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100% rye bread

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RICHARD HAMILTON's picture

WHOLE GRAIN RYE BREAD

October 17, 2012 - 12:39pm -- RICHARD HAMILTON
Forums: 

Recently I came across a bread recipe in a magazine identified as HOMEMADE BREAD.

One of the recipes is Whole-grain rye bread

Calls for

4 cups whole grain rye flour

1/2 cup vital wheat gluten

2 packets active dry yeast

2 tsp salt

1 tbsp caraway seeds

1 1/2 cups of hot water, from tap, not boiling

1 tbsp olive oil

Combine the flour, wheat gluten, yeast, salt and carawy seeds in a bowl or a stand mixer.  Stir to combine.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hamelman's "Vollkornbrot" is a 100% rye bread with sunflower seeds. The flour Hamelman calls for is "rye meal," which I just happend to have in quantity due to my error in ordering "medium rye meal" when I had intended to order "medium rye flour" from nybakers.com. Well, as Kubler-Ross wrote, "There are no mistakes, no coincidences. All events are blessings given to us to learn from."

As it happens, I have intended to work on baking 100% rye breads for some time, my  past attempts having been less than wonderful. Clearly, my unconscious mind highjacked my nybakers.com order. So, after blessing my unconscious ... or something like that ... I proceded to takle this project.

Hamelman's formula for Vollkornbrot calls for 68.4% rye meal and 31.6% rye chops. I had abundant rye meal (see above), and I had a pound of cracked rye from Central Milling, which I used in lieu of rye chops.  60% of the rye meal is pre-fermented. The cracked rye is included in the form of a 100% hydration soaker. The overall hydration of the dough is 82.1%.

Other than substituting cracked rye for rye chops, I followed Hamelman's formula and procedures to the letter. The dough was drier than I expected, but still very sticky. It had no difficulty holding together. I shaped it on a wet board with wet hands and, after shaping a log, placed it in a pullman pan and smoothed it out with a spatula. The top was dusted with more rye meal, as instructed by Hamelman. I baked it with steam for 15 minutes at 470 dF then for another 60 minutes at 380 dF. I then dumped the loaf out of the pan and baked another 15 minutes with the loaf sitting on a baking stone. This was to firm up the crust, although it was very firm already when taken out of the pan.

After baking and cooling on a rack for several hours, I wrapped the loaf in baker's linen and let it rest for about 30 hours before slicing. The crust was very firm and chewy. The crumb was very dense, as you can see, moist but not gummy. The aroma and flavor were earthy and slightly sweet. I had some for breakfast with cream cheese and smoked salmon and enjoyed it. I think this bread would make great Danish-style open face sandwiches.

I have never had this type of bread before, except once long ago from an imported package. So, I really don't have a good model with which to compare my bread. From what I've read and pictures I've seen, I think I hit the target. I wish I knew how close to the bullseye I got. This bake was certainly superior to my few previous attempts at a 100% rye bread.

I'm hoping TFL members with more experience than I have of this type of bread will offer constructive criticism and suggestions.

David

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Hi,

A little while ago Varda posted about her experiences with the Russian Rye from Andrew Whitley's Bread Matters, and there was a longish discussion of the formula.

I posted some photos of the process of making Russian Rye

Andy suggested to use the formula he remembers from his time with Andrew Whitley at the Village Bakery, and I had a closer look at a couple of German standard formulas.

At the end I baked 4 variations -

Russian Rye, Bread Matters version (100% Hydration, preferment 200% hydration, 31% flour from preferment)

Russian Rye, Andy's version (85% Hydration, preferment 167% hydration, 35% flour from preferment)

Single Step Detmolder (78% Hydration, preferment 80% hydration, 35% flour from preferment)

Berliner Kurz-Sauer (79% Hydration, preferment 100% hydration (fermented at 35C for 3.5 hours) , 50% flour from preferment)

Here a comparison of the crumb (pictures of the loaves can be found in the blogs referenced avove):

Formulas:

1. Russian Rye, Bread Matters Version

Sourdough  
Rye31% 166g
Water62% 333g
Mature Starter10% 54g
   
Paste  
Rye69% 370g
Water42% 225g
Salt1.50% 8g
Sourdough93% 499g
Yield206% 1106g

The surdough fermented for 14 hours at 24C, the paste is mixed and shaped with wet hands and is put directly into a buttered tin. (2X500g tins in my case)

After 2 hours the loaves were risen by about 25% and bubbles started to show, they were ready for the oven.

