The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Problem With Rye - Possibly The Seed Soaker?

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Problem With Rye - Possibly The Seed Soaker?

Yesterday I was pretty upset with the results of 2 50% rye loaves.  The flavor and the texture didn't turn out.  The texture is dense and collapsed.  Not horribly collapsed but not nice and open like my previous attempts at this bread.  The flavor is the biggest issue.  It almost tastes like rancin nuts.  Almost like Playdough.  I used quite a bit of sunflower seeds in the dough.  I soaked then for only an hour, and used no salt.  Could the no salt be an issue?  I heard that salt in soakers helps with enzymes etc. 

Another issue I had was the gluten development.  It just wasn't coming together as much as my previous attempts.  Here is the process I tried this time.

1. Mix flours, water, rye sour

2. Let autolyse 30 mins

3. Add seeds and salt and knead for 15 minutes. ( I believe the other times I made this bread, I added the seeds after I had kneaded a bit to develop some gluten.)

Would you guys say that I should have developed some gluten before adding the seeds?  Perhaps the seeds during the entire kneading process kept cutting into the dough?

As mentioned, the main issue was the flavor.  Very off putting.  Anyone had this experience before?  Also, IF it was the seeds being not so fresh, could not so fresh seeds lead to dough development issues, or just flavour issues?


pmccool's picture

Since sunflower seeds are oily, it is possible that they have gone rancid and that's what you are tasting in the bread.  I haven't had issues with a short soaking time, such as your 1-hour soak, so I doubt that the absence of salt in the soaker is the problem.

Or the flour may be the culprit, if it isn't comparatively fresh.

We won't ask why you know how Play-Doh tastes.  ;-)

Short of differences in hydration or temperatures between this bake and previous bakes, I don't know why the dough would behave differently.



dabrownman's picture

we always keep in he freezer.  Garbanzo bean flour, any other bean flour, all nuts, wheat germ, Toadies and all seeds not including wheat, rye and spelt berries.  These things go off so fast in the AZ heat it is really amazing. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

finger and taste little samples and give yourself time to mull it around in your mouth for a while.  Wait a few minutes before testing something else to see if any after tastes show up.   I suspect the sunflower seeds.  

Hmmm...    Play-Doh with seeds...  :)

The only reason I can see for delaying seed additions is that um ... with all that rye they will stick like glue in the dough.  Often seeds will pop out with regular dough kneading but who does that with rye flour?  While you're at it, taste your rye sour (sd starter) and see if it is indeed sour and active when ready.  If you want to develop the wheat gluten more, try adding the liquids to wheat first and stir a bit or give it a short autolyse, 15 minutes or so before adding the rye flour, seeds, and sourdough.  I like to add my seeds to the sourdough, hoping the bacteria & yeast mellow them out.  "The last spa" before baking.   

Are you missing any Play-Doh of late?  

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Hi Mini.

I did the taste test like you suggested.  Good idea.  The flours came out completely fine.  The rye was actually a pleasure to taste raw with just a bit of water!  Sort of reminded me of an unsweetened Pablum.  Anyway, the flours came out ok....The sunflower seeds on the other hand turned out to be the culprit.  This is SO disappointing!  Such a small item to cause such a major off flavour in the bread is surprising.  When I eat the sunflower seeds by the handful, they taste ok...not fresh, but acceptable enough for bread I would think.  Then when I soaked them for about 10 minutes in hot water, the off flabour really came through.  Not rancid, just not Play-Doh, as mentioned before.

Very disappointing. 

Thanks for all the help.  I think I will try this formula next time without seeds.  I need to nail down this rye thing till I am confident, THEN add seeds.

P.S.  This is the formula you helped me with a few months back...rememer, Formula A, Formula B....


grind's picture

You can also knead the dough stiffer to develop the gluten and then slowly add the remainder of the water to get your predetermined hydration.  The french have a name for this, of course and of course,  I don't remember what it is.  Good luck.

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Thanks guys.  I just tasted the sunflower seeds on their own and they dont seem TOO bad.  I will do what Mini suggested which is wet the ingredients THEN taste test them all.  Except the rye sour of course.  I have none left other than what went in the bake.

Am I really the only one that remembers the taste of Play-Doh??  Maybe it's how it smells.  To be honest I can't really remember eating it.  But you guys know what I mean! :)