The Fresh Loaf

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Hamelman's Whole Rye and Whole Wheat Bread

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PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Hamelman's Whole Rye and Whole Wheat Bread

Consistency has much to recommend it but a person needs some variety in life, too.  Hence the first bake from this past weekend - Hamelman's Whole Rye and Whole Wheat bread.  Mostly.  It seems as though I've had more than my share of white breads in recent weeks.  It wasn't the result of any grand plan, just happenstance.  And they were good breads, too.  They just left me wanting something browner and grainier.  

In thumbing through Hamelman's Bread - 2nd Edition, I came across his Whole Rye and Whole Wheat bread.  It sounded like just the thing to break the white bread streak.  The formula is pretty straightforward:

Bread Flour  50%

Whole Rye Flour 25%

Whole Wheat Flour 25%

Water 68%

Mature sourdough culture  5%

Salt  1.8%

Yeast, fresh  1.25%  

In spite of the yeast in the formula, this is a sourdough bread.

I did take some liberties with both ingredients and process.  First, I left out the yeast.  That allowed for a fuller sourdough flavor and a slower rise, which fit better with the day's other activities.  The recipe calls for 6 minutes of mixing in a spiral mixer.  Wanting a close-textured crumb for sandwiches, I opted for approximately 18 minutes of hand kneading.  Finally, I mixed together the levain, the water for the final dough, and the whole wheat flour, allowing the mixture to sit for about an hour.  This gave the bran in the wheat flour an opportunity to absorb liquid and soften somewhat before I mixed in the bread flour and salt.

So, other than changing nearly half of the variables, it's exactly as Mr. Hamelman intended.

Since my starter had been refreshed the previous weekend and put back in cold storage, I simply used the called-for amount straight from storage to build the levain.  The mixed levain was covered and allowed to ferment overnight.  By the next morning, it had grown appreciably and was bubbly throughout.

As noted above, the final dough water and whole wheat flour were combined with the starter and the bowl covered.  After an hour or so, the salt and most of the bread flour were mixed in to make a rough dough.  The dough was then treated to an extended session of hand kneading.  Kneading was a bit of an effort.  Twenty-five percent rye flour, pre-fermented, equals sticky dough.  I had held back perhaps 20 or 30 grams of the bread flour in anticipation of needing it for bench flour.  That turned out to be a good call, as the dough wanted repeated flourings to stay manageable.  By not adding more flour or water than the formula called for, the dough was at the intended hydration level when kneading was complete.

Finally, it was covered and allowed to ferment for until approximately doubled, which only took slightly more than three hours.  The loaves were pre-shaped, rested, then shaped into batards, placed on parchment sheets, covered with plastic wrap and allowed to ferment without any side support.  Happily, there was a limited amount of spreading during the loaves fermentation.  With the warmer temperatures this time of year, the loaves were ready to bake in less than three hours.

The loaves were slashed, then baked with steam at 460F for 15 minutes.  After that, the temperature was turned down to 440F for another 20 minutes of baking.  At that point, the loaves had reached 208F internal temperature, so they were removed from the oven.

Oven spring was good, with slightly more than a doubling in height from the unbaked loaf.  The slashes opened up very cleanly, with no tearing.  As always, I need more practice to get uniform cuts.

I'm becoming a fan of Hamelman's penchant for bold bakes.  While I won't push as far as he does, getting a dark crust and browning of the grigne is as pleasing to my tongue as it is to my eyes.

The resulting crumb was very much what I wanted, well aerated but able to retain condiments:

This bread is more to my liking than the Vermont Sourdough and its variants from the same book.  It has a significantly higher wholegrain flour content, for one.  The blend of rye and wheat seems tastier than either one alone, too.  Even at 68% hydration and 50% wholegrain flour content, the crumb is pleasantly moist.  It's close to a week now since I baked the bread and it shows no sign of staling.  My wife sliced some today and made a bruschetta of sorts with a balsamic-fig reduction spread on the bread and scattered bits of goat cheese.  That was toasted in the the toaster oven and, oh, my, was it good!

The good news is that this is a bread worthy of being in the regular baking rotation.  The bad news is that there are so many other good breads in Bread that I don't know when I might get back to it.

Paul

Comments

GregS's picture
GregS

Beautiful loaf! Could you comment on why you chose hand kneading to obtain a tighter crumb? What is the difference between the hand and machine effects on the dough?
Thanks.

Greg

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Thank you, Greg.

One can certainly achieve a tighter crumb with longer machine mixing, as well as with extended hand kneading.  Since I own a KitchenAide mixer that makes all manner of off-spec noises while it works, I didn't want to risk breaking it entirely with a sturdy dough like this.

Paul

GregS's picture
GregS

Aw shucks,Paul. I thought I had discovered another "secret of the ancients" (not an insult). Perhaps it is a secret of the ancient......KitchenAids. LOL.

Greg

Kiseger's picture
Kiseger

I like your changes, I would always prefer leaven only rather than added yeast, it just has more flavour.  Beautiful bake, am inspired.  Thanks Paul!

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

It sounds as though this bread will be to your liking.  Eliminating the yeast definitely gave the dough more time to develop both the grain flavors and the sourdough flavors.

Thank you!

Paul

salma's picture
salma

Another gotta make bread!

salma

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Yup, definitely one for the gotta make list.

Paul

wassisname's picture
wassisname

Wow! Does that ever look good, Paul!  I tried this one once a long time ago but yours looks a lot better than I remember mine looking.  Score one for hand kneading, the crumb looks perfect.  I may have to try this one again.  Nicely done!

Marcus

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

So go for it!  

Glad you liked it.

