hence easier starch hydrolysis also making the bread more susceptible to collapse during fermentation and/or baking? Is there some part of the puzzle I'm missing here, or is my basic assumption incorrect?


Your thoughts and knowledge on this subject would be much appreciated.


Thanks,


FP

JeremyCherfas's picture
JeremyCherfas

As noted above, do NOT boil the rye and coffee mixture. Or rather, if you do be aware that you will definitely have to add quite a bit more water to the recipe to get a nice soft dough.


Jeremy

danlepard's picture
danlepard

Hi FP,


In the recipes in The Handmade Loaf that used a gelatinized rye, I used it because it was taught to me - in Sweden, namely by Jan Hedh and Johan Sörberg - and I wanted to keep those particular recipes true to the local methods. I didn't think there was much starch in rye, so any saccharification of that starch (?) might only have a slight effect and mainly speed the initial fermentation. I know a scientist who specializes in rye prolamins so I'll ask.


I use it in other recipes because it appears to increase the moisture in crumb after baking, helpful here as this recipe contains a large amount of added yeast and the gelatinised mixture seems to inhibit the dry crumb these "quick" yeast breads often exhibit.


I'll think on it and add more if I can. Good question.


Dan

carltonb's picture
carltonb

My students made the bread a few weeks ago, it came out great, very spicy though, until I learned that they used crushed red pepper flakes instead of crushed black pepper.


 


Carlton Brooks CEPC CCE

foolishpoolish's picture
foolishpoolish

Thanks Dan. I hadn't thought about it from a moisture angle. Makes sense in a 'quick rise' scenario. 


If you find out any more, please do let us know.


Cheers,


FP

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

Hi FP,


The use of scalded flour has interested me as well. It's a common technique found in many older Norwegian/Scandinavian books on bread baking. Most of the books recommend scalding the flour for the extra moisture, that Dan also pointed out. It gives the crumb a different eating quality, and increases the keeping qualities. Another thing that could be useful when scalding rye flour, is that amylase enzymes are deactivated/denatured when they're exposed to elevated temperatures (such as pouring boiling water over the rye flour), so there's no need to use acid to prevent starch attack during baking.

foolishpoolish's picture
foolishpoolish

Thanks for that info Hans 


I've also wondered about the possible denaturing of amylase through scalding rye - but my understanding is that rye amylase is more temperature tolerant - although perhaps not at 100C...don't know.


Cheers,


FP


 

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

Hi FP,


There's a brilliant thread about temperatures and scalding at Dan's forum: Direct link. In the diagram in the first post, it seems that amylase activity is at its peak between 55 and 75dC. Hamelman writes in "Bread" that rye amylases are completely burned off at approx 80dC. But I'm not sure whether that's the main reason of scalding flour - I'm betting the moisture retention mentioned by Dan, and the possibility of creating more simple sugars (as brought up by Jeremy Pickett in that Lepard forum thread) are more at the heart of the matter.

foolishpoolish's picture
foolishpoolish

I realise I may have come across that thread before - thanks for reminding me, Hans.  Adding 100C water to room temperature rye flour would possibly not 'burn off' the rye amylase...at least not completely....actually if anything it might bring the rye up to a temperature where amylase is more active. Which brings me back to the issue of creating more simple sugars.


This confuses me because I was under the impression that the structure of rye bread depends heavily on the preservation of long chain sugars (pentosans)...if these are being hydrolysed to simple sugars then you have a very weak dough structure liable to collapse...at least that was my lay understanding of the nature of rye doughs.


FP


 


 

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

Hi FP,


You make a solid point, and it's foggy in my head, to say the least. But I think it's important to stress that usually only a small amount of the total flour is scalded. This small amount releases simple sugars into the dough which in turn promotes yeast activity. This could balance the "weakening" of the total dough by scalding part of the flour. I've read that scalding a small amount, say around 5 - 10% of the total flour, will actually improve bread volume (in a whole wheat loaf at least, not sure about rye and the pentosan issue), and make a loaf with superior keeping quality. Scalding more flour penalises bread volume. I can't for the life of me recall where I read it... I'll try think about it. You know, in a way it's similar to the effect of a small addition of rye flour to a white dough: Adding 5% rye flour has been found to increase bread volume(!). It sounds pretty counterintuitive, but with the small addition of rye, more water can be mixed into the dough. The small amount of rye is not enough to severely reduce gluten properties, so a taller loaf should be expected.


