The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Yes I did it.  I found rye flour in Seoul, South Korea, in the Bangsan Market between wall paper shops and packaging tucked into the alleyways kept cool in the winding shadows from the burning sun.  I found two different ryes, that with my third, and my unending curiosity can only lead to one thing.... a comparison.  I have already gathered that there might be some flavor differences evidenced by the interesting additives in North American recipes...


So I decided to use Daniel Leader's Soulful German Farmhouse Rye in Local Breads combining all the ingredients except for added yeast (don't want it) and final 70% rye flour.  That way the only difference in flavor will be the flours.  All three doughs will be handled alike. 


The Rye:




  • Bob's Red Mill Organic Dark Rye flour @ 4000 won a kilo




  • German, Demeter Organic Rye type 1150 flour @ 7900 won a kilo




  • Austrian, Haberfellner Rye type 960 which is quickly running out




 


I mixed up the recipe and divided the liquid into thirds, added 117g rye flour to each bowl moistening the flour and covering for one hour.  I had already started noticing differences...


Bob's is a slightly coarser flour, has more speckles, is darker (but not by much) and not as sticky as the other two


German 1150 has two mosts: lighter color, and stickiness


Austrian 950 has dough color between the two but in the picture they look all look alike.


All mixed well, all sticky (typical rye) so I use a wet silicone spatula to fold the doughs twice.   After 3 hours the loaves were gently shaped with wet hands patted with oatmeal flakes and set over cutout bread letters to mark the bottoms.  (4 o'clock is Bob's, 12 o'clock is German)  They were rising nicely (not a whole lot) when they went into the oven.  (tip, it is very hard to judge rising in a flat round bowl shape)




As you can see, I'm having a little trouble lining everything up here...(someone please send me a note on how to do this!)    The picture below of the top shows Bob's Red Mill at 10 o'clock, Austrian 950 at 2  o'clock, German 1150 at 6 o'clock.


  


The doughs seem to rise in relationship to fineness of the flour.  Bob's is the heavier and coarser so it rose slightly lower than than the other two.  1150 and 950 were pretty close in height but the 950 rose just a tad more.  The darker color of Bob's is even darker after baking.  Now to squeeze in another picture, the crumbs.  Austrian is on left, German right, Bob's is the darker of the three, first on the bottom then on the top.




All have a moist heavy crumb (We like it that way) but the differences are slight but mostly in color and texture of crumb in the mouth. 


1150 feels smoother in chewing, 950 is more stick to your teeth smooth, Bob's tend to be more stick in between the teeth which gives it a longer taste in your mouth. 


After two days the sour is growing but I still can't tell one from the other as far as taste goes.  The Austrians at the office yesterday could also not tell any flavour differences.  They just wanted more.  So I've been baking and playing.  I keep in mind that Bob's won't rise as high as the 950 (or peaks sooner having more whole grain).  I made a loaf yesterday with Bob's and gave it a longer steam in the oven, 10 min instead of the 6 minutes in the above bread.  It came out lovely rose higher and being consumed as I write.   It also went into a banneton, tall and narrow.  I also use more spices than the recipe but far from overpowering the rye.


So.  I Guess I blew the top off that urban legend if there ever was one.  They all taste pretty much the same.  Thanks for waiting patiently for the results.


Mini Oven


 

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

While it would be self-deception in the first degree to think that I have a lock on wheaten breads, I've been wanting to expand my repertoire to include breads with a high percentage of rye flour.  I enjoy the flavor and have been very impressed by the breads produced by other TFL posters.  So, I thought I'd try my hand with the Soulful German Farmhouse Rye from Daniel Leader's Local Breads.  This bread has been profiled in other posts on TFL, so feel free to search out those entries, too.


I maintain a single sourdough starter that is usually fed AP or bread flour.  Every now and then it gets goosed with a bit of whole rye or whole wheat, based on the needs of a particular recipe.  For this bread, I did two refreshments entirely with whole rye flour to build the rye sour it calls for.  About the only rye flour carried in supermarkets locally is Hodgson Mills whole rye, so it's not like there's a lot of choice in the matter.  Whole Foods and Wild Oats stores have some other possibilities, but the labeling doesn't always make it clear just what they are selling.


