The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Chad Robertson's Rugbrøt

breaducation's picture
breaducation

Chad Robertson's Rugbrøt

As you can probably tell from my name(it's Jorgen in case you're wondering) I have Scandinavian roots in my family. My great grandparents were immigrants from Norway and while I don't speak Norwegian nor have I ever been there, I've always felt a connection to Norway and the Scandinavian countries in general(I almost always root for the Norwegians when the Olympics come around, which for some reason is much more successful in the winter.). So when I was pointed, by breadsong, to this article and formula, written by Chad Robertson, I got excited and knew I had to give it a try.

I was further interested in trying this bread when I stopped off at Bar Tartine's new sandwich shop on the way home from work one day. This is where Chad Robertson is doing most of his bread experimentation these days so I was hoping to taste something new and interesting. I went in to try and get one of the Smørrebrød(an open faced danish sandwich) but upon entering I was informed that they had just closed. However, they also informed me that they would be happy to make one for me anyways, on the house, so I could get a taste of what they do there! What great customer service! I knew I would be coming back even before I got to taste the Smørrebrød. The Smørrebrød I ended up getting consisted of eggplant, white bean puree and a whole roasted tomato all served on an extremely delicious and seed-dense slice of rye. It was sooo good. Upon comparing the bread in the Smørrebrød to the formula posted on Food Arts I was fairly certain they were one in the same or at least very similar.

Smørrebrød from Bar Tartine's Sandwich Shop

I've already been doing a bit of rye baking recently(See: Sprouted Vollkornbrot with Seeds) and loving the flavor, heartiness and keeping qualities, however, Chad Robertson's formula brings some interesting new ideas to the table that I've never tried before. For one thing, the loaf is partially hydrated with buttermilk and beer. Such a combination sounded too delicious to resist. His loaf is also extremely seed and rye berry dense. The total seeds and rye berries in the formula add up to over 170% of the flour! I'd certainly never pushed seed content that high in any loaf so it was all the more enticing(I love trying new things). Finally I had never retarded a loaf with a high percentage of rye because of concerns about high levels of sourness but Robertson goes for it. And when in doubt, listen to Robertson.

This dough was a little bit scary in the beginning stages of the mix. It started out extremely wet. At first I was seriously concerned that there was a misprint in the formula but as I added seeds and rye berries into the dough, and they started to absorb some of the water, the dough came together some and became more manageable. Let me warn you though that it is still an extremely wet dough so don't panic if you give it a shot. Also, there are no guidelines as to what the dough should feel like at each stage. I would have to rely on the times and temperatures he states in the formula and my own baker's intuition to get through.

I ended up modifying the process some by switching the retarding to the bulk instead of shaped to accommodate my schedule. I also doubled the sunflower seeds because I didn't have pumpkin seeds on hand and used my remaining sprouted rye from my Vollkornbrot bake in place of some of the soaked rye berries. In the article Robertson mentions using sprouted grain in several of his breads so I felt like this would be a proper fit.

This loaf is my new favorite rye bread! I love how many seeds there are. It's almost like you're eating seeds held together with rye and spelt flour which is quite pleasing actually. Also there is only a slight hint of sourness despite retarding the dough. The only disappointment is that the beer and buttermilk flavors don't really come through. I think if I was to make this loaf again I would increase these two ingredients. Perhaps even replace all the water with beer.

I ended up taking a few slices of this loaf with me on a rock climbing session in place of energy bars. It worked great! One or two slices gave me plenty of energy and kept me feeling nourished for hours  without the sugar rush feeling. I'm guessing that was the effect of all the seeds, whole grains and good carbs slowly digesting. I may have to try adding some dried fruit to the bread next to truely make it the ultimate climbing snack.

You can check out my modified formula and process at aBreaducation.

Comments

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

really are pushing Varda for the best looking rye bead we have ever seen.  What a magnificent loaf of rye.  It has to taste great.  this is exactly the kind of bread we want to eat all the time.  A true professional.

Very fine baking again!

breaducation's picture
breaducation

Wow thanks for the comliments! I'm also starting lean more towards this kind of bread for the flavor and nutritional value. I also can't get over how long these things last. Kind of amazing.

isand66's picture
isand66

What a fantastic loaf of rye bread!  Your crumb looks as close to perfect as you can get.

I guess a little bit more of beer could never hurt anything now could it?

breaducation's picture
breaducation

No, you can't go wrong with more beer! I once used 100% beer to hydrate a bread and could still only barely taste it so I think it could be a good idea for this one.

isand66's picture
isand66

Try a nice Ale or Stout and you will taste it for sure; at least in my experience and it's worth it!

breaducation's picture
breaducation

Yes I went with an Anchorsteam Porter this time. I think stout would be great in this bread.