Edit: Oh, here it is, the scalding and volume bit. I'll have to re-read it.

foolishpoolish's picture
foolishpoolish

Thanks for the link Hans. Good article. 


As you say, it seems that a small amount is what is called for when using scalded flour. 


Cheers,


FP

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

No prob., glad you liked it. So... since gas trapping properties of rye doughs rely heavily on pentosans, increasing the portion of scalded flour beyond 5-6%, results in reduced bread volume. A denser, moister crumb, as you initially suggested, right?

foolishpoolish's picture
foolishpoolish

Yep I think that's the implication of my initial suggestion. I need to try this out at some point to get some practical perspective. I've been too distracted by other things to give rye breads my full attention. Definitely need to address this deficit sometime!


Cheers,


FP


 

ClaireC's picture
ClaireC

I'd be interested to know a little more about what coffee people used for this.


I tore the recipe out of the Guardian and made it a couple of weeks ago.  I used the coffee I had to hand, which was half a cafetiere of very strong after dinner coffee.  You could certainly taste the coffee flavour in the finished loaf - so much so, that my children complained and asked me not to make it again, which is very unusual, they normally gobble up any sort of bread I make.


It was a lovely, moist loaf, and I loved the pepper and fennel flavours, underneath the coffee, so I will make it again, but would either use half coffee/half water, or would reluctantly dig out the jar of instant from the back of the cupboard and use that.

JeremyCherfas's picture
JeremyCherfas

I used drip coffee, 3 heaped teasoons to drip the 325 ml. It was a little weaker than an average coffee -- which is 2 heaped teaspoons to about 200 ml -- for me.


Jeremy

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Dan,


This loaf looks very interesting to me. I am wondering if you are making a point of not establishing tension on the outer surface of the dough as you roll it up? Are you not interested in establishing the gluten cloak?


Coffee is one of those things that you hope tastes as good as it smells. I'm thinking the aroma and flavor of this bread could be varied quite widely, depending on what coffee was used and how fresh it is after brewing. Have you played with this aspect on this bread?


I found your blog site very helpful. Thank you for such a wonderful looking recipe. I plan to try it today.


Eric

danlepard's picture
danlepard

Hi Eric,


You might be referring to the picture in the Guardian? I don't do the baking in those photos, kind-of wish I did but it's not my decision and perhaps in its favour it shows a result that's achievable if not inspirational. This is how I make it:


black pepper cutblack pepper rye


 


The surface tension is quite tight here. I didn't have poppyseeds for this one so I used black onion seeds. I forgot do a 'cut' shot but the crumb is quite tight and uniform, nothing special.


Coffee type: instant!


Dan

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I took half the rye flour (75g) and added 100g water and inoculated it with a teaspoon of rye sourdough starter about the same hydration.  Now I'm planning on scalding the rest of the rye as in the recipe only 100g less water in the coffee. 

hours later:  I was worried the coffee might get too thick on me during the scalding and I was right.  Added the 100g water back into the coffee thickening on the stove.  So.. change in plans.  After cooling I added the yeast and wheat flour but decided it needed more moisture so I added about 85g or half of the aforementioned sourdough starter and 50g rye flour. 

The dough formed smoothly.  Wow, non sticky!  And that from rye!  Followed the directions and now...no poppy seeds.      Nutty dry autumn taste...  searching...

Mini

ehanner's picture
ehanner

HJ and FP,


I have reading your discussion about the scalding. It sounds like bringing it to a boil is definitely not a good idea. I made this loaf and posted it in another thread, not wanting to HJ this one.


Jeremy, thanks for posting this bread and a nice write up that took me to Dan's Blog site. This is a special bread and a unique combination of flavors. We really enjoyed it.


Eric

Glass-Weaver's picture
Glass-Weaver

I had a couple good things happen with this bread...mistakes I will repeat intentionally.


I misread the recipe and put the all the rye flour into the coffee, which made it too stiff to really "boil", so I stirred it continually and watched for the texture to change.  It went from a raw paste to a cooked "gelled" semi-transluscence, and I declared it finished and moved on to cooling the rye. 


The dough seemed dry as I was mixing (it didn't quite take all the wheat flour) but as it rested and was kneaded it became sticky, but worked up well with the lightly oiled surface.