The bake: 10 minutes at 240C with steam, then 10 minutes at 225C, then 20 more minutes at 200C.

This bread neads a long rest before cutting, at least 24 hours. In my experience the taste is fully there after 3 days.

The crumb is moist and airy, and the bread has a light tang that gets stronger in time.

2. Russian Rye, Andy's Village Bakery version

Sourdough  
Rye35%206g
Water58%341g
Mature Starter10%58g
   
Paste  
Rye65%382g
Water27%159g
Salt2.00%11.7g
Sourdough93%547g
Yield187%1100g

The process is pretty much the same as above.

The surdough fermented for 14 hours at 24C, the paste is mixed and shaped with wet hands and is put directly into a buttered tin. (2X500g tins in my case) This dough is much easier to handle than (1)

After 2 hours the loaves were risen by about 25% and bubbles started to show, they were ready for the oven.

The bake: 10 minutes at 240C with steam, then 10 minutes at 225C, then 20 more minutes at 200C.

This bread neads less rest before cutting than (1), but at least 24 hours.

The crumb is moist and still light, and the bread has a more rye-y taste than (1).

It is difficult to say which one I prefer, but the handling qualities make this one a better candidate for a production environment.

3. Single-Step Detmolder

This method uses a rye starter with typically 80% hydration which is kept at 24C to 28C for 12 hours. The mature starter can then be used in production for up to 6 hours, it doesn't starve quickly and is very robust.

I followed the formula from an earlier post of mine, using 100% rye.

Sourdough  
Rye35%213g
Water28%170g
Mature Starter6%36g
   
Paste  
Rye65%395g
Water50%304g
Salt2.00%12.1g
Yeast (fresh)1.00%6g
Sourdough63%383g
Yield181%1100g

After mixing the paste ferments for 40min (80min without yeast), is shaped with wet hands and put in tins, and rests for another hour.

Baking as above.

The crumb is quite dense as compared with the othe two breads, and there is a distinctive tang.

4. Berliner Kurz-Sauer

This one is a bit unusual: The sourdough matures at high temperature (35C) inb a very short (kurz) time: 3.5 hours.

At this stage the sourdough is almost frothy, very light and fragile, and tastes fruity mild-sour. The aim is to have a lot of LAB producing lactic acid. Therefore this one relyes a bit more on added yeast for the lift.

Sourdough  
Rye50%275g
Water50%275g
Mature Starter10%55g
   
Paste  
Rye50%275g
Water29%159g
Salt2.00%11g
Yeast (fresh)1.00%5g
Sourdough100%550g
Yield182%1100g

 After mixing the paste proofed for about 1 hour, is  then shaped with wet hands and put in tins.

At my ambient temperature (24C) the bread was ready for the oven after 2 hours of rest.

The crumb is clearly dryer than the other three breads, and after 24 hours the taste is quite bland.

But I like how this bread developed over time - I had the last bits yesterday - 7 days after the bake. The taste was still mild, with a well developed rye note.

Conclusion:

These four breads are a bit like four different characters. And it's hard for me to say which one I would prefer.

Each of them change their character considerably over time.

If I would need some bread tomorrow I'd go with Andy's Russian or the Detmolder, they have a lot of complexity early on.

The Detmolder was the most sour of the four, and developed even more sourness over time.

The Berliner Kurz-Sour might be a good way to introduce people to this kind of bread due to its mildness, and it also goes well with more delicate toppings.

And the "Bread Matters" Russian has this amazing open texture.