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

A wonderful rye bread, breaducation! The crumb looks moist and very handsome; as you say, a perfect snack for mountain climbing! I think you'd be hard pressed to find a rye bread of such outstanding quality around these parts of the woods, if you're not baking it yourself that is. Very inspirational, breaducation!

I'm glad to hear you root for us Norwegians during Olympics, as you saw during this summer's games, we need all the help we can get...

PS: The correct Norwegian spelling is "rugbrød"; rug = rye and brød = bread.

breaducation's picture
breaducation

Awesome to hear from a Norwegian! I'm hoping to one day get over there and check out some bakeries. Any suggestions? I'm also trying to track down a copy of this Norwegian bread book from a bakery in Lom. Unfortunately it only seems to be available from Norwegian books stores. Have you heard about it or read it?

Thanks for the Norwegian spelling tip. I would really like to learn. It seems as though many words are similar to english, I'm not sure about the grammar though.

Glad you liked the bread!

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

Hi again,

If you're looking for good bread outside of the Oslo area, the bakery in Lom probably tops the list. It's located in a wonderful area of the country (http://www.matlangsnasjonaleturistveger.no/norges-beste-brodstopp-2/?lang=en), and Norwegians are known for making large detours just to sneak in a stop at the bakery.

The owner of the bakery, Morten Schakenda, put out the nice book you mention a few years back, and it's become a very popular book here in Norway (publisher's page: http://www.aschehoug.no/fakta/matogdrikke/katalog?productId=18881462, preview: http://www.blaiboka.no/index.php?isbn13=9788203237157#/12). It was awarded the prize for best Norwegian cookbook in 2009, but there are no English versions around, as far as I know.

Many Norwegian words sound similar to the German counterparts, so many visitors from Germany, Switzerland and Austria learn the language quite fast. The most tricky part, especially when it comes to comprehending the spoken language, is the dialects. For a large part, it's a country of fjords and rugged mountains; transportation was not by any means quick or easy before the industrialisation, so many small, nearly isolated villages dotted the country. This resulted in a range of dialects and local variations of phrases and words. Even today one can often tell a person's birthplace within at least 100 - 150 km or so simply by paying attention to her dialect :)

breaducation's picture
breaducation

Yes! That was the book I was thinking of. Lom looks quite beautiful from what I can tell from pictures. I'm going to try to get a copy of that book even if I can't read it. It may just force me to start learning Norwegian.

Also, thanks for the fascinating info on the dialects. It is amazing how fast language can change and evolve in isolated areas.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I would follow you anywhere!  One sharp knife too!  :)

 

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

the rye bread I've been dreaming for! Maybe not with so many seeds, but why not? It looks fantastic, breaducation, it's very ... educational! Does the bread slice easily or does it crumble? Did the rye berries soften enough or do they stay in the way of the knife?

Thanks!!

breaducation's picture
breaducation

The bread actually slices quite well. It stays together nicely and doesn't crumble. This is also the case even a week after baking. It has also remained very very moist. I tried to toast a slice last night and it took about 3 cycles in the toaster just to get the moisture out.

The rye berries are definitely soft enough to cut through with no problems. Occasionally you will get a hard one that was on the outside of the loaf and got dried out during the bake but the internal ones are very friendly on the teeth.

-Jorgen

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello Jorgen,
I'm so happy you made this rugbrød - you've really baked a beauty!
The addition of sprouted grain seems perfect, and I also really like your suggestion of adding fruit
(maybe some dried currants?) to this.
Once I get ahold of enough rye berries I want to give this one a try also. Thanks for providing such a lovely example!
:^) breadsong

Virtus's picture
Virtus

Thank you very much for this recipe. When I was finally brave enough to eat some, discovered my system could handle all that rye and it tastes very good! Esther

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

I made this bread. It tastes delicious, but my paste came out very stiff.  I should have added much more water, at least 50 gr. Well, next time, because there will be many next times!

mlacroix's picture
mlacroix

Hello,

I just mixed the dough, and completed the first bulk rise, and as I separated the "dough" I realized it was much more like batter. It looked like a large amount of starter rather than something I could "scoop out with wet hands" like the recipe called for. It was only pourable, not scoopable... Did anyone run into this problem? I measured every ingredient to the gram.

thanks

 

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne

How much did the dough rise?  I ask this as I want to use my 13"x4"x4" pullman pan, that way I don't have to use steam.

 

Thanks,

Dwayne