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The Case of the Melting Dough

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ldsheridan's picture
ldsheridan

The Case of the Melting Dough

Twice now my dough has melted during kneading. Wondering why.

From Reinhart's Crust and Crumb, p. 105 trying to make a yeasted rye -

Sponge:

1 cup unbleached bread flour
1 cup coarse rye flour (I am using pumpernickel grind)
1 tsp instant yeast
1 cup cool water

Dough:

2 cups unbleached bread flour (I used 1 cup bread flour and 1 cup light rye flour)
1 tvlsp brown sugar or diastatic malt powder ( I used 1 tblsp Organic Barley Malt)
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp caramel coloring
1/4 cup buttermilk
The Rye Sponge

The dough comes together although I do have a little difficulty with it, seems kind of dry and dense. I start kneading with the KA using the hook at medium speed. About 3 to 5 minutes in you can see the dough start to stick on the bottom of the bowl. Then that spot grows bigger and bigger until in about 30 seconds I am now stirring a pasty pool of dough. If I start throwing in flour it will eventually come back together. But now it won't rise properly or behave according to the instructions.

I do bake it and it does taste reasonable. The flavor of the rye and pumpernickel are good.. but the loaves just don't seem to bake well. Could someone give me a clue as to what I am doing wrong?

thanks much,

Dennis

wildman's picture
wildman

making a recipe for the first time it is best to follow the recipe as printed making any changes you might like to try once you have a sucessful dish. Go back and try the basic recipe baking a loaf using the ingredients in the recipe before changing the flour grinds and flour types. Rye flour is very different from wheat flour lacking significant protien. By substituting 50% of the flour in the main dough with an unspecified rye flour you have created a balance problem in the protien content and the dough cannot form enough gluten to hold together and trap the yeast gases.

HTH!

 

EDITED: Additionally diastatic malt powder is not the same thing as barley malt. Use the diastatic malt powder as the recipe says to for the best yeast rise and longevity of the rise. Rye breads like whole wheat breads need to give the yeast all the help they can get lifting up the course flours. 

 

Laurentius's picture
Laurentius

I was reading "Professional Baking" by Wayne Gisslen, last night, He stated that the word formula, rather than recipes are used in bread baking, because the basic ingredients are the same, but the change in the formulation of those ingredients gets different results. I agree with Wildman, not only should you follow the directions the first time but a number of times until you understand it, and when you make changes do them one at a time so that you have a knowledge of how the change effected the outcome.

ldsheridan's picture
ldsheridan

Thanks, wildman: I've made the original formula a few times. Since I wasn't getting exactly what I was looking for, I followed Reinhart's advice both in this book and a similar formula in BBA.  He states specicifically to experiment with different amounts of rye flour to achieve the taste one prefers.  He says his formula is for the NA audience which doesn't like full rye breads.  Since the original formula does not deliver the rye flavor we prefer, I replaced some of the bread flour with rye as was suggested.  I understand about rye flours and understand they can be difficult, expecially having the dough turning gummy.  However I have no idea what that means.  If what is happening to me is that process, then that is what I need to know so I can approach the formula I wish to use differently the next time.

Also, the barley malt is for flavor. I used the diastatic powder in the original formula, and it did deliver a nice crust. But between the two, I'd rather go for flavor than a darker crisper crust.  The rise is not of particular interest since we like our rye and pumpernickel on the dense side.  Reinhart states that the powder helps the crust, and if you prefer just swap it out for the malt which will help the flavor.

Thanks, Laurentius: I've made a number of breads a number of times from Crust and Crumb, the BBA, and formulas here and elswhere on the web. I understand completely about grasping the formulas. This has been most useful when altering formulas unsuccessfully, as in most cases I knew how to correct it.  But this one I have never seen before and only with this sponge.  This is the only bread I bake with this particular sponge which only ferments for 4 hours before use.  I tried googling for this problem using a number of different terms but couldn't find anything at all useful which is why I asked here.  Hopefully this is exactly the "gummy" problem Reinhart warns against and I can work with that.  I just have no idea what "gummy" means.  What I'm seeing is "disintegration".. to me, "gummy" is what gets on your shoes walking down the street..

wildman's picture
wildman

The dough's collapse is due to the lack of protein in your flour blend, possibly using the wrong rye flour type and/or grind and taking away the diastatic malt powder. Use less rye flour and/or a lighter finer flour. The yeast likes the diastatic malt so leave it in and let your dough mature or bulk rise longer for better flavor. If you want good crust bake it hotter and finish the loaves harder using a covered Dutch oven for at least the first half of the oven time. 

