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Two Ryes: More Variations on Hamelman

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wally's picture
wally

Two Ryes: More Variations on Hamelman


My last rye experiment involved a variation on Hamelman's 66% rye sourdough found in Bread.  The variation was the inclusion of a boiling rye soaker (brühstück) and toasted sunflower seeds.  I was pleased with the result, especially the sweetness imparted by the soaker.


Since then I have ventured farther away from his recipe with two further experiments.


The first involved repeating my earlier variation, but with the addition of a portion of old rye bread (altus).  I soaked the bread in hot water for 4 hours, and then attempted to wring as much water from it as I was able.  But it almost immediately dawned on me that the addition of this (I added 15% of total dough weight in altus) was going to complicate my attempts at arriving at the proper hydration level since I neglected to weight the stale bread before soaking it.  Nevertheless, I decided to press ahead and assume as a matter of fact that the overall hydration would be in excess of 75% which is called for in the formula.


Once I began mixing the dough it became evident that the hydration was way in excess of 75% - the mix resembled a thick pancake batter, and it never came together even somewhat during the 10 minute mix on speed 1.  I poured it into a bowl and gave it a 45 minute fermentation. 


   


Following that I attempted briefly to handle it with wet hands and see if I could shape it.  Failure - the dough/batter was simply too wet to allow for shaping.  So I scraped it into a bread pan, allowed it to proof for another 45 minutes, until it had just cleared the sides of the pan, and then placed it in a pre-steamed oven (to the extent you can presteam a gas oven), and baked it for 75 minutes. 


The initial temperature was 475° F for 15 minutes, followed by a reduction to 425° for 30 minutes and then a final 30 minute bake at 400°. 



As you can see, the loaf slightly deflated - it came out of the pan level with the rim, whereas it was slightly above when I placed it in the oven.  I feared for the worst - insertion of a toothpick seemed to indicate that the interior had collapsed.  However, I dutifully allowed it to cool, wrapped it in a linen towel, and waited 24 hours before cutting into it.


    


My surprise was that it had not collapsed, and though I think the openness of the crumb may be an indication that I pushed it almost to the point of overproofing, it has been (and remains) very good.  It is quite moist, but not gummy.  And between the altus and hot soaker it has a wonderful flavor, full of sweetness and dark caramel tones.


Should I attempt this again (and given the flavor I probably will), I will weight the althus before soaking it, so that I can retain some control over how hydrated the final dough is.


As I now realized that even a hydrated dough that resembled a batter could yield good results, I spent the last couple weeks thinking about a further variation on Hamelman's rye - one that still incorporated the hot soaker, but went for considerably higher hydration levels.  As luck would have it, inspiration came in the form of SylivaH's wonderful seeded bread and hansjoakim's very timely seeded sourdough rye that features a quite wet dough.


So, I decided to draw from these and construct a rye that would be an all-sourdough bread with no commercial yeast, use a boiling soaker, and feature the addition of other seeds.  The general numbers I had in mind were a levain that comprised 40% of total weight and a soaker of equal weight.  Thus, I was looking for fully 80% of the dough to be either preferment or soaker.  Here is the formula in full:



I should mention that the 'high gluten' flour I use is KA's Bread flour, which, with a protein content of 12.7%, is at the low end of what can be called high gluten flour.


The levain and soakers were created 12 hours in advance of the final dough mix.  I first mixed them together with the small addition of water to fully disperse the levain, and then added the remaining flour, seeds and salt.  The first thing I noticed was that while the hydration here was 100%, the dough was still more dough-like than batter-like, and I attribute that to the amount of water absorbed by the flaxseeds. 


I had planned on a primary fermentation of 45 minutes, but as the pictures below show, in just 30 minutes the dough had doubled in volume and was threatening to climb out of the bowl it was in. 


    


I'm assuming that the fact that the levain accounts for 40% of the dough weight is responsible for this - my other rye experiments generally involve a levain that constitutes about 25% of total weight.


The dough was divided and deflated and then shaped and placed into the bread pans. 


    


I had the forethought to immediately begin preheating the oven which was fortunate, because in just a little over 30 minutes the loaves had risen just above the rim of the pans and I knew that they needed to be placed into the oven at once or else risk overproofing and collapse.


    


The total bake time was 75 minutes, beginning at 475° and then decreasing the temperature by 25° in 15 minute increments, so that the final 15 minute bake was done at 375°.  I cooled the loaves, shown below, and then wrapped them in linen for 48 hours.



