The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

sour rye bread

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Candango's picture
Candango

I have just finished making a loaf of Rose Levy Beranbaum's "Levy's real Jewish Rye Bread", from "The Bread Bible."  I had made variations of her formula noted in other blogs and only recently obtained a copy of the book which has her original recipe.  With all the waiting (autolyses) and rising times, this bread was almost a 24 hour project.  I started the sponge at about 3 pm yesterday and took the finished loaf out of the oven at 3 pm today.  It has now cooled and I sliced it in order to give half to friends.  As I don't have a cloche, I shaped the dough into a batard and gave it "spiral" slashes.  It worked.  I know I should have weighed the ingredients but last night and this morning I used measuring cups for the flour and liquid.  I will have to try this again using the scale, as Rose says that the finished dough should weigh about 965 grams and mine weighed in at 860, about 3 oz. lighter.  Because of this, I shortened the baking time just a bit.  The crust came out a nice golden brown, and the crumb is "rye bread dense" without being pasty.  (I cut off the heel on one side and tried it with butter.  Yum.)  I will do this one again.


 


I just tried to insert two photos of the crust and the crumb and seemed to run into a problem.  The site replied that the max size is 600 x 800 and that my files were too large.  Can anyone help?  Thanks in advance.  Candango

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

After last week's 70% rye bread, which I thoroughly enjoyed, I wanted to return to the first rye I had made – Jewish Sour Rye – to see if my tastes had shifted. I made the Jewish Sour Rye from “Secrets of a Jewish Baker,” by George Greenstein.


This is a classic “deli rye,” or “light rye.” It is made with a white rye sour. Rye snobs (who will remain nameless) turn up their noses at white rye because it has so little rye flavor. In fact, most of the time, I make this bread with whole rye. But, this time I made it “by the book.”


Well, not exactly by the book. Greenstein's book provides volume measurements for all ingredients. It has been criticized for this. Last year, I worked out the ingredient weights for the Sour Rye recipe, and these are provided below.




Ingredients

 

Rye Sour

750 gms

First Clear Flour

480 gms

Warm Water (80-100F)

240 gms

Sea Salt

12 gms

Instant Yeast

7 gms

Altus (optional but recommended)

½ cup

Caraway Seeds

1 Tablespoon

Cornmeal for dusting the parchment or peel.

Cornstarch glaze for brushing the breads before and after baking.

 

Method

  1. If you have a white rye sour, build it up to a volume of 4 cups or so the day before mixing the dough. If you do not have a rye sour but do have a wheat-based sourdough starter, you can easily convert it to a white rye starter by feeding it 2-3 times with white rye flour over 2-3 days.

  2. In a large bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, dissolve the yeast in the water, then add the rye sour and mix thoroughly with your hands, a spoon or, if using a mixer, with the paddle.

  3. Stir the salt into the flour and add this to the bowl and mix well.

  4. Dump the dough onto the lightly floured board and knead until smooth. If using a mixer, switch to the dough hook and knead at Speed 2 until the dough begins to clear the sides of the bowl (8-12 minutes). Add the Caraway Seeds about 1 minute before finished kneading. Even if using a mixer, I transfer the dough to the board and continue kneading for a couple minutes. The dough should be smooth but a bit sticky.

  5. Form the dough into a ball and transfer it to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowl and let it rest for 15-20 minutes.

  6. Transfer the dough back to the board and divide it into two equal pieces.

  7. Form each piece into a pan loaf, free-standing long loaf or boule.

  8. Dust a piece of parchment paper or a baking pan liberally with cornmeal, and transfer the loaves to the parchment, keeping them at least 3 inches apart so they do not join when risen.

  9. Cover the loaves and let them rise until double in size. (About 60 minutes.)

  10. Pre-heat the oven to 375F with a baking stone in place optionally. Prepare your oven steaming method of choice.

  11. Prepare the cornstarch glaze. Whisk 1-1/2 to 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch in ¼ cup of water. Pour this slowly into a sauce pan containing 1 cup of gently boiling water, whisking constantly. Continue cooking and stirring until slightly thickened (a few seconds, only!) and remove the pan from heat. Set it aside.

  12. When the loaves are fully proofed, uncover them. Brush them with the cornstarch glaze. Score them. (3 cuts across the long axis of the loaves would be typical.) Transfer the loaves to the oven, and steam the oven.

  13. After 5 minutes, remove any container with water from the oven and continue baking for 30-40 minutes more.

  14. The loaves are done when the crust is very firm, the internal temperature is at least 205 d

    egrees and the loaves give a “hollow” sound when thumped on the bottom. When they are done, leave them in the oven with the heat turned off and the door cracked open a couple of inches for another 5-10 minutes.




  15. After the loaves are out of the oven, brush them again with the cornstarch solution.




  16. Cool completely before slicing.





Jewish Sour Rye



Jewish Sour Rye crumb


Well, the verdict is: I like rye bread – white rye, dark rye, whatever. Each has it's place. The Jewish Sour Rye I had toasted for breakfast with Salami and Eggs was just right. The 70% Sourdough Rye I had for lunch with slices of Smoked Gouda and Cotswold cheese was perfect.


