The Fresh Loaf

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Recent breads - Struan and Black Rye

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longhorn's picture
longhorn

Recent breads - Struan and Black Rye

I finally got a day to bake last week and commitments led me to bake a variation of Peter Reinharts Struan and Hamelman's Black Rye.

I didn't have the proper grains so I used rye flakes, wheat flakes, barley flakes, oat flakes, sunflower seeds, and a bit of flax. The results came out pretty much as expected and was pretty popular with friends.

The Black Rye was made by following Hamelman's recipe in Bread exactly. This is a good example of a learning loaf. I expected it to be "blacker" and ended up overbaking it a bit as I expected it to darken more. My time was at Hamelman's shorter times - my oven thermostat is pretty dependable so I can usually follow baking times - and I generally prefer my breads baked more than less. In this case his time was too much. I also felt the dough was a bit dry as I mixed it and the crumb supports that conclusion as well, I think. Next time I will add a couple of percent hydration and shorten the bake. Really good, complex, earthy flavor!

As you can see in the bottom image the crust is pretty thick - and the loaf is a bit dryer than most ryes I have made so...live and learn!

Bake On!

Jay

Comments

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Both look lovely Jay! Was the Struan 100% wholewheat?

longhorn's picture
longhorn

Yes, the Struan was 100 percent whole wheat. The actual recipe is based on Multigrain Struan from PR's Whole Grain book. I thought its crumb was pretty nice for pure whole wheat. 

The black rye is a bit "ugly" as a naked loaf. I think it would benefit from a finish of something a bit more colorful than black caraway. Maybe a dusting of rye or maybe a glaze (I think not) to make the surface shiny. But I followed Hamelman's suggestions. I also meant to point out the dark flecks in the loaf is old bread. I think I might also use some coarse rye meal next time.

Thanks!
Jay 

FlourChild's picture
FlourChild

Those look great- I wouldn't call the rye ugly, it reminds me of a beehive.  And the flavor sounds very good.  Nice to get your notes, I'm going to add them to my book :)

longhorn's picture
longhorn

Thanks FlourChild!

Your description of the rye is uplifting but I must comment that I think only a breadhead would find that look appealing. I can't imagine the general public reacting so positively!

The bread is wonderfully earthy. The coffee adds a subtle extra tang and bitterness to the sourdough that works well. It also gives you a good reason to save heels of loaves. For this loaf I didn't have any rye heels so I used some spelt and conventional sourdough toasted hard (another source of darker flavors). However I will save some of this loaf to grind up in my Cuisinart to use in the next batch! 

varda's picture
varda

These look really good - ugly in a kind of bready beautiful way.   Another Hamelman I haven't tried but apparently should.   Thanks for posting.  -Varda

longhorn's picture
longhorn

Thanks for the kind words, Varda! My comments to FlourChild are ditto to you! I think you will like this bread though I think it may benefit from tweaking more than some of the Hamelman recipes/formulas which is why I highlighted my struggles.

You might enjoy the story behind why I made this bread. The wife of a good friend is second generation American Russian and her mother made Russian black rye every week. About a year ago she told me she had never found any bread like her mothers - and she didn't have a recipe. So I started looking at Russian Black Rye recipes and found them all over the place - often using commercial yeast and vinegar, instant coffee, black strap molasses, and stuff that just didn't feel right. Still, I made several variations but they never satisfied me. Somehow, probably because it didn't say Russian, I rejected the Hamelman Black Rye recipe early on and never looked back until recently. This time I recognized its Russian Rye character. The simplicity of the formula and its avoidance of "gimmicks" appealed and I tried it. I gave her a loaf and she almost immediately left on a trip. I am looking forward to her assessment of how it compares to her mothers!

Look forward to your effort on this bread!

Thanks!

Jay