The formula calls for a quarter teaspoon each of coriander, fennel and cumin seeds, toasted and ground.  That turned out to be my first point of departure from the formula.  Recalling some earlier discussions on TFL, I substituted caraway for the cumin.  My first attempt at toasting the seeds in a skillet on the stovetop was, well, overdone.  As I was grinding the seeds, the predominant odor was that of something scorched, not something spicy.  After pitching those, I started over.  This time I dialed back the heat and shook the skillet every few seconds so that nothing had a chance to park on a hot spot and scorch.  I also kept a close eye on the fennel seeds.  They started out with a greenish cast, while the coriander and caraway already had a toasty color.  When the fennel seeds' color shifted from green to golden, I pulled the skillet off the flame and dumped the seeds into the mortar.  A few strokes with the pestle released a toasty/spicy fragrance that was much different and far better than the that of the first attempt.  


Despite Leader's recommendations, I opted for hand mixing and kneading the dough, primarily to understand how it looked and felt as it developed.  Now I know why the phrase "wet cement" figures prominently in writings about making rye breads.  Despite what you read in recipes, a high-percentage rye dough will not be silky; nor will it be elastic or responsive.  I'll probably use the mixer for future forays, but I know now what to look for.  The other departure from the formula was to use wet hands and a wet countertop for kneading.  Leader recommends floured hands, but I think that working wet has to be the better choice.  First, you can't work in too much additional flour.  Second, the same components in rye flour that make it so sticky also make it slippery when wet.  That means your hands don't get nearly as gummed up with dough as they would if you worked with floured surfaces.  Keeping a plastic bowl scraper in one hand while manipulating the dough with the other is also a good tactic.  


The dough came together rather easily.  Yes, it was sticky.  Yes, it was sludgy.  And no, it didn't seem the least bit soulful; at least, not compared to a dough made with wheat flour.  The second point at which I departed from the script was to add only half the amount of yeast.  A significant quantity of the rye flour is in the final dough, so I wanted it to have the opportunity to acidify before the yeast took over.  That stretched the fermentation times out beyond the times noted in the formula but I wasn't in any rush.


Leader recommends "dusting" the bannetons with rye flakes before depositing the boules for their final fermentation.  First, things the size of rye flakes can't be "dusted" onto anything, much less the sidewalls of a banneton.  Second, he recommends slashing the loaves with a tic-tac-toe pattern immediately before loading them in the oven.  Every try slashing a dough that is armored, sorry, "dusted" with rye flakes?  It ain't gonna happen, no matter what your slashing weapon of choice is.  (See picture, below.)  And that for a bread that, he says truthfully, isn't going to rise much in the oven.  I'll grant you that the rye flakes have a certain rustic appeal for the eye, but next time I'd rather use them as a soaker or leave them off entirely.


Here's how the finished breads look:


Soulful German Farmhouse Rye


These are compact breads, maybe 1.5 inches high and 7 or 8 inches across.  The rye flakes and the knife handle give you a sense of their scale.  The crumb, not surprisingly, is dense and rather tight.  The soulful part, which isn't appreciable here, is in the flavor.  The rye is front and center in this bread.  The spices, while discernible, are very much in a supporting role.  It's quite a bit different than Levy's NY jewish rye, which has 2 tablespoons of caraway seeds.  The crust is chewy, as is the crumb.  Then again, it's been in a plastic bag overnight.  Left out in the air, it would probably be rather hard-shelled.  It doesn't feel quite as moist as I had anticipated (probably a factor of the whole rye's absorbency) but it isn't crumbly, either.  I think it is probably a very good thing that I used water, rather than flour, to manage the stickiness while kneading the dough.  There's no noticeable gumminess in the crumb, so it appears that I waited long enough before cutting into it. 


All in all, an enjoyable bread and one that should go very well with the ham I purchased this weekend.

PMcCool's picture

Zwiebelkuchen

October 16, 2008 - 5:13am -- PMcCool

The Kansas City Star has an article in their food section that features a different at-home cook every week.  This week's featured cook, who grew up in Bavaria, shares her recipe for zwiebelkuchen, an onion tart.  She uses frozen bread dough as the base, more for convenience sake than anything else, but notes that her family made it with rye bread dough.  So, in celebration of Oktoberfest and in recognition of all of the rye bread posts recently, here is a link to the article with the recipe:

shakleford's picture
shakleford

This was something of an unusual weekend in bread-baking for me in that I made two recipes that were fairly experimental.  I just posted my experience with this week's sandwich bread, a 100% sprouted wheat bread.  My dinner bread this week was the German Sourdough Rye recipe from Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book.  I had not originally planned to make this, but got both whole wheat and rye sourdough starters going this past week and just couldn't resist trying one out.  I was leaning toward this recipe for my first attempt, and decided to give it a try after reading some positive reactions from other Fresh Loafers.

My preparation started Thursday night when I began striving to get my rye starter as active as possible (thanks to advice I got here earlier in the week).  I followed Laurel's directions for this starter, which means that it's around 200% hydration, but even so it was doubling between feedings.  I may stiffen it up in the future, but want to keep it like this for now to experiment (by way of comparison, my new whole wheat starter follows the 75% hydration instructions in Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads).