HTH!

 

ldsheridan's picture
ldsheridan

Thanks, wildman. When Reinhart says "coarse rye flour" I am assuming he means pumpernickel grind in all cases.  I made a couple of his sourdough formulas out of BBA and they all used pumpernickel for the starter/barm.  I use light rye flour since my bulk store doesn't carry dark rye. The light rye has a very fine texture, very close to AP or bread flour so.. not sure how I could find a 'lighter finer flour'. I am at some point going to order some dark rye flour and experiment with that. The more rye I can get into these loaves the more I'll like it.

I'm afraid I'm an utter failure at Dutch oven baking. I tried a few times but it's beyond me. I also have issues with hot ovens.  I was very excited when I first got the BBA and discovered how to bake bread. Yet his 500 degree oven and spraying and reducing to 450 and either put the dough on the stone (I use fired-clay tiles from builder's supply) or on a baking sheet are pretty much a disaster for me.  No matter what I put the loaves on, if I start out with anything higher than 450 degrees I am guaranteed to burn the bottom and other parts of the loaves.  The only loaf that appears to benefit in any way from steam are the French breads. I can't tell any difference in any of the other breads whether I use steam or not.  So I bake below 400 and expect them to be finished before the stated times. (Yes, I have checked the oven temperature a number of ways and yes, I have the cheapest oven money can buy but I think the oven is just fine. It, at least, is accurate.) Same with presentation. I bake the ugliest bread in the world. Sure does taste good though.

So I'll go back to the malt powder and avoid kneading with the KA and change my technique.  I'm fine with the crust in any event.  For me. there's something about pumpernickel in the crust that just makes it perfect no matter what.  If I can get the dough to behave like his sourdough Pumpernickel from the BBA I'll be perfectly happy.  This yeasted rye I'm trying to make has a strong rye taste very close to that Pumpernickel.

Thanks very much, this certainly helps.

Dennis

All at Sea's picture
All at Sea

... and some questions too.

* Rye is a very thirsty flour. By substituting a cup of rye for one of the original recipe's cups of bread flour, you will need to increase the hydration. That's probably why your dough at first seems very dry and dense.

* Rye is also a very sticky flour when wetted, and one that does not take to being worked vigorously. It just gets stickier and stickier. You might need to adjust the way you handle the dough when substituting with rye.

* Now a couple of questions:
(1) How long are you allowing your sponge to proof before using? And -
(2) What is the ambient temperature range the sponge and final dough are proofing in?

I ask because melting dough could be the result of an over-proofed sponge.

All at Sea

wildman's picture
wildman

He is experiencing the problem within a few minutes of mixing the main dough using a KA stand mixer so it cannot be an over proofed sponge. 

 

ldsheridan's picture
ldsheridan

Thanks, All at Sea. I certainly will be increasing the hydration and will adopt a different technique whem working the next batch of dough.

The sponge only proofs for 4 hours. This is a 1 day bread. However I did once let it go 24 hours but couldn't distinguish any benefit with the baked loaves..

Dennis

 

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

So far as I see, there's nothing wrong in switching out one cup of the bread flour for a cup of the rye flour.  The mistake, if there is one, is to stick with the same process after changing the ingredients.  The original formula called for 2 cups of bread flour and one cup of rye flour.  Consequently, it will behave more like a wheaten dough in terms of gluten development.  The revised formula has 1 cup of bread flour and 2 cups of rye flour.  It, in turn, will behave more like a rye paste (and yes, paste is the appropriate word).  Rye pastes, if worked overlong or too vigorously, will suffer a breakdown of the pentosan structure.  Once that goes, nothing will restore it.  The one cup of bread flour in the revised formula cannot provide enough gluten to offset the rye-dominated characteristics of your paste.  I believe that your revised formula will benefit from a much shorter and gentler mixing/kneading.  Aim for full mixing and dispersion of all ingredients, then stop.  You will get adequate gluten development by allowing the moisture from the water and the buttermilk to hydrate the bread flour.  If the paste will tolerate it, you may want to do one or two gentle stretch and folds to help organize the gluten.

Much as I respect Chef Reinhart, I really do question his suggestion to use diastatic malt instead of non-diastatic malt.  Yes, the diastatic malt's enzyme content will convert more of the starch to sugar, which will affect both flavor and crust color.  However, if the malt is primarily to sweeten the bread, non-diastatic malt would be a much better choice since it doesn't present the risk of turning the dough into a gummy mass; especially when using such a large amount.  Whether your organic barley malt was diastatic or non-diastatic, I can't say.