Paul

golgi70's picture
golgi70

Looks just about perfect

Josh

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

"Just about" is as close as I am apt to get to perfect, so that is high praise, indeed.  Happily, "just about" means I can keep playing with It and try to do better with future bakes.

Paul

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

This bread is much better without the commercial yeast.  We aren't running a bakery where time in more important than taste,  50% whole grains is also better than less when it comes to taste too..  Yours is  fine example of some fine sandwich bread.  You need some KC BBQ to between a couple of slices.  Well Done and

Happy  Baking Paul 

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

However, it was pretty darn good as the base for some BLTs at lunch today.

Thank you,

Paul

PetraR's picture
PetraR

Fantastic looking loaf my friend.

I shall give it a go. 

It looks so yummy .

Wish I would get to terms with the %.

 

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

That will come.  If you want, base the amounts on a kilogram of flour and go from there.

It does taste good!

Paul

isand66's picture
isand66

Great looking bake Paul.  Crust and crumb look perfect.  As DA said some BBQ or maybe some good pastrami or corned beef would work well with this bread.

Regards,
ian

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

That was what I had for sandwiches this week.  The bread and the meat got along famously.

Thank you,

Paul

PetraR's picture
PetraR

Thank you Paul, I shall do just that.

I so love the look of that bread, it reminds me of our German Graubrot from the colour of the crumb and the texture. 

Gosh I miss my German bread a lot, whenever I visit my family in Germany and seem to just eat * Butterbrote *

Iuliana's picture
Iuliana

I'm a beginner in making sourdough bread.I was looking for a whole wheat bread like yours. It looks just perfect. But I didn't understand how much sourdough you put in this recipe.Can you please tell me?Thnak you very much.

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

The formula calls for mature sourdough culture at 5%.  I have added that to the original post.  Thanks for spotting the omission, luliana. 

Paul

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Looks great, and sounds delish going by your write-up.

I'm surprised at the tiny proportion of starter in the dough - haven't seen it as low as 5% until now - and that your bulk proof only took 3 hours. In fact, I can't help feeling that I've misunderstood something. Would you mind clarifying whether this is so?

I've been sticking to my usual repertoire of breads, but this one of yours really caught my eye. Would like to try it.

Cheers!
Ross

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

First, the rye flour is fermented overnight in the levain.  That's 25% of the flour in the bread.

Second, the "autolyse" of the whole wheat flour included the levain, so that's another hour of fermentation for 50% of the flour in the bread.

Third, temperatures in the kitchen were 78-79F with the a/c running.  Gotta love July in Kansas!

Paul

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

I am right now in the process of an experimental loaf containing rye, whole wheat and AP flour.  I haven't even written it down in formula form yet and do not know if it will work or not.  I never realized that an autolyse with the levain added to the fermentation time, but that makes perfect sense.  Right now, my rye/ww/AP dough is doing a proper autolyse while my levain is building.  The plan is to mix the dough and the levain this evening, add the salt and do a few turns before bed.

What I have not yet decided is whether to shape the loaves and put them in the fridge for the tomorrow night's bake, or whether I should cold bulk ferment overnight, shape in the morning and refrigerate until tomorrow evening's bake.  I believe the final dough is 20% levain alla Tartine's Basic Country Loaf.  I probably should have reduced that somewhat given the rye and whole wheat....

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

you may wish to shape the loaves before retarding in the refrigerator, David.  Not sure what your house temperatures are but the dough may be fairly warm and lively by the end of the turns.  If so, the loaves will chill faster than the larger dough mass would, lowering the possiblity for over-proofing.

Please post about your results.

Paul

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

I didn't think about that. The house is 70 degrees.

What I was not sure about is whether I would keep the dough in the fridge between turns (thus making it less "lively") or whether that would make it too unlively.  Thoughts? And,I will certainly post the results because I am always looking for a way to make bread during the week where I leave the house by 7:30 and don't get back to the house until 7:30. Once I figure that out I will be golden.

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

It was a moderate success, but only in the sense that the bread was edible. My baking skills are still developing here.  I can make an amazing loaf if I am home to babysit it, but struggle between under and over proofing when using the long retard times.  I think this last one was underproofed -- wrote about it and included pictures here.

 

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

those look better than some of my flops, David.  And I suspect that I would enjoy the flavor.  

About the only time that I use the refrigerator for proofing is if the formula calls for it, as in Reinhart's Pain a la Ancienne, or if I need to shut down the dough until I can get back to it.  So, it's good that you got feedback from people with more experience in that area.

Keep on practicing.  Take notes.  Pay attention to the details.  You will figure it out.

Paul

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

The flavor today is excellent. I think I can finally taste the rye. 

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Got it now, Paul. Ta for the clarification. Will try this one next bake.

Cheers
Ross

 

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Beautiful loaves, Paul.

I've only tried that recipe once, and liked it. You did such a fine job presenting it.

Thanks for sharing.

Khalid

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Sounds as though it is time for you to make it again. 

Paul

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Are you sure that formula was in the 2nd edition of Bread when it was printed? I keep finding or hearing about breads I didn't see when I got my copy of the 2nd edition. I think there may be a sourdough starter-like feature. If it's healthy, you turn your back, and there's more of it.

Or like coat hangers. You know about coat hangers, don't you? They are the adult form. The larval form is paper clips. Paper clips metamorphose into coat hangers during the night while people are sleeping. That's why you often cannot find a paper clip, and there are always more coat hangers in your closet than you can account for. 

Okay. Back to bread now. 

David

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Or did you unknowingly buy yours from a grey-market source that didn't include all of the pages?

I've heard the the paper clips to coat hangers theory.  No one seems to spell out the process, though.  Do they hide in a lagoon full of unmatched socks during the metamorphosis?  Sort of like cicada larvae burrowing into the soil and attaching to tree roots for years on end?

Paul