The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Question about Leader's Auvergne Dark Rye

pmccool's picture

Question about Leader's Auvergne Dark Rye

I've started Leader's Auvergne Dark Rye and run into some confusion.  Leader describes the first stage of the dough as a "thick, smooth batter".  That's using the starter, 350 grams of water and 500 grams of medium or light rye flour.  Right off the bat, a dough at 70% hydration is not going to be a batter.  In my case, the matter is compounded by the fact that I'm using a stone-ground whole rye flour, which is even more absorptive.  Batter?  No.  Play-Doh?  Yes.

After scrounging around TFL and the Web, I find that people have questions about this bread but no one is supplying answers.  The final dough hydration of 53% is more in the bagel range and nowhere near Dan's description of "soupy"

So, here's what I've done thus far.  Chasing a description is like chasing a will-o-the-wisp, I know, but if I'm going down in flames, I may as well shoot for the biggest fireball I can make.  To achieve said "thick, smooth batter", I've added water.  And more water.  And still more water.  Another 325 grams of water, in total.  That will put the final dough (assuming that I use every bit of the 200 grams of bread flour the formula calls for) at a 136% hydration.  My guess is that it will be more sludgy than soupy, since it isn't soupy right now.  We'll see how it turns out.

Meanwhile, do any of you have any prior experience with this bread?  Or suggestions to offer?



hansjoakim's picture

... but I've never tried it.

I could provide a (somewhat) educated guess as to what the overall hydration ought to be, though, based on the flours in the dough. Is it right to say that it's a roughly 70% rye dough (500 gr. rye + 200 gr. bread flour)? I don't know how your sourdough is put together, though... If it's roughly 70% rye, then, depending on what rye flour you're using, I'd say a hydration around 72 - 75% sounds reasonable. Whole rye would gulp up even more water, so then perhaps close to 78 - 80%. If you want to bake it in a tin, you could definitely go for gloppy. Freestanding, I'd say sticky, not gloppy.

Best of luck :)

suave's picture

Leader's Auvergne dark rye.  I wish you asked before making it.  In my opinion this recipe is so thoroughly screwed, that there's simlpy no way to salvage it.

pmccool's picture

I'll post the final results in my blog.  For now, the dough is mixed.  I did use the full 200 grams of bread flour called for in the formula and the resulting dough is sort of a medium to stiff paste.  Shaping will probably be a hoot.  Getting it off the counter after shaping might be even more fun.  


xaipete's picture

Daniel Leader has a page on FaceBook. You could try contacting him there. Who knows? You might get an answer.


suave's picture

People've been begging Leader for the list of corrections ever since Local Breads came out.  It seems he could not care less. 

crunchy's picture

This recipe almost turned me away from the book forever, despite the success of all the other recipes. The dough was too dry, I tried correcting it by adding more water. It refused to rise at all and then refused to bake through, for whatever reason. The internal temp was stuck at 150 for the longest time, until the loaf just turned into a brick. It was an epic disaster. I hope you figure our what's wrong with this recipe.

LindyD's picture

Mr. Leader may be a successful baker, but he's a lousy educator and author because of his refusal to acknowledge and correct the errors in his book.  The consumer be damned.

I don't trust him, so his book collects dust.


Soundman's picture

The issue of Leader's recipe mistakes occupied another TFL thread for over six months:

The thread's intredpid originator, dolfs, was in direct communication with Leader and made the errors known to the author, so Leader has no excuse. This thread makes for pretty sad reading, as Leader goes from receptive to passing the issue along to his wife to ugly silence.

Amazon's reviews of Local Breads proclaim the mistakes loudly, which can't help sales. Why doesn't Leader fix this mess once and for all? I guess he's "moved on."

I liked reading this book. It was a great idea and the narratives are engaging, but knowing now about all the errors and the author's lack of concern over fixing them, I couldn't recommend it to anyone.


LeadDog's picture

Paul your post caused me to get interested in this bread. I made it with my own variations. My hydration was 85% and I agree with you there is to much salt in his formula. Here is a picture of how it turned out.

You can read how I did it here.