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Hansjoakim's Favorite 70% Sourdough Rye

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dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hansjoakim's Favorite 70% Sourdough Rye

 


Last week, hansjoakim's blog included a gorgeous rye bread that he referred to as his “favorite 70% rye.” I asked him for his formula, and he generously provided it. I baked “hansjoakim's favorite 70% rye” today.



I grew up eating rye bread, but it was what is commonly called “Jewish Light Rye” or “Jewish Sour Rye.” We just called it “rye bread.” I had no exposure to breads made with whole rye flour or those made with a preponderance of rye flour. I was aware that there were countries where rye breads had a long history and an important place in the culture – Russia, Poland, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and the Scandinavian countries. But I had no experience with these breads. It was only when I started baking rye bread myself and started reading bread baking books – notably Hamelman's “Bread” and Leader's “Local Breads” - that I began to appreciate the rich diversity of rye breads and the technical differences between making great mostly-wheat flour sourdoughs and great mostly-rye flour breads. I'm also just starting to get a sense of the cultural differences in taste that determine “what is great rye bread” to some one who grew up eating these rye breads.


So, being endlessly curious about culture and values, including the aesthetics of food, how could I not want to see what hansjoakim, a man with quite evident refined aesthetic sensibilities, judged to be his “favorite 70% rye?”


The following formula is that provided by hansjoakim. The procedures are also his but with additional details. Any errors introduced by my extrapolations are, obviously, mine.


 


Total formula

Amount

Baker's percentage

Medium rye flour

436 gms

70

All purpose flour

187 gms

30

Water

467 gms

75

Salt

11 gms

1.8

 

Rye sour final build

Amount

Baker's percentage

Medium rye flour

218 gms

100

Water

218 gms

100

Ripe rye sour

11 gms

5

 

Final dough

Amount

Baker's percentage

Medium rye flour

218 gms

54

All purpose flour

187 gms

46

Water

249 gms

61.5

Salt

11 gms

2.7

Rye sour (all of the above)

447 gms

110

Note: 35% of the total flour is from the rye sour.

Procedures:

  1. The day before baking, mix the final rye sour build. This should ferment at room temperature for 14-16 hours, so figure backwards from when you want to mix the the dough. For example, I wanted to mix the dough at around 2 pm today, so I mixed the final rye sour build at 8 pm yesterday evening. In fact, I started the process two days ago by activating my white rye sour by feeding it, fermenting it 8 hours and refrigerating it for a day.

  2. I used a KitchenAid stand mixer, but these procedures could be done by “hand.” Mix all the ingredients in the final dough in a large bowl. If using a stand mixer, mix for 3 minutes with the paddle at Speed 1. Switch to the dough hook and mix for 2-3 minutes more at Speed 2. The dough at this point is a thick paste with little strength (gluten development providing extensibility and elasticity). Optionally, after mixing, you can knead briefly on a floured board with well-floured hands.

  3. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover it tightly, and ferment for 1 hour.

  4. Transfer the dough to a floured board and pre-shape it into a single round. Cover with plasti-crap or a damp kitchen towel and rest for 5 minutes.

  5. Shape the dough into a boule and transfer to a well-floured brotform or banneton.

  6. Cover the boule with plasti-crap or a damp towel and proof for two hours. (My loaf was fully proofed in 1 hr and 45 min.)

  7. One hour before baking, pre-heat the oven to 250C/480F with a baking stone and your steaming method of choice in place.

  8. When ready to bake the bread, pre-steam the oven. Then transfer the boule to a peel. Score or dock it. (hansjoakim proofed his boule seam-side down and did not score or dock it, resulting in a lovely chaotic pattern of cracks on the loaf surface. I proofed my boule seam-side up and docked it using a bamboo chop stick.) Transfer the boule to the baking stone. Steam the oven.

  9. After 10 minutes, remove your source of steam from the oven.

  10. After 15 minutes, turn the oven down to 225C/440F.

  11. Bake another 45 minutes. Monitor the loaf color, and, if it is darkening too quickly, turn the oven temperature down further. It would be well within the rye baking tradition to do this planfully in steps, ending up as low as 205C/400F for the last 10-15 minutes.

  12. The loaf is done when the crust feels firm, it gives a “hollow sound” when the bottom is thumped and the internal temperature is 205F or greater.

  13. When the loaf is done, turn off the oven, but leave the loaf in it with the door ajar for an additional 10 minutes.

  14. Transfer the loaf to a cooling rack and cool thoroughly before slicing. It will be best to leave it 24 hours, loosely wrapped in linen, before slicing.

