The Fresh Loaf

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Question regarding Mixing Hamelman 3 Stage 70% Rye by Hand

loafgeek's picture
loafgeek

Question regarding Mixing Hamelman 3 Stage 70% Rye by Hand

I am making Hamelman's 3 stage 70% sourdough rye and am on the final sourdough stage now.  Pretty soon I am supposed to mix in a large portion of flour and water.

Hamelman calls for a spiral mixer, which I don't have -- not even a stand mixer.  He says to mix it on the lowest setting for 4 minutes and 1 1/2 minutes on the next speed up.


Can't I just use my hands to mix it in, and if so should I do it over a period of 5 minutes?  I guess I need to try to be really gentle with due to the sharp edges of the rye bran.

Any help would be greatly appreciated thanks.

isand66's picture
isand66

The reason why he says to use the mixer is that rye breads tend to be very sticky and are not easy to mix by hand.  You can certainly use a wooden spoon or dough whisk if you have one.  How long to mix it will depend on the consistency of the dough you are trying to achieve.  You don't want to over-mix which is unlikely anyway if you are doing it by hand.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

High rye doughs are very sticky!  

I use a very sturdy silicon spatula or a thick bamboo spoon to stir.  Keep a wet spoon or knife handy for scraping down the stirring spoon.    Sticking your hands in to mix up the dough will leave your hands very coated in sticky goo.  I mix all my ryes with a spatula, the mixer is just too much trouble to clean up. Don't let any tools dry with rye dough on them or it cleans up like cement.  (slight exaggeration)

The way to handle the dough later is to wet your hands first and keep them lightly wet while working, spatula too.   

All at Sea's picture
All at Sea

... when you say:

Don't let any tools dry with rye dough on them or it cleans up like cement.  (slight exaggeration)

Personally, I think you're understanting the case rather than exaggerating it. Occasionally I've goofed, forgotten to wash immediately - and then it's chisel time!  :^)

All at Sea

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

in soapy water long enough, they will just disolve away eventually leaving the rye cement completly unharmed - but no longer stuck to anything :-)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and my husband will be the first to correct my use of cement, should have written concrete.  :)

(cement is the powdered form before being set)

loafgeek's picture
loafgeek

You guys are making me laugh!

hollyfeldl's picture
hollyfeldl

While I haven't tried 70%... I hand mix lower percentage rye all the time with good success.  To prevent things sticking to my hands, I use food safe nitrile gloves and work with wet hands.  Good luck.

sgregory's picture
sgregory

I do as Mini oven suggests using a sturdy silicone spatula.  I deviate when it becomes too difficult  to stir and then switch to a wet hands technique.  I make 8-10 loaves at a time so it becomes necessary.  A wet scraper helps the hands clean up if they get too gooey. 

I find it helps just to pretend I was 8 ydears old again and like playing in that stuff.  Self imposed therapy I guess ;-)

loafgeek's picture
loafgeek

Thanks for all the replies.  I ended up trying to mix the rye dough by hand just to see what you all were talking about.  Oh my, the most sticky stuff ever lol!  It took me a while to clean that dough off my hands!

Thanks for the tips about using a spatula, stick and wet hands.  I'll try the slightly wet handed approach next time.  I wet my hands when I make sushi rolls for the same reason--sushi rice is very sticky as well; the rye dough is even more sticky than that rice! :)