The Fresh Loaf

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Light (white) vs. dark (whole) rye flour -- what are the differences aside from nutrition?

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Kroha's picture
Kroha

Light (white) vs. dark (whole) rye flour -- what are the differences aside from nutrition?

I baked Dan Lepard's Whole Grain Rye today.  It includes whole-rye sourdough starter (80%), whole rye berries (160%), and light rye flour (100%).   Also, some salt and optional yeast, which I used because my starter was over-ripe.   I am not sure how it came out because it has to sit for 48 hours before I cut into it, but my question is -- how would the loaf change if I substituted whole rye flour for light rye flour? 


Thank you!


Yulika

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Yulika.


White rye is to whole rye as AP is to Whole Wheat flour. White rye has relatively little rye flavor. It produces a lighter bread than whole rye.


If the formula you gave is accurate, it is unusual both in the extremely high percent of rye sour and the mix of whole rye and white rye with no wheat flour. I hope you let us see photos and share tasting notes after you slice it.


David

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Hi Yulika,


I checked Lepard's recipe and noted his suggestion that after boiling the rye grains and draining them, they be covered with wine before storing in the refrigerator overnight (p 49).


I'm wondering if you did this and, like David, would love to hear your opinion about the taste.  


It's a very interesting recipe.


 

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

If you let ferment a large part of the flour (at least 40%) for a whole day a bread made with white rye comes out very good. I wouldn't say that it's as tasteful  as a dark rye equivalent, but it surely has much flavour.

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi


Just thought we might bring the difference in ash content into the discussion.


Dark Rye is exceptionally high in vitamin and mineral content.   This has a large bearing on fermentation.


Best wishes


Andy

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

so the dough will be slightly stiffer if using dark rye.  There may also be slightly less enzymes if the outer darker parts (sifted out) are higher than the lighter colored endosperm.  That may mean that natural fermenting is slower using white rye.  With dark rye, the ferment is faster when added yeast is not involved. 


Mini

Kroha's picture
Kroha

Thank you for the information.  This is my first experience with 100% rye bread.  Usually, I bake 100% whole grain so I was wondering what would happen if I substituted whole rye for the white.  Based on the advice above, I am now thinking that I would have to use additional water, shorten fermentation time, and that I would get a super dense loaf as a result (though I am sure that even with white flour it is quite dense). 


I will let you know how the bread came out when I cut it tomorrow.  I did soak the grains in white wine, though in the sidebar Mr. Lepard suggests ale for this particular recipe.  I did not have ale handy though and decided to try the wine.  Also, I used the organic whole rye leaven that I already had rather than the one made according to Mr. Lepard's instructions.


Yulika

Bee18's picture
Bee18

Hi David

sorry but I got confuse with your terminology:

White Rye flour is = to white wheat flour, and rye meal is = to wholemeal wheat flour in my understanding,
which are 2 different steps of producing the flour but make it look like any other flour.

dark rye = kibbled rye or rye berries that you grind by yourself and get the whole of it, not a very fine grinding and no sieving to clean particules.

Ám I right ? or do you mean that dark rye is Rye meal?

Bea

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

My comparison says nothing about how finely ground the flour is.


Dark rye and whole wheat are whole grain. (All parts of the berries are ground and none of the parts is missing.)


White rye and white wheat flour are just the endosperm. The bran and germ are removed.


I hope that is clear.


David

Bee18's picture
Bee18

Crystal Clear, and I won't buy anymore Rye flour but Rye meal, as the first has a too light flavor, to bake a Pain de Seigle.
But the best is my discovery of your pumpernickel recipe with the cracked rye and I'm already baking my third loaf in the last forthnight.
Today I'm testing the differences between Molasses, and Barley extract, and have increased the quantity of cracked rye by 30 gr and adjusted the rest, and also mixed 1/2 wholemeal with 1/2 common flour. It's now rising. I don't use Altus as I haven't left over ( it's all going to the birds and various native animals that are coming to the verandah to get treats....
I hope for a good result although probably not as dark as the second loaf and less sweet.
It's an easy recipe and the result for a homebaker is very rewarding.
3 days after the baking the bread had dried enough to be compact and it's not so sweet. I like it fresh and crumbly.
May be the next one will be the 75% Rye from Ananda.I still hesitate because of the long time consuming it takes. Then I will have 3 Rye Breads choices, which is better than only the Pain de Seigle I had till now.
Bea

Kroha's picture
Kroha

So, here is the report for those who were interested in the bread (dmsnyder and LindyD).  The loaf looked just like the picture in the book, and so did the crumb.  Pretty dense, but softer than a 100% whole rye bread would be.  Great texture due to whole rye berries.  But the taste was really disappointing -- none of that "clean acidic tang" that Me. Leader describes, just very mild flavor.  It leads me to conclude that my starter, while healthy, does not impart much flavor.  I baked a sour rye before from the Secrets of Jewish Baker book and that bread was bland, but I assumed that it was my fault.  Perhaps it still is, but seems to have something to do with the starter.  That is disappointing, as I have been working on 100% rye sour and sourdough leavened rye crackers all day today.  Just about to start baking, and already know that they will be bland as well.  If you have a suggestion as to why a normally behaving active starter can be virtually tasteless, and how to go about changing that (even if that involves specific suggestions for starting another starter), I would greatly appreciate it.  My apologies for lack of pictures, but I am not likely to be able to post.  I am between laptops, and with three small kids, work, and, well, cooking and baking, I have not yet had the time to learn to post on the site.  If I find the time, I will come back and post.


Best wishes,


Yulika

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Sorry to hear of your disappointment, Yulika.


Did you use light rye, as the recipe called for?


