The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Rye Sourdough with Roasted Cracked Wheat

amolitor's picture

Rye Sourdough with Roasted Cracked Wheat

I gave this recipe a try over the last couple of days. Here is my report!

First of all, OF COURSE I had to tinker with it. I cut it in half, and converted to rough volumetric measurements.

  • 1/4 cup cracked wheat, well toasted in
  • 1/4 cup water just off the boil

soak soak soak

  • half a cup of 100%-ish WW starter, quite active
  • 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • cracked wheat mixture

Mix and then add:

  • 3/4 cup rye flour
  • 3/4 cup WW flour
  • sufficient bread flour to get the hydration about right (very sticky, semi-pourable)

Autolyse 30 minutes (well, ok, the baby needed some tending, so tend the baby for a while, and then:) knead to get a little development, bulk rise 5-6 hours S&F every hour or thereabouts.

I could tell at this point that it wasn't going QUITE as planned -- my hydration seems to have been a bit too high for the amount of bread flour I'd gotten into it, since I wasn't getting much gluten development. The hydration looked the same as in the given link, but the gluten development never got to that point. Oh well, forward..

Into the fridge overnight, warm to room temp the next day, shape and proof 2 hours, bake at 450 with steam 20 minutes, turn down to 425 for another 20 minutes I elected to skip the 'cool it for 2 hours, shape, back into the fridge in a banneton overnight for final proofing' step because I could tell this was just going to result in a loaf irrevocably stuck to my improvised banneton cloth. At least, so it seemed to me. So, I went for a simple 'bulk rise for 6 hours with S&Fs, then retard 12 hours in the fridge before shaping.'

The results. VERY moist and sticky dough, even in a 2 hour proof it stuck to the banneton a bit, and there was just never a gluten skin on the outside to hold it together, so it was pretty slumpy. The resulting loaf was raised just fine, and tastes absolutely fantastic -- quite sour, quite rye, quote toasted cracked wheat. The cracked wheat isn't noticeable as hard bits at all -- you can SEE them and I think they add texture, but they've softened up beautifully. I toasted the wheat in a dry cast iron skillet to dark golden brown, another few minutes and I would have been burning it. This bread is moist and crazily delicious, with a slightly tacky crumb.



Lessons learned (tentatively):

If it's not developing well in the initial knead, sacrifice some hydration to get some more wheat flour in to it!


wassisname's picture

 And I can just imagine the flavor!  I do a lot of WW and rye tinkering (never added cracked wheat, though... love the idea) and it's always the flat, "over-hydrated" loaves that have that fantastic crumb.  Whenever I take the hydration down enough to get a tall, perky loaf the crumb just isn't quite the same - good, but not really good.

My compromise has been to bake a drier, taller loaf if I'm sharing with anyone who expects that from their bread, but to bake them flat and fabulous for myself!