Comments:

I baked this loaf at 460f convection-bake for 15 minutes, then 440F bake for 30 minutes, then 400F bake for 10 minutes. I believe I should have turned down the temperature from 440F sooner.

I got less oven spring than hansjoakim. I believe this is due to over-proofing. In hindsight, I should have baked 15-30 minutes sooner. I suspect my kitchen environment was near 80F which accelerated the proofing.

The bread smells lovely while cooling – a characteristic, earthy rye aroma.

The profile of the cut loaf was better than I had expected, although I didn't get the oven spring hansjoakim did.

hansjoakim's Favorite 70% Rye crumb

The crust was substantial and crunchy-chewy. The crumb was tender. This bread is very similar to the Detmolder 70% Rye from Hamelman I made a few weeks ago. It has a very nice hearty rye flavor with a touch of sweetness and a touch of sour when tasted about 20 hours after baking. I expect the flavor to evolve over the next several days.

Because hansjoakim's procedures are so straightforward and the bread is quick to make, I would recommend it to anyone, but especially those wanting to make a high percentage rye bread but not ready to tackle the time and temperature rigors of the Detmolder 3-stage method.

This is a wonderful rye bread! Thanks, hansjoakim!

David

 

Comments

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

the crumb. Gorgeous bake!


Betty

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

Hi David,


A lovely write-up David! Your instructions are very clear (mind writing a book one day?), and the loaf looks brilliant! I'm very flattered and honoured that you decided to try the formula :)


The crust colour looks lovely - I bet it's a thick, crunchy crust with lots of flavour. From the sideview photo, it looks like your loaf turned out with a great crumb profile, so I'm sure the crumb will be right.


I apologise for not providing more specific proofing temperature - my kitchen is around 70F these days, so I guess that can account for those 15 mins. additional proofing time compared to what you found.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I have high expectations, given the source of the formula! 


I intend to slice the loaf for dinner tonight, but you know about intentions. If the bread is still untasted by then, I'll be surprised.


If over-proofing compromised the outcome, it's my own fault. When I peeked at the loaf one hour into the proofing, I was surprised how rapidly it was rising, so I should have known to check it again sooner. 


David

chouette22's picture
chouette22

I haven't baked with rye much at all. Already Hans Joakim's post temped me, but now after this "double-push", I will have to give this a serious try. Thanks for the motivation!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

If you are making bread with a high proportion of rye for the first time, you will find the dough is very different. Prepare your head for this. Once you get the feel for it, it won't be a problem, but that will come with experience.


Remember, help is available. Don't hesitate to ask.


Happy (rye) baking! Don't neglect to share your results.


David

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

It certainly turned out right! Great job :)


From here on, the variations are endless.


Just out of curiosity: Do you know the protein content of your AP flour? I mentioned in another post that mine is 11gr. protein per 100gr. flour. According to the Artisan, that would be something like a 9.5% US flour. I see that most of Hamelman's formulas call for high-gluten flour and roughly 6 mins. mixing time. Replacing H-G with lower protein flours should probably be accompanied by even shorter mixing?


Anyways, great loaf, David, and, already seeing your newest blog post, you've been busy this weekend!


Thanks again :)

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I used Giusto's Baker's Choice. It is 12.7% protein - the same as KAF AP, as it happens.


9.5% protein would be like pastry flour! I'm amazed. Most formulas I see for rye breads specify high-gluten flour. I used the flour I did just because you specified AP. Do you know whether bakeries in Europe use flour like yours for their rye breads?


Re. mixing time: Hamelman's times are for a professional spiral mixer. Times for a home stand mixer would be longer. I mixed this rye dough as described, with trepidation I'll confess, but it turned out all right. I wonder how it would have been with higher gluten flour and a longer mix. 


David

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

Hmm. Yeah, you're right. I'm having trouble believing that what I'm using actually corresponds to a US 9.5% flour. The label simply notes that 100 gr. flour contains 11 gr. protein. I would think that corresponds to 11% protein, right? That sounds like a French T55 and a US AP or Artisan-style flour, but then that Artisan site is confusing me...


Do you have any experience with the Artisan-style or French-style KAF flours, David?


And yes, you're definitely right about the mixing times. That's a factor I didn't think about. So, trying to come up with some sort of a conclusion: Hamelman's original H-G formulas call for approx. 6 mins. mixing. That translates to a longer mixing time in a home mixer. Replacing H-G with lower protein flour shortens the mixing time, and, who knows, 6 mins. in a home mixer might be spot on for that substitution. Right mixing is so crucial.


I believe many of the German bakeries prefer to use a German type 550 style flour in their rye doughs, which I believe is similar to a French T-55.