This afternoon I finally cut into one loaf and found a very agreeable crumb that while moist, is nowhere near as moist as the previous loaf made with altus.


    


The addition of sesame and flaxseeds to the toasted sunflower seeds is quite noticeable and the sesame seeds add a nice complexity of flavor and balance out, along with the sunflower seeds, the sweetness from the hot rye soaker.


I must admit that I have become smitten with ryes.  The flavor(s) and texture are just exquisite.  I grew up hating rye bread, because the only rye I was ever exposed to was the caraway seed laden version sold in most groceries.  I hated caraway seeds as a kid, and I've never outgrown that.  So it was not until quite late in life that I've finally discovered the wonders of rye.


Better late than never - and even better with a little goat's cheese!



Larry


 

Comments

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

My computer screen looked good enough to eat! Your ryes are beautiful and look so delicious. As soon as I get time I'm going to try these. Thanks for the great posting.


weavershouse

wally's picture
wally

Thanks weavershouse!

Franko's picture
Franko

Good to see you posting again Larry!


You've been doing some of the most interesting things with rye lately and I've really enjoyed your posts on them. Couldn't agree with you more on the caraway issue, never done a thing for me either. Your second loaf looks like a good one, with a remarkably open crumb for a 72% rye. It must have tremendous flavour from all the soakers and seeds, not to mention the levain. Nice job!


All the best,


Franko

wally's picture
wally

This one is definitely a keeper.  I seem to have a very healthy rye levain which really surprised me, but in the end, in a good way.


Larry

LindyD's picture
LindyD

I almost bit my computer screen when that opening shot loaded!


Beautiful rye, Wally, really lovely.

wally's picture
wally

Don't lose a tooth.  I want to hear how the bagels end up.


Larry

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Family rolled in and I knew they would eat all the bagels, so I didn't salt any.  Will try again this weekend.  Just as well, as I had used JH's errata sheet and increased the yeast to .14 oz.  Did not like the result at all.  I think it's too much, so will reduce it next time.


Didn't lose a tooth, but my screen has a small dent!  ;-)  That's such an enticing crumb!

wally's picture
wally

I use his recipe - but half of the Home formula - which yields me 8 x 3oz bagels and a bit left over.  So my IDY is .07 oz which is right in line with his errata sheet . I like the result, but here's my approach: Mix, bulk ferment for one hour, divide and shape, and then proof for one hour before retarding overnight.  I take the bagels directly out of the walk-in and plunge them into boiling water for about a minute and a half (so 45 seconds on a side before turning them).  I then seed them and let them rest for 5 minutes before putting them into the oven (which I steam). I get chewy bagels with an open crumb.  Give it a shot.


Larry

foodslut's picture
foodslut

I'm still nervous about baking with sourdough/levain, and seeing your "before" pictures gives me a sense of what the dough could look like and still be successful.

wally's picture
wally

Nothing to be nervous about.  Just make sure you've got a healthy levain and you'll rarely touch commercial yeast!


Larry

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Wow, looks so delicious and wholesome!  Left me too, drooling on my keyboard with those photos!  Very nicely written up, thanks for sharing, Larry!


Sylvia

wally's picture
wally

Thanks Sylvia!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Wish I could taste them.


You're inspiring me to get back into a rye baking phase. It's been a while.


David

wally's picture
wally

More to come - I just looked at the pictures Sam Fromartz posted of J.H.'s rye loaves that he scored prior to proofing.  Have to try that!


Larry

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

It doesn't get much better than that - those look terrific!


Health and unbeatable flavour, wrapped in the same loaf. Thanks for the inspiring write-up and nice photos!


And I agree - what's caraway got to do in rye loaves? A well made rye bread is so full of delicate flavour on its own, it shouldn't have to compete with the dominating caraway for your attention.

wally's picture
wally

And thanks for providing some of the inspiration.  I think I've finally cut my ties with adding commercial yeast to my rye sourdoughs. No need.


Larry

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Hi Wally, your breads look very nice and the crumb is quite open.


I, too, hate caraway seeds, too spicy for me. Fennel and anis are much better for my tastes, but they still tend to dominate the taste of rye.


I still can't make my mind to add high gluten flour in such an unfriendly environment:-)


Very nice loaves!


 

wally's picture
wally

I love fennel, but you're right, it's too strong I fear for a good rye.


Larry

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

What beautiful ryes!  Looks like I need to do some experimenting of my own.