On Friday evening, I added a bit of rye flour and water to create a much stiffer mixture, what Laurel calls the "basic sour".  This sat overnight, then more rye flour and water were added on Saturday to turn it into the so-called "full sour".  No pictures of these, since they were pretty nondescript.  The basic sour did have a terrific aroma after fermenting overnight, however.

Around four hours after forming the full sour, it was time to add the final ingredients.  These included a good amount of yeast, so I haven't really proven whether my starter can leaven anything, but I decided not to deviate from the recipe on my first try.  Other than the yeast, flour, and water, the only ingredient was caraway seeds, making this a much leaner bread than most of Laurel's.

One piece of advice in the Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book that I've found quite useful is her technique on steaming bread.  The dough is placed into a casserole (a two-quart, round-bottom Pyrex dish in my case) to proof, then just before baking, several tablespoons of water are added to the casserole and the lid is placed on top.  It's a very convenient method of steaming, plus it gives your bread a neat shape.  I'm not yet experienced enough to tell whether it's as effective as other methods.  Below is a picture of the setup at the beginning of proofing.  I added a bit of cornmeal, partly to help prevent the loaf from sticking to the pan and partly because I think it complements the rye very nicely.

After adding the final ingredients, the only recommended rise was a 45-minute proof.  Because the bread was made of 2/3 rye flour and 1/3 whole wheat, I was not expecting much of a rise and did not check on the dough during this time.  Oops!  When I came back, I was greeted with the below site and popped it into the oven as quickly as possible.

I was a bit worried about overflowing my casserole after that proof, but fortunately the bread did not rise much further in the oven.  I rarely get spectacular oven spring from breads with a high percentage of rye, so I'm unsure how much of this was due to my overpoofing and how much was due to the nature of the recipe.  In any case, here are photos of the resulting crust and crumb.

The cornmeal gave a nice color to the sides of the crust, but was invisible on the bottom, so I may try using a bit more there next time.  The crust was thin and crispy, just as I was hoping.  My camera doesn't do so well at closeups, but I was also extremely happy with the crumb (except for a few larger air pockets, which I'll tentatively blame on poor shaping).  Before this, the breads I've made with a high percentage of rye ended up extremely dense, coarse, and crumbly.  This loaf had a much more open and incredibly smooth crumb.  Even better, thanks to reading Whole Grain Breads recently, I think that I sort of understand why.

As far as taste, there was a slight sourdough tang, but probably not as much as I would have liked (it smelled sourer than it tasted).  In addition, while I'm not usually a big fan of caraway seed, I think that this bread could use more.  The recipe recommended 1/4 teaspoon per loaf, I doubled it, and I probably could have quadrupled it.  That being said, the flavor was definitely more appealing and complex than any other high-percentage rye I've made.  I will definitely be making this one again...but probably not until I've tried some of the high-percentage ryes from Whole Grain Breads.

harrygermany's picture

rye-wheat bread German style

October 27, 2007 - 1:56pm -- harrygermany
Forums: 

This is a top rye-wheat bread, easy to make (after a recipe of Elkecarola at www.chefkoch.de)

The trick with this fantastic bread is, that it has a sourdough (SD) made from wholemeal. So the SD is a soaker as well, which binds a lot of liquid and thus makes the bread juicy.


rye-wheat bread   2 loaves of ca 850 g each; hydration 73%
============

rrosen's picture

Grain Mills

October 8, 2007 - 4:50pm -- rrosen
Forums: 

Hi-

I was wondering if any of you have had experiences with any of the German home grain mills, such as the Schnitzer, Wolfgang or Eschenfelder (Hawo)? I've been using a motorized Country Living mill, but I'm looking for a faster mill. I've tried the Nurtrimill, and it's good for large quantities, but it doesn't go quite as fine as the Country Living mill. The German mills look interesting, but wonder if they'll mill as fine as the Country Living mill. Thanks...

Ralph

 

reschaff's picture

German Schwarzbrot

July 1, 2007 - 8:01pm -- reschaff

Hi, all.  I'm new around here, but thought maybe someone here could help me out.

More than 20 years ago I was an exchange student in Wurzburg, Germany (in lower Franconia).  The staple bread in the home I lived in was known as Schwarzbrot (black bread).  I'm not sure if it is native to that area or to Rhineland-Pfalz (my host-father was from there).  Anyway, it was round, strongly flavored, and very dark brown and some loaves were enormous.  I once saw a 2 kg loaf!

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