If you want to go with a deeper rye flavor and content, I'd suggest one of the formulae from Leader's Local Breads, or Mini's favorite 100% rye, or one of the pumpernickel recipes from Inside the Jewish Bakery.

Best of luck with your next bake.

ldsheridan's picture
ldsheridan

Thanks, PMcCool.  I had seen Mini's 100% rye, which greatly intimidated me. I am still very much a beginner baker and hers is well beyond my skill right now.  After I get a few more loaves under my belt <I can hear the groans> it is definitely in my recipe folder.

The organic barley malt is from King Arthur under the Suzanne's Specialties label.  It doesn't mention anything other than "It is used primarily as a 'masker' of whole grains, which have a tendency to be bitter when eaten."  Next paragraph says, "makes it an excellent sweetener."..  so..  implying non-diastatic, I guess...

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

So sorry for the intimidation, wasn't meant to be that way.  I really like a no fuss recipe with little tools to clean and no brain work. 

I think the inclusion for diastase (amylase) is to help speed up the neutralization of phytic acid which can taste bitter.

caraway's picture
caraway

Love to make Reinhart's light rye!  I use a Bosch to knead it for 2 minutes on slowest speed before a 20 to 30 minute autolyse.  Then knead again for only 3 minutes.  Usually do a stretch and fold or two during bulk rise but found that rye flour doesn't like to be kneaded too much.

Hope this helps, good luck with your baking.

Sue

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Hi Dennis,

What you describe sounds like starch damage - a fault in the flour that sometimes results from the milling process.

I had it with wholegrain rye and wheat. 

The dough behaves exactly as you describe:

Because the starch granules are damaged they take in more water initially. The dough feels dry and one is compelled to add more water. Then suddenly all goes mushy. And it is nearly impossible to bake off all that water.

My recommendataion: The recipe is ok; try flour from a different producer.

Happy Baking,

Juergen

 

ldsheridan's picture
ldsheridan

Thank you, Juergen!  That is very interesting! Because the two times this happened I was using a newly purchased bag of flour. I had made other alterations to other rye formulas with a previous light rye flour purchase and did not have any issues..  Intriguing.  I believe I'll go do some shopping.

Thank you!

Dennis

 

 

golgi70's picture
golgi70

It sounds like an overmixed dough by your description.  I've adjusted your recipe to weights (roughly) to make more sense of this.  Increasing the Rye you've went from 20% rye up to 43% rye.  Hydration is low at about 62%.  I'd increase the hydration and switch the yeast amounts from sponge/dough.  The smaller portion in the sponge and the larger in the finished dough.  Also at 40% rye as soon as the dough has come together I'd stop mixing and use more gentle techniques to further strengthen if desired ie. s+ f.   

Sponge:

4.5 oz bread flour

3.5 oz Rye 

.1 oz   Yeast

8 oz    H20

 

Dough

4.5 oz bread flour 

3.5 oz rye
1 TB Malt
1 1/4 tsp salt
.5 oz   instant yeast
1 tsp caramel coloring
2.1 oz buttermilk

sfsourdoughnut's picture
sfsourdoughnut

Try this great Paula Dean ceramic 2.5 qt oval covered casserole from Walmart for $25.97:

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Paula-Deen-2.5-Quart-Oval-Covered-Casserole-Dish/13425085

I preheat, with cover, at 475 degrees for about 30 min.  I then put in about 1-2 Tbsp of cornmeal and then put the dough in, slash, place on the cover and then lower the temp to about 425 degrees (F) for about 30 min.  I then remove the lid and reduce the temp to about 350 the last 10-15 min.

I've had much better luck with the ceramic dutch ovens.  Just be extra careful when you pull from the oven that you place the hot ceramic on a cloth hot pad instead of the cold counter or cooktop.  The ceramic can crack, or worse yet, shatter.  Make sure you do the same for the lid as well.

wildman's picture
wildman

to use in the real world. The Lodge 5qt. Dutch oven is only $30 and a half kilo boule fits perfectly. Placement is important with any baking vessal for bread baking. Inexpensive ovens are very hot on the bottom as they cannot retain enough heat and the burners are always on for temps higher than 400F-500F if they can even really get there. This is the reason inexpensive ranges burn the bottoms of your loaves even with a stone or cast iron DO. Try what I used to do when I used to have a $100 stove, place a large cast iron fry pan or ceramic baking dish on the lower rack and use a cast iron DO as high as possible. This prevent any bottom burning when using a cast iron DO.