Curiosity question: did you dock any of the loaves prior to baking?


Paul

wally's picture
wally

I do dock them, although I use a fork. My plastic dough docker is too cumbersome and I fear it would collapse the risen loaves, but the fork works nicely.


Larry

breitbaker's picture
breitbaker

This looks amazing!


Cathy B. 


http://www.brightbakes.wordpress.com

wally's picture
wally

Thanks Cathy!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

or is that taste buds? 


Welcome to the dark side!  You've been bitten by the rye bug!  I don't think you will ever return to a ryeless life again!   Beautiful!


Mini

wally's picture
wally

Yes, I have gone over to the dark side, and I'm loving it!

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Very exotic loaves Larry. I'm following in your tracks, enjoying your posts.


Eric

wally's picture
wally

It took awhile, but after looking at enough posts by you, hansjoakim, ananda and mini I realized there must be something to rye breads.  Now I'm intrigued to the point I fear I may be neglecting my white dough levain.


Larry

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Larry,


What beautiful loaves!


I just tried 100% rye for the first time after being quite nervous of the endeavour. Used Andrew Whitley's formula in Bread Matters and really liked the results.


I didn't imagine though that one could get such aeration with rye, rye soakers and high gluten flour as you have here! These loaves are great - such an open texture and I bet the flavour was delicious.


I also like the look of the pyrex pans. Must help to check how the dough is rising.


Kind regards, Daisy_A

wally's picture
wally

I was a little surprised at the openness of the crumb for a 72% rye.  But I attribute it to the levain which was really strong and active - to the point I was a little alarmed at the speed of both the bulk and final fermentation.  But since the flavor development in this is really backloaded in the hot rye soaker and levain, I see no reason to try to extend the fermentation period.


I haven't yet worked up the nerve for a 100% rye - love to see any pictures you have of your bake.


Larry

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Larry,


Thanks for the message. I can see your levain is strong - positively popping with health!


Do try 100% rye. Andy has a version of the Melmerby formula on this thread.


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/2615/russian-recipe-borodinsky-borodinski-bread


To be honest, and it may have been beginner's luck (!) but I found it easier in some ways to tackle 100% rye (in a tin), than a bread with mixed grains or mixed levains as I was only trying to predict the behaviour of one type of grain.


Will post pictures. We have just upgraded our camera after many years and need to load new software on the computer!


With best wishes, Daisy_A


 

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Larry,


Beautiful breads; excellent experimentation going on here.


Looks like you should just reduce the weight of paste in those lovely glass pans, in order to avoid the wet dough coming over the sides in your first bread.


Love these breads, and great to see you back with such a fine post.   An enforced week off for me too.   They work me too hard just now.   However, I've made bread in college myself this week...featuring rye, and the post is just about to go up!


All good wishes


Andy

wally's picture
wally

You are so right!  As I was writing up my formula I realized that if I cut down the weight of each loaf just a bit I would not have to worry so much about overfilling my bread pans.  But it was late and I was tired and I said, 'the heck with it.'  But, I think reducing the weight slightly would not only solve the threat of overproofing, it would give the opportunity to see if slightly more rise could develop in the bread without compromising the integrity of the crumb.


Next time.....


Best,


Larry

teketeke's picture
teketeke

Hello, Larry


I have make your loaf 3 times so far. That taste awesome although First and Second one didn't look like yours, then I realized that I was mixing and kneading too much.  


And the third time,  I added 18g water then became more like your bread.




I tried not to over-mix and it was a succesful.   It is a fantastic bread, Larry!   I love this bread!!  Thank you for sharing your great recipe!


P.S I also put this bread recipe on my blog, too. I added more story about this bread.  http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/20285/baking-baking


Akiko

wally's picture
wally

I already responded on your blog, but I'll say it again: great bake!


Larry

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Larry, those are some amazing looking loaves.. I love Rye bread, and you make it ever so appealing.


Thanks for the post, larry, i must try that someday...

teketeke's picture
teketeke

Hello again, Larry and Khalid


Larry:  WHAT A GREAT BREAD!  This is like that I found a treasure!  Thank you!! :)


Khalid:  I really recommend this bread to you!! :)


Best wishes,


Akiko

wally's picture
wally

I was a reluctant baker of ryes, but after looking at results posted by Eric, Mini, Hans, Ananda, Karin and others, I realized I was missing out on something really good.


Glad you've discovered my discovery Akiko!


Larry