The Fresh Loaf

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How to tell when high percentage rye is proofed

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clazar123's picture

How to tell when high percentage rye is proofed

What does a fully proofed dough look like and how do you tell it is proofed adequately to bake and have a good crumb? Does it have a certain look or feel? I don't think the "fingerpoke" test works for high percentage rye as there is little springback-or am I mistaken in that?

I am asking a series of questions specifically on high percentage rye dough to learn its characteristic and hopefully quicken the learning process. I am interested in rye (the smell is heavenly to my German heritage nose) but I want to transfer that knowledge into a non-wheat based baking  as I believe they behave similarly. I guess I am trying to get a  2-for-1 learning curve.

All your help is appreciated!

twcinnh's picture

For me it was following instructions and deciding if I liked the results.  One reason I like rye, along with the flavor, is that it is more dense.  I think after a while you just develop a sense of time and temperature, along with feel. (Especially when kneading.)

The last rye I baked is now cooling, and this time there was more rise than expected, but I messed up the whole process.  I know what was different (different grind of rye, this was very fine) and the starter was very moist.  I'm curious what it will be like, and how I'll like the results.  I almost threw if away but, the adventure is part of the enjoyment.

Tom C


PS  Another of German heritage.


dabrownman's picture

and i am assuming 100% whole rye bread, is to watch for it to nearly double in the tin and start to crack on top.  You can dust with oat or other bran to see the cracking easier.

dabrownman's picture

a 100% wholegrain 90%+hydration tinned bread that was 25 % rye.the cracking is the key in my book.


MisterTT's picture

I usually watch for sort of small ellipse shaped cracks which look similar to air pockets on the surface. If they're there, proof some few minutes more and bake it. It will come with practise - you'll surely know if you overproof a rye, because they collapse very easily what with the pentosans becoming fragile and all.

nicodvb's picture

Speaking of 100% rye bread  if you think of it (or if you watch it) an optimally risen rye bread doesn't differ a lot from a not-so-risen rye bread, at most it doubles, but doubling doesn't guarantee softness. Moreover, geenrally people prepare rye bread for taste, not for other reasons.  In short: I bake my loaf only when the smell tells me that it's fully fermented and remarkably sour.

As for high percentage rye doughs I still have to find my method. Much more often than not my doughs crack and collapse in very little time.

breaducation's picture

You should definitely look for cracking along the top of the loaf. Check my post vollkornbrot post to see a good example of this. I took a photo when the loaf was first shaped and when it was fully proofed. Notice how the dough has risen a good amount and there is cracking all along the top.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

What a pretty loaf!   

(and here it comes... suggestion to round the dough shape instead of spreading it flat in the pan and then mark those X's)  :)

Very pretty loaf!