This recipe makes a wonderful Party Rye (aka Cocktail Rye), when baked as two long, skinny loaves, and sliced thin.  The texture is perfect (a little bouncy, very tight crumb with a thin, crisp crust) and the flavor asserts itself harmoniously with bold cheeses and spreads. 


Another thing I'll try soon is to slice and "twice bake" these skinny loaves, for a zwieback type snack bread.


Thanks so much for sharing this recipe, it's one I'm going to have a lot of fun with.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

hj, fp and mini


I have been reading The Handmade Loaf the last few days and discovered something worth sharing. Dan mentions in another recipe that uses scalded rye to try adding the rye with the water temp at 100C and again at 80C. He says you will notice the difference. This got me thinking that it would be easier to control how well cooked the rye would be if you don't actually cook it in a pan but rather add the rye to a determined water temp. off the heat, then quickly cool it. I have made this bread 3 times now and the scalding part is a challenge to get right if you start with cold water and rye in a pan. The outcome is more assured using the hot water method.


I'm presuming the added available sugars are helping this mix rise so well compared to other rye's I have baked. Dan uses this technique (scalding) in many of his other rye breads in the book. It does seem to significantly change the crumb for the better.


Eric

JeremyCherfas's picture
JeremyCherfas

But which is recommended? Adding the rye to boiling water (100C) or to water at 80C?


Jeremy

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I think the idea is to try both and see the difference in the crumb. The recipe calls for 100c. The outcome changes depending how heavy the pan is and how quickly you get the scalded rye into a bowl to cool.


Eric

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I've stumbled onto two things....  I'm on my Austrian electric range now, had gas when I made this last, and found it easier to burn the bottom with electric.  I was surprised how quickly the mixture started to "blurp" and so a thin skin was left on the bottom of the pan despite my agitated agressive stirring.  (Next time stir constantly while heating.)  When the hot flour/spice/coffee mixture had lost it's cloudiness, I poured it over into a bowl but scraped the thin thick coating stuck on the pan bottom into the dough, it never did incorporate very well, so if it happens, just forget it ... easier than picking out the dark gooey lumps in the dough.   My dough seemed very dry, dryer than before so I ended up adding 50g extra water.  Probably the white flour, using type 700 wheat now with type 960 rye.


The second thing....   I couldn't find any mixture of "breadspices" and added a teaspoon of crushed coriander, 1/2 t. powdered caraway, and looked like crazy for anise or fennel.  I checked the booze cabinet for some such flavored liquor ....to no avail. I added a little 5 spice Chinese mixture (really 9 spices) and the bread has a very light gingerbread taste and aroma.   Second day the pepper taste becomes more dominant but it is still there.  We're making ham & cheese sandwiches.  My son thinks it is too much like gingerbread and has visions of non-sandwiches dancing in his head.


And maybe a third thing....  I forgot my proofing time and the loaf went into the oven 40 minutes later than the recipe.  I was in the clear with the shape because I had laid the loaf onto parchment in a  9.25 x 5.25  loaf pan with the ends tucked under.  I was worried the crumb would get too fluffy and soft.  Instead of egg, I brushed the top crust with 25% fat mayonaise and did diagonal scoring.  No seeds, not poppy or sesame.  (gotta restock!)  But the loaf was up to the pan's edge when it went into the oven and gained a little bit of a spring opening the scores nicely.  Id say it had a soft crumb and surprisingly no large bubbles.  No steam was used and the mayonaise gave it a soft shine.  I do like this bread a tad firmer and I'm sure with poppy seeds.   (btw mayo is not a good glue for seeds, too much oil)  


And here it is:



 


Mini

JeremyCherfas's picture
JeremyCherfas

I had another go at the black pepper rye yesterday myself, with some changes (blogged about here.) I didn't boil the rye in the coffee this time, just poured boiling coffee onto the rye. That worked well for me. And I used 100 gm of my white starter at 100% hydration instead of yeast. The only problem was that I might have baked too soon, not leaving enough time for the final proving. At least, that how I interpret the explosion along the side of the loaf you can see in the photo. But I absolutely had to bake it when I did, and this morning it tasted very good indeed.


Dan Lepard's Black Pepper Rye loaf


Dan Lepard's Black Pepper Rye crumb


Jeremy

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Dan, what do you think of the idea and how many fresh plump pods (grams) do you think it might take?


Mini