The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Andy's Pain Au Levain with Light Rye

varda's picture
varda

Andy's Pain Au Levain with Light Rye

Recently Andy posted on his Pain Au Levain with Light Rye.   http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/23199/pain-au-levain-light-rye-flour  His formula was quite similar to something I had tried awhile ago http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/22372/sourdough-white-rye with a major difference: the percentage of fermented flour, which was more than double what I had used (33.3% rather than 16%).   I decided to try Andy's approach.  I followed his directions with the following differences: I used my own idiosyncratic methods for refreshing starter mostly in the refrigerator,   scaled to half of his formula and made a single 1Kg batard,  reduced salt to 1% of flour so that my husband could eat it,  and retarded for 12 hours in addition to a 2.5 hour bulk ferment and combined (evening and morning) counter proof of 2.5 hours.   Finally, not having access to either of Andy's flours, I used KAAP and KA White Rye.  The profile of the resulting loaf was quite similar (and Mt. Vesuvius-like) to my earlier efforts and quite different from Andy's more miche-like structure.  



What took me totally by surprise though was the crumb.   While my earlier sour doughs with white rye had a certain density which allowed me to cut very thin slices without smashing the loaf, this one was lighter than air, and I had to cut even thick slices very carefully to keep from tearing apart the loaf:



Also, using the leave in the oven for 10 minutes with the door slightly propped open trick which Andy suggested for this loaf (and I've used with absolutely no success on many occasions) I got a nice singing crackly crust.



This is the first time I've tried to follow one of Andy's formulas, but certainly not the last.   Delicious!

Comments

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

amazing!! Can you detail how you prepared the preferment, please?

varda's picture
varda

Nico.   Thanks for your comments.   I know you tried my earlier white rye formula, and you really should try this one - it's better.   As for preferment, I usually keep a tub of starter in the refrigerator (around 300g) and when I bake I just take out what I need for the bake, replenish with water and flour (I generally use something like 95g KAAP, 5g rye, 62g water for the feeding).   Then leave on the counter for three hours, then pop back into the refrigerator until the next time I bake.   I bake fairly frequently  - say 2 or 3 times a week - so with this schedule the starter gets fed regularly and seems pretty happy.   However, I stopped baking for a week recently because of Passover and I was worried that my usual routine wouldn't work so I did things a little differently.   I pulled out 80 grams of my hungry tired neglected starter - fed it 100g KAAP and 60g water and left it on the counter for 8 hours, fed it again same amounts, left it out for 3 hours and then refrigerated for 2 days.   Then pulled out 320g for the bake and used it directly as I usually do, using very warm water to compensate for the very cold starter.   Re Khalid's earlier post, I was very careful with dough temperature as well for this bake - I actually took my bowl of dough and put it inside a spaghetti pot filled with warm water with the lid on while it fermented.   This worked like a charm.  -Varda

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Varda, this kind of retarded prefermentation is very intriguing. You can be sure I'll try it. Thanks for the explanation.

varda's picture
varda

how it goes.   I haven't seen anyone else using this approach, but I feel that it has really improved my bread baking.  The starter develops in the refrigerator and it is good to go after 2 days and until around 5 days but really not past that without being refreshed.   -Varda

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Oh wow Varda - that looks delicious! Crust is so gorgeously golden with such a well developed, glistening crumb. Great job!


Best wishes, Daisy_A

varda's picture
varda

Daisy for your kind remarks.  -Varda

Syd's picture
Syd

Nice result!  Lovely looking crumb, Varda.  For a rye loaf that is extremely open. 


Best,


Syd

varda's picture
varda

I think that it must be a factor of the large percentage of prefermented flour, but I'm really not sure.  This has the same texture of an all wheat sourdough but the taste is definitely affected by the addition of the rye although it's very subtle.  -Varda

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Varda, what an incredible loaf, in every way.
Thanks for sharing how you made it.
:^) from breadsong

varda's picture
varda

Your comments mean a lot to me. -Varda

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Beautiful, Varda! The Crust, Oven Spring and Crumb all look beautiful! Well done!


Prefermented % and White Rye.. I've used sifted Rye and the Crumb improved substatially, on the expense of the flavor unfortunately.


 

varda's picture
varda

White rye is very fine - but I've used it before and got a much more "rye-like" texture.   The only substantial difference here to what I've done before was the percentage of prefermented flour.   And that was all wheat flour.   So I'm a little mystified.    I hope Andy will chime in at some point and explain all this.  -Varda

ww's picture
ww

Hi varda,


love the gelatinized crumb of your and Andy's loaf, but what do you think accounts for the difference in height and shape of the loaves? as you say, Andy's was more miche-like.


yet another to try, the list never stops growing... SIGH :)

varda's picture
varda

Yes, I have a long list too.  It's a burden we have to carry.   I really don't understand why this got so high in the oven.   When I first mixed the dough it was very wet and tacky.   I did two stretch and folds during bulk ferment where I moved the dough to the counter and stretched it out all over so that it was uniformly thin (around a cm) at every point and then put it all back together.   After that the dough was very springy and lost its tackiness and had a very silky quality.   I used a fairly wide batard basket for proofing and it did stretch out overnight in the refrigerator, although it also grew upward. I thought it would spread out in the oven especially since it stuck on the peel when I was putting it in  and by the time I shook it off I had overshot the back of the stone by a little.   But the dough didn't even sag over the edge.   It just slowly expanded straight up.   Bread is a mystery to me.   I'm not a bread scientist, I'm a bread explorer.   -Varda

wally's picture
wally

Nice bake, and the crumb is exactly what you'd hope for from a pain au levain.


Larry

varda's picture
varda

Thanks Larry,   I appreciate your comments.  -Varda

kim's picture
kim

Hi Varda,


I also like Andy light rye recipe( you posted). I think your baking skills improve a lot recently. You had your whole process down very precisely especially your shaping and final proofing parts because I can tell from the pictures. Very well done baked :)


Kimmy

varda's picture
varda

Thanks for the compliment.   It does seem like my baking has got a bit more reliable lately.   I appreciate the support, and look forward to seeing some of your efforts.  -Varda

LindyD's picture
LindyD

You've sure traveled a long way, Varda, from those exploding loaves!


A beautiful bake!

varda's picture
varda

As I recall I got a LOT of great advice with that post including from you, and learned a lot that is still helping me today.   In any case, thank you for your comments.  -Varda

ww's picture
ww

what is the cc flour in Andy's recipe?

varda's picture
varda