HTH!

 

ldavis47's picture
ldavis47

http://www.breadtopia.com/sourdough-rye-bread/. It is 50/50 rye to bread flour. Even though it says sourdough there is a yeast version and videos on the technique. The technique uses S & F method, no mechanical mixing or kneeding. I know you wanted to make Reinhart's bread but I thought the videos might give you insight into handling bread with a lot of rye. 

Lloyd

fatherjay's picture
fatherjay

Andrew Whitley's Bread Matters has a lot of information on handling rye doughs.  I suspect you'd find pointers in there that would help adjusting this formula to your liking.

suave's picture
suave

1.  You substituted half of bread flour with light rye flour.  Despite what people in previous comments are saying light rye flour can not absorb large amount of water.  I'd say 60% if properly soured is about as much as you can do.   So you added too much liquid.

2.  You substituted half of bread flour with light rye flour.  Rye flour will not support gluten formation.  At 50% rye you either have to mix long and hard, and hope that your bread flour is strong enough to develop gluten (and it should be possible) or treat it like rye dough.

3.  It appears that you measure by volume.  When you do so, you pretty much declare "I will do whatever manual adjustments that will be necessary"

wildman's picture
wildman

3.  It appears that you measure by volume.  When you do so, you pretty much declare "I will do whatever manual adjustments that will be necessary"

LOL that's the truth!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I think the recipe is sound with one half wheat (if you sub spelt no need for active malt in the recipe) one forth fine rye and one forth coarse rye.  I am not a fan of 50% rye.  I like more rye!  :)  

50% rye dough is like begging the dough to determine the outcome of the finished loaf (instead of you) it could first act like a wheat dough or turn around and act like rye leaving one very confused as to when to bake it.  

I would go about mixing the dough differently.  I would soak the coarse rye in buttermilk for no less than 6 hours (also increase the buttermilk to half a cup for more acid to help the rye and reduce phytic acid levels that are high in whole grains.   Develop the wheat gluten first in the mixer with the malt at about 65% - 70% hydration (autolyse and then mix more) and then add the sponge to it along with the soaker and rye and any water to bring the total hydration to about 82 - 85%.  

I would also use a cold DO method, let it final proof to about 1/3 higher and put it into the oven as the oven is about 150°C and climbing.  At about 250°C turn the oven down to 200° C and finish baking.   

Mini

ldsheridan's picture
ldsheridan

Thanks, everyone for your comments..  so much to digest..   I'm unable to respond atm but quickly -

I measure by weight. I just listed volumes by habit.

I am hoping to get a ceramic bread baker for Christmas.  We prefer to cook in iron so we have lots of it.  Our dutch ovens though don't seem to like to bake bread. They smoke and seem to dry out their finish. But I understand the concept about these bakers and believe a ceramic baker would be a great asset and help to me.

I bought some new light rye flour and want to first determine if  Juergen Krauss' comment about starch damage is what I"m seeing.

Again, thank you all for your help, I'll be back shortly.

Dennis

 

 

suave's picture
suave

Yes, seasoning will certainly burn off at baking temperatures, unless it's a one that's beeing on your pot for decades.   Freshly seasoned piece doesn't stand a chance.  That is why I have an uncoated dutch oven that I use only for baking - not that I ever use it.

Laurentius's picture
Laurentius

Hi Ldsheridan,

You still should season your cast iron dutch oven after you clean it, with a thin coat of oil. Never leave it dry.

ldsheridan's picture
ldsheridan

I believe this particular case is solved.  I purchased some new flour and the dough is now proofing.  I had no issues using the same formula as above and still using the KA to knead.  The dough came together much better and, while still dense/heavy, it is smooth and reasonably stretchy.  So it would appear Juergen was correct in identifying a bad batch of flour.

That said, it will be the last time I use that exact formula and technique.  The advice offered by everyone has given me better avenues to pursue and I'll be adjusting my approach according to recomendations here.

If Mini Oven doesn't mind I'd like to send her a message later to ask for some further advice about her suggestion.  Immediately though, can I just eat the pumpernickel/buttermilk sponge?  That just sounds soooo delicious!

Thank you all very much! You have given me a lot to work with and I'm looking forward to improving one of our favorite breads!

Best regards to all,

Dennis

suave's picture
suave

Some brands of light rye flour are "fortified" with wheat gluten, so it could be that.