If we only had a lab, a score of mixers and lots of free time on our hands, David, then we could probe all these variables and judge the outcome in a line-up :)

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The information on flour equivalencies is confusing. As far as KAF goes, AP flour is roughly equivalent to T55, but their "French-style" flour was meant to be their T55 clone. It's ungodly expensive. KAF "European Artisan-style" flour has "a bit" a white whole wheat and some ascorbic acid added. They recommend that flour as their closest to T65.


I have used both of the KAF specialty flours. The French-style flour makes a very soft, extensible dough. Really nice to work with, but not worth the cost, to me anyway. The European Artisan flour is more costly than AP, but less than the French-style. I have used a lot of it and like it for mostly white flour sourdoughs. Is it a lot better than AP or bread flour with some added rye or white whole wheat? I don't really think I could tell the difference, but I've never done a side by side comparison.


The Artisan suggests that German Type 550 is "stronger" flour (higher protein?), but Hamelman says to use KAF AP as equivalent. (Note that KAF AP has a higher protein content than some other mills' AP flour at 11.7%.) See this topic for Hamelman's recommendations. 


When I first started baking rye breads from Greenstein and Reinhart's books, I always used First Clear flour as the wheat flour. This is a high protein, high ash flour. KAF mills it from hard Spring wheat. I also use this flour in recipes that call for high extraction flour, although several TFL flour milling geeks have repeatedly pointed out that it is not "really" high extraction flour. I can never keep the reason they assert this straight in my head. In any case, I really like working with this flour, and I think I will try substituting it in one of Hamelman's rye formulas for "high-gluten" flour.


The thing that I am least clear about - and there is a lot of competition for that distinction - is that almost all American flour (except pastry/cake/biscuit flour) is made from hard wheat. My understanding is that most European flour is made from soft wheat. Is the only practical difference between hard and soft wheat that the latter generally has a lower protein content?


Re. mixing: I agree that it is important. I still don't have as good a handle as I'd like on what ideal mixing is for high percentage rye doughs. I only know that over-mixing is more of an issue, but I don't think I have yet encountered this.


Re. the lab: It would be interesting, but I think the science has already been done. I just need to figure out how to download Jeff Hamelman's brain and install it locally.


David

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

Thanks for a long, detailed answer!


Although I probably won't have the chance to work with it myself, it's nice to have a "feeling" for what kind of flour is in question, and how I should try to substitute on my own. Where US flours are often labelled by gluten content, European ones are rated by ash content. Also, I think the European classification of "soft" and "hard" flours are different from yours: At least in EU documents, "hard wheat" is durum flour and pasta flours, while "soft wheat" is used more generally for any kind of bread, AP, pastry, cake flours etc.


***confusing***

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Very interesting! So, European "soft" wheat could be the same as either American "hard" or "soft" wheat? Confusing indeed!


Janedo in discussing why (she finds) her French flours make better tasting bread than American flours has hypothesized that it is because French flour is made from "soft wheat." 


My new theory is that French bread tastes better because it is eaten with red wine. 


David

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

:)


There's a nice discussion about various flours in The Bread Builders (read on Google books here). It probably doesn't tell us anything we don't know already, but still a nice read.

wally's picture
wally

hansjoakim-


In our course on the classic french breads last summer at KAF we used their sir galahad flour, which is labelled as an artisan flour.  It comes from hard red winter wheat, has a protein content of 11.8% and an ash content of .48.


I haven't experimented with nearly the flours David has, so I'm not in a position to compare it with anything other than the standard unbleached APs I've used.  It has a slightly creamier color than the general APs.


Other than that, all I can tell you is that it works well for hearth breads and has a pleasing flavor.


Larry

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Larry.


My understanding is that Sir Galahad flour is identical to KAF AP flour. They just give it a different name to market it to professionals.


Did you learn differently in your class?


David

wally's picture
wally

David - That's been my assumption up to now.  However, I need to confirm that; I recently had a conversation with someone who indicated that these are different flours.  I'm going to put a call into KAF and I'll pass along their info.


Larry

wally's picture
wally

OK - I placed a call to customer service at KAF, and they did confirm that these are the same flour, just marketed under another name.  As I said, for our course on miche, pain au levain and baguettes, sir galahad was the default flour we used.  On the 50# bags they advertise it as "Flour for the Artisan Baker." 


They also advertise an "artisan bread flour" which has a small amount of white whole wheat added, and a "organic select artisan flour" which comes from red wheat, and has a protein content of 11.3% and an ash content of .54.


Larry

SCruz's picture
SCruz

When you build the rye starter at the beginning, is there a reason why all the flour couldn't be added then? It might take longer to ferment,  but time is the baker's friend. Yes? No?

Jerry