The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

When life gives you too much ripe sourdough

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

When life gives you too much ripe sourdough

Sometime last week, I built up my rye starter for a run-through of some rye loaves. For some reason or other I ended up with quite a bit more mature rye sourdough than I needed for the loaves I had planned. Too bad to throw it all away I thought, so I put the left-over starter to good use in a pain au levain-style formula. The result was more than I could've hoped for, so darn tasty as a matter of fact, that I worked a bit more on the formula, and baked a few of those rye-sourdough-pain-au-levain breads this weekend. Here's the loaf (and some Swedish hazelnut tarts) from Sunday afternoon:

Pain au Levain with rye starter

I enjoyed slices of the loaf with a salad (spinach, bacon, hard-cooked eggs, mushrooms, in the background), a smear of blue cheese and a glass of red wine. Doesn't get much better than that.

Here's the mandatory crumb shot:

 Pain au Levain with rye starter

 

I was surprised by how drastically the taste of the bread changes when it is leavened by a rye starter. I tend to bake breads like these with a firm white starter, but now I'm more and more leaning towards using the rye starter instead. There's a distinct sour note to the breads, and a wonderfully tangy bite to every piece of the crust. I was also taken by how crackly the crust became when I baked the bread with a rye starter instead of a white starter; just have a look:

 Pain au Levain with rye starter

 

All in all, I'm really happy that I mixed up too much rye starter in the first place :)

Edit: Here's a link to the formula.

Comments

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Hans,

I agree that using rye sour as the base for a pain au levain, largely wheat-based, makes for a really tasty loaf.   The one you have made here looks just perfect.

Simple formulae so often make the best of breads...I see you have some long and cold fermentation thrown in for good measure too.

Best wishes

Andy

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

Thanks for your compliments, Andy!

I must admit I'm loving the added "spicyness" that comes from the rye starter.

This rather straight forward pain au levain formula is very similar to white-starter based levains. However, I noticed that there appeared to be noticeably more gas production in the dough during bulk fermentation in the rye-based dough compared to a white-starter-based dough. The rye starter appears to work a lot more vigorously in the mixed dough than a white starter, and that for a simple 1-step rye sourdough build. Is this something you've noticed too?

I wanted a rather long bulk fermentation and the ability to proof overnight, so (after some experimenting) approx. 12,5% prefermented (whole-rye) flour appears to work pretty well for me.

Looking forward to seeing more of your bakes, Andy!

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Hans

Yes, agreed; rye is much more fermentable than wheat.   I think the ash content is really significant.   That's why it's a popular method to get a starter going with rye, then switch to wheat once it's on the way.   And, yes, one stage in the build is very often all thast's required before use.

I use a very similar formula to this with my students; calling it a pain siegle.   I add a small amount of yeast, and it ferments in a couple of hours.   This is a great introduction to complex fermentation for students, as they get to see the whole process in one practical.   To end the session, they then get to learn how to use the peel to set the loaves on the sole of the oven.

But, yes 12.5% is great.   I don't think I'd go below 10.   Not sure about the higher end.   I guess you could go quite high, but beyond 20, surely you'd be changing the whole character of the loaf?

I'll try and keep posting new baking.   The last one on 80% rye and a miche [see: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/17539/slight-variations-two-more-formulae-hamelman039s-quotbreadquot ] seemed to get lost in and amongst the foolishpoolish cleanout.   I'm likely to be very busy the next few weeks, but I do have my oven finished now, so hopefully I can get some baking done in that beast soon.

Best wishes

Andy 

ramat123's picture
ramat123

I'm going to check it out tonight!

 

Thanks

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

The loaf is fantastic, but the tarts are no less! Can you share the recipe, please?

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

The tarts turned out alright, too. I had some finely ground hazelnuts lying over from another project and stumbled over a decent recipe for hazelnut tarts. The filling is not unlike an ordinary frangipane filling, but ground hazelnuts and candied orange peel is used instead of almonds/almond paste and rum. The recipe for the filling is:

Hazelnuts                  170gr

Candied orange peel   70 gr (I used 50 gr, plenty enough for my taste)

Sugar #1                    85 gr

Sugar #2                    85 gr

Butter, room temp.   170 gr

Whole eggs                   2

Egg yolks                      2

Vanilla extract               1tsp

1. Grind hazelnuts, orange peel finely. Combine with sugar #1.

2. Cream butter, sugar #2. Gradually mix in eggs, vanilla and nut mixture. Do not overmix (as this will make the filling puff up during bakingg).

Prepare the tart dough (I used paté sucrée) in forms, spread a thin layer of apricot jam on bottom, fill them roughly 3/4 up with the hazelnut filling, and bake at 175dC for approx. 35 mins.

Enjoy :)

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Thanks a lot, very yummy!

wally's picture
wally

I love this bread and usually bake mine as per Hamelman's recipe, with a normal levain and about 10% rye flour.  However, having looked at your loaf and read your recipe, I'm going to flip-flop on my next bake and use my rye starter.  The tarts looks delicious as well!

Larry

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I must try making both of them!

David

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Beautifully prepared and presented, Hans.

Your dinner partners are very fortunate, indeed.

Thank you for the formula!

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

Larry, David and Lindy: Thanks so much :)

Hanzosbm's picture
Hanzosbm

Sorry to necropost, but I'm planning on making this soon but was a bit confused by some of the items in the formula.  For instance, for the sourdough starter, the total weight shows 120.1, but in the final dough, it shows as only 109.1.  Is some of the starter being held back?

Hanzosbm's picture
Hanzosbm

Well, I made the bread this weekend. I used all of the starter and baked it at 450 for 20 minutes with steam using a metal bowl placed over it with a small crack to allow in the steam from the cast iron pan below it hot with some boiling water. 

After the steam, I baked till internal temp hit 205, then gave it another 4 minutes because it was looking pretty pale.

Overall impressions: very soft crumb with some nice chew. The flavor of the sourdough is subtle, but it's there. Overall, I would've liked a darker crust, so the covered steaming method might not be my method anymore. Either that or higher temp. I personally thought it could use a bit more salt but my wife disagreed. Also, based on the score marks, I think I might have overproofed it a little, although I followed the recipe exactly. Maybe my starter was a little more aggressive or the room temp was a little higher, who knows. 

This would be on the to-make-again list, except I don't typically keep rye starter around. So we'll see.