Much like the planets, my need to refresh my 100% rye starter aligned with the arrival of Inside the Jewish Bakery. I've tried to do a 'traditional' yeasted rye in the past using commercial flour, but the results weren't particularly great, and neither my wife nor I like whole caraway seeds. When I read the recipe for the Old School Jewish Deli Rye, and saw the ground-up caraway, a little light went on, and I knew that was going to be my first bake from the book.
My home-cultured rye starter is kept at 100% hydration (and I'm pretty sure can be used as superglue in an emergency). It had been 11 days since it had been fed, so I started out with 1.5 ounces I turned into 4.5 overnight, then turned that into the 21 oz needed for the preferment with another step up and overnight fermentation.
I followed the recipe with the these alterations:
- 0.5 teaspoon caramel coloring
- 1.5 oz of the final flour was blue cornmeal left over from last night (see Blue Corn Cornbread)
- The remaining flour was a 50/50 mix of hard red and hard white wheat. I sifted it to 85% extraction (#30 seive) then re-milled and re-sifted the bran, giving me a final extraction of 93% WW at a fine texture.
- I didn't add any yeast. Instead, it got a 4.5 hour bulk fermentation and a 2.25 hour final proof
- I made four miniloaves (plus a large roll)
The result is a crunchy exterior with a great caraway nose that enhances the subtle caraway taste. After chewing for a few seconds, the sour hits with the best flavor expression I've gotten out of this particular starter. This one is definitely going to go into my regular rotation.
Thanks for a great book guys!