What brand of rye are you using to refresh your SD culture?

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Yulika,


I'm sorry,


My copy of the book is in College, and I'm working at home, so I can't refer to it directly.


To clarify, Light Rye Flour is not quite the equivalent of White Flour.   I think it has an ash content equivalent to the French Type 75.   We used a lot of the Light Rye in the Borodinsky formula.   However, that was flavoured heavily with molasses, malt ex and coarse ground coriander, so it was hardly bland.


Light Rye flour can be tremendously claggy in the mouth.   We used it in some of the cake formulae, and I decided I don't like Rye flour in cakes.   But it does perform better in terms of producing a lighter [more risen] loaf.


All our sour was made using the Dark Rye, and I think that works best with the very high ash content.   I have never had difficulty getting dark rye to ferment.


I'm confused about you not getting flavour from your culture.   Some thoughts which may help.   I would see what % of your flour is pre-fermented.   There is a high proportion of whole cooked berries in the recipe you have included.   It may be bland because there is not enough pre-fermented matter to get the flavour in the first place.


Our all-rye "Rossisky", made with all Dark Rye, sour leavened only, had 33% pre-fermented flour.   Overall water absorption was 85%.   It packed a mighty punch in terms of flavour.


How long do you ferment the sour for?   You say it was over-ripe.   We worked on a 16 hour fermentation system.   Our sour was wet, and intensely active, as we made so much.   To me, that's the level of acidity needed.   When we came to use the culture it was sour, and the ferment had dropped.   There are very good reasons for this: high acid will counter the high water content in the dough, and it will help give structure as the pentosans in the flour become weak during the latter stages of proof, and the early part of the baking cycle.


I really can't see that beginning with a new starter will help your cause.   If you are happy with the fermenting performance of the culture, there is little point starting fresh.   You could try a different brand of flour.   Also, are you over-feeding it?   Try keeping back a really small portion and allowing that to acidify for a couple of days.   Then re-introduce a generous feeding regime from there.


I posted quite a bit on leaven refreshment here: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/15974/sour-dough-leaven-refreshment-and-ash-content that may be of some use.


Best wishes


Andy

Bee18's picture
Bee18

Trying to make changes to the Greenstein/Dsnyder pumpernickel resulted in a flop.
Slicing and tasting it this morning confirmed my worries when I took it of the oven last night.
The Malt extract gave a crusty surface, but no sweetness at all, mixing wholemeal with AP flour and raising the quantity of cracked rye made the bread heavier/stiffer and something in the baking didn't work properly: the bottom was baked but the top stayed underbaked, the color is "glazed chestnuts".

I didn't put molasses in view to reduce external addition of sugar for my diabetes friend, I then thought that I should have leave the dough to ferment at least 24 hours or maybe more to make the sweetness formed. Malt extract look like honey but don't have the sweetness expected.

I will go back to my second experiment.This loaf don't deserve a photo...

Bea

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

may help but not "...dough to ferment at least 24 hours..."  


I wouldn't let it ferment over 8 hours!  The longer it ferments the longer the sweetness in the grain lowers as the sugars are eaten away.  Malt is also available food.  I don't add any sweetener or malt to my rye bread, and it tastes like molasses was added.  (It can also be that what I find as sweet, doesn't taste sweet to you.)  It is the fermenting process that breaks the starches into sugars to get digested by the wee beasties.   If we want to save some sweetness for us, we can't let them eat or ferment too long.


Browning the crust is very important to a rich rye taste. 


When I add some already baked rye bread to ferment with the sponge, I try to make sure to include the darkest parts of the crust.   I will even drop a slice into the toaster before breaking it up for the sponge.   Molasses is also a by product from browning or boiling sugar juice very slowly.  The crystals form in the cooking mixture and then the liquid molasses is separated.  Its dark color comes from the caramelizing/cooking process.  If that is the flavor you are after, brown your crusts well and slowly with lower heat and the use of steam.


Mini

Bee18's picture
Bee18

Your advice is precious as I was confusing between fermenting the dough like for the baguettes which are not made of Rye...
I will use this flop bread to produce the "altus" you & David are talking about.
True the sweet feeling is different from one person to another, I'm use to sweetness in bread & cooking from my mother from her polish roots.But I want to get rid of a maximum for my health and my friend health. Although not at all is a difficult thing to adjust to.
A part of that I increased the pumpernickel,the water, the salt and the yeast but didn't kept the same percentage for the wheat flour as I realised now that I made a mistake & put 400gr instead of 520, and the taste of the salt was a bit overpowering on the crust.
The funny part is that my friend liked it! not sweet & so heavy...
Hope to make something better tomorrow.
Bea

Kroha's picture
Kroha

Sorry it has takken me a while to properly thank everyone for helpful suggestions and advice.  What happened is that my old, non-sour starter died in the fridge from severe neglect.  I did start another one, and, mysteriously to me, it is not only active but also perfectly sour.


I baked the same bread (Dan Lepard's whole grain rye) two days ago with this new starter, without adding commercial yeast this time. It fermented and rose very well (fully filled a 9 by 5 loaf pan) outside on a very warm day (it was 87F in MA) and was baked according to directions.  The loaf sat in oiled paper bag for 48 hours and I sliced it today.  It is so very delicious, with clear moderate tang, dense but moist crumb and pleasant chewiness provided by the ale-soaked rye berries.  The crust is thin and chewey as well.  In my mind, it is bread that is perfect for snacking on, as well as for serving with smoked/salted fish, good pickles and vodka (my Russian roots talking, I guess)!


Kroha

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

There is a special satisfaction from succeeding after having experienced frustration. Your rye bread sounds delicious!


David