It's not such a hardship, having to make these choices.


David


Submitted to Yeast Spotting on Susan FNP's  Wild Yeast blog (This week, hosted by Nick at imafoodblog)


 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

So, for my last baking experiment of the weekend, I chose another bread I've baked many times - the Sour Rye Bread from George Greenstein's "Secrets of a Jewish Baker."

 I made two loaves and baked them together, covered for the first 15 minutes with the base of a large oval enameled metal roaster. This was a mistake. I was aware that the loaves were a bit crowded, in order that they both fit under the covering pan. When I attempted to remove the pan from them, I found that the loaves had stuck to the sides of the pan, one badly. I had to remove the pan from the oven with one loaf still stuck to it, scrape the loaf loose and replace it in the oven to finish baking. Both loaves suffered localized loss of crust. 

Compared to my previous bakings of this bread, with the oven humidified with hot water poured into a cast iron skillet, I had increased oven spring. And the loaves were, if anything, a bit over-proofed. For those of you who love burst loaves, this is for you! The crust was a tad crisper than usual, but still not thin and crackly. The crumb was denser than usual, but still quite in the proper range for this bread. The taste, as usual, was delicious - moderately tangy/sour. 

 

Sour rye, baked covered

Sour rye, baked covered 

Sour rye, baked covered

Sour rye, baked covered 

 

I will try baking this bread covered again some time, but I won't be crowding two loaves under one cover again.

 At this point, my overall feeling about baking bread covered is that it doesn't make a huge difference in the product - maybe a bit more oven spring, but is easier than fussing with the skillet/hot water method, in some ways. Other kinds of breads, like baguettes, may benefit more than the ones I've tried this weekend. I'll post my results when I try them.

It's been fun!

 

David 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Norm (nbicomputers) has generously posted his (scaled down) formula for Sour Rye Bread. I made this bread this morning.

Sour Rye Bread (Norm's formula) Loaf

Sour Rye Bread (Norm's formula) Loaf

 

Sour Rye Bread (Norm's formula) Crumb

Sour Rye Bread (Norm's formula) Crumb

 

Here is Norm's formula with my annotations and the procedure I followed.  

Formula

  • Cake Yeast ...... 1/2 oz. (I used 1 1/2 tsp Instant Yeast.)
  • Water ............. 8 oz
  • Salt ................ 1/4 oz (About 1 1/4 tsp.)
  • Sour (rye) ....... 8 oz (about 1 cup)
  • First clear flour  1 lb
  • Caraway seeds   1 T (not in Norm's formula)

Procedure

  • Place all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attached and mix at Speed 1 until all ingredients  are mixed in a ball. Scrape dough off the paddle into the bowl. Remove the paddle.
  • Knead the dough with the dough hook at Speed 2 until the gluten is well-developed. About 10 minutes. Scrape dough onto lightly floured board (I use a Silpat.) and hand knead very briefly. Form into a ball.
  • Lightly oil a bowl and place the dough in it. Cover. Let the dough rest 20 minutes.
  • Divide the dough into two equal parts. Form into long loaves or round loaves. Place the loaves onto parchment paper, placed on an inverted jelly roll pan and sprinkled with coarse corn meal then folded in the middle to form a "wall" between the loaves, so they do not touch when risen. (Essentially, a parchment couche.) Spray the loaves lightly with spray oil and cover them with plasti-crap.
  • Let the loaves rise until doubled in size (or 90% doubled). This took about 100 minutes at 69F.
  • An hour before baking, place a pizza stone on the middle rack of the oven and a cast iron skillet on the bottom rack. Heat the oven to 450F.
  • When loaves have doubled in size, pull the parchment out flat to separate the loaves by at least 3 inches, spray (or brush) them with water, score them with 3 slashes across the long axis of the loaves and slide them, still on the parchment, onto the pizza stone. Pour 1/2 cup boiling water into the skillet, and close the oven door.
  • After 5 minutes, remove the skillet using a hot pad, keeping the oven door open as briefly as possible. Pour out the water and put the skillet where it won't burn anybody!
  • If the bread seems to be getting dark too fast, turn down the oven to 440F (I did this after about 10 minutes.)
  • Continue baking until the loaves are done. The crust is well browned and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped. This was a total of about 25 minutes.
  • Cool on a wire rack before slicing.
  • While the loaves are cooling, brush them with cornstarch solution. (Whisk 4 tsp cornstarch in 1/4 cup of water. Pour this slowly into 1 cup of slowly boiling water, whisking constantly. When the solution is (precisely) somewhat thickened, take off the fire. It can be used while still hot. It can be kept for a few days refrigerated for later use.)

Review of the eating will follow, but I have to eat some first, tonight along with krupnik, a very traditional soup made with beef (tonight, with lamb shank), various beans, barley, lentils (and usually potatoes).   

David

 

 

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