The choice is really up to you.

Juergen

 

 

 

ludwiks's picture
ludwiks

There is a lot of writings about rye bread. In my opinion real one comes from Finland where I often live and learned to bake it. Finns are particularly crazy about 100% rye bread: it contains coarse rye flour, salt and water, starter and sometimes some store bought yeast. In my experience the flour is most crucial: it should be coarse and whole grain. Scientific approach as often described by obsessive technicians (as opposed to bakers) is really unnecessary. The proper recipe comes with experience. Thus, the measures below are approximate. I developed a very good recipe in Finland, but when I came back to USA I had to redo it to adapt to local ingredients. In any case, the version described below passed the most stringent test: by my Finnish wife, who now must have this bread every day.  In fact, we do not buy bread at all nor bring it from Finland anymore (we used to bring a year's supply and freeze it). In following recipe I use exclusively coarse, whole grain rye flour: Hodgson Mill is excellent.

1. Make starter:

a. half cup of coarse rye flour and similar weight of water (I use room temperature boiled water to get rid of excess chlorine). Mix, put in a glass container and tightly cover (1 quart jar with screw top is fine). Keep in room temperature or better in a warm place.

b. feed it: add similar amount of flour and water, once a day or every two days. You will see that it sort of foams eventually and bubbles: it is OK. If it stays flat: start again.

c. After a week or so it is ready. If you do not use it, store in refrigerator, and feed it as above once every week. After feeding you may keep it for a while in warm place until it revives-foams again. If the jar gets too full, discard some. If you use some, re-start building it up, as above.

2. Make sponge.

Mix together about 1 cup, more of less of starter (remember to replenish your starter jar gradually), flour and water. I use about 2 cups flour and same amount by weight of water.  It will be a dense, shaggy, sticky mass. Put in bowl and tightly cover. Next morning it will become much looser, bubbly and acidic smelling. Keep it for 1-3 days in warm place (not hot), depending how intensely sour bread you like.

3. Make dough.

a. dump the sponge from the bowl (do not scrape it clean, so the residue will jump start next batch) into mixing bowl. Add another half to one cup of starter. Add flour - another cup will result in one large loaf (the total used will be 3 cups). Add water-no more than same amount as flour by weight, but add gradually, so the dough will be sticky and soft and manageable. Add some salt and about 2 teaspoons of dry yeast. I also add about one third (more or less) of gluten to get better body. Mix for about 10 min. on low in a mixer (or by hand). You may also try to omit yeast-the bread may be quite good but denser. Cover and wait about 10-20 min.

4. Final proofing.

dump the dough on well-floured counter and using a scraper fold it a couple of times on itself. Finally form a log not bigger than your baking pan. Put it in the pan (best sprayed with PAM and lined with baking parchment paper). You can also bake it free-form, round, but it will not raise up, but spread horizontally forming a rather low loaf. Cover with plastic sheet and keep 1-2 hours in a warm place (I use oven with oven light on).

5. Baking.

Preheat oven to 450 F and on lower shelf put a pan with hot water. Bake about 10-15 min, then lower temperature to 375 F and best cover the bread loosely with aluminum foil. Bake another 45-60 min. Take bread out of the pan (that's how parchment helps) and check if knocking on bottom produces a hollow sound. If it does not, return loaf (without pan) to oven for another 5-10 min. Cool completely on a rack (best overnight). You can eat it then or keep for a day or two in a plastic bag and start eating then.

6. Eating and storage.

The bread will mature over several days and the taste will change and improve. Slice it  thinly (about 1/4 inch) with a heavy, sharp knife, very carefully since it will be hard and the knife can slip and cut you (it happened to me). Note: this bread is not intended to have a crunchy, thick crust like a French baguette. Store in a closed plastic bag. Mine kept very well up to 2 weeks (by then we ate it all and a new batch was baked).Remember that this bread has a lot of fiber and it may influence your digestive system to the better.

Bon appetit.

 

 

 

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