Easy dough to work with, very good flavor, tender crumb and crust. I'm going to try Reuben sandwiches with it.
Enjoy your Reuben sandwiches....
FWIW, I have two different recipes for Milwaukee rye in my old books. I only tried the lighter version, but assuming that you are working on a variation of the darker one (38% dark rye/62% clear in original), they suggest docking and putting optional caraway seeds in the dough.
Nice looking bread! I had trouble with the recipe. Is there a way to find out what I did wrong? Do bakers contact Mr.Ginsberg or just discuss on these sites?
I suggest the most important action is a thorough, detailed report (via the Ryetest Eval report) of what went wrong, and what you think caused the difficulties. I think there are two major categories of causes. both need to be addressed. The categories are: 1. The recipe's ingredient(s) or instruction(s) was(were) unclear, vague, incomplete, ambiguous, self-contradicting, or any other reason you weren't able to interpret the recipe. 2. Your skills weren't sufficient to handle the degree of difficulty you encountered. Be as specific as possible; cite the problem term, phrase, sentence or paragraph in the recipe. In the latter category give details of how you think or know you went astray.
Both inputs will be valuable to Stan for his final choices in book content.
As to asking specifically for an answer from Stan or discussing it openly on TFL, I think there are two things to consider. I'm certain Stan is very busy. I recall him estimating he would recruit more than 100 test bakers. That means he's reviewing and analyzing approximately 200 evaluations each reporting cycle. I wouldn't expect an immediate reply As to discussing your experience openly on TFL or another bread-baking forum, I'd advise against it because of our confidentiality agreement with Stan.
There is a third alternative: discuss your experience privately with another member or a few members of your Ryetest group. I think this would preserve the integrity of our confidentiality agreement, but I'd like to hear Stan's approval before initiating any informal discussions among group members. I think there is value to Stan in each of us having his/her own experience testing, and reporting both our successes and failures. Discussion among the group's members, especially before acting on a recipe, could/would reduce the uniqueness of our individual experiences.
It's probably not the answer you wanted, but I think we should "grin and bear it" at least until the test period is over. Subsequently, general discussions about rye flour difficulties and handling tips among us will be ok, but of course our confidentiality agreement's particulars will remain active.
Try not to be discouraged. I started baking rye breads frequently about a year ago. I've had more difficulties in one year of rye than in the four years I spent becoming comfortable with wheat breads. Four years!? Yeah, I'm a slow learner.
Your thoughts are much appreciated, David. Your insights are thorough and well taken. I have had moderate success so far and it's a wonder since I have never baked any breads at all before the test with the exception of a sourdough starter and breads a week before the test started. I do see the importance of the individual experience being of great value to Stan and will take the cue to detail in depth the difficulties I encounter. Truly, your answer was extremely helpful. Thanks for taking the time to respond!
Curious to understand what the motivation is for folks involved in rye test for Stan Ginsberg. I joined hoping to get more experience with rye bread. I guess I'm getting my experience, but feels like I'm not really learning much. Some way of discussion/feedback to me would be really great. I've made a significant investment in money and time, don't really feel like I'm getting much out of it.
I suppose there are several motivations to volunteer to be a tester for a cookbook. My motivations include: community, as in being part of a team that brings something from concept to reality; a somewhat vicarious sense of creativity, in that my feedback shapes the finished formulae and book; novelty, in that I get to play with things that are new to me; learning new breads, ingredients, and techniques; and the opportunity to help a friend.
I knew going in that this was about Stan's book, not about what I get out of it. And I decided that I was willing to make the investment of time and money on the basis of the satisfaction that I derive from participating. We testers are free labor and we signed up with that knowledge.
A number of testers have posted results of their bakes, which has generated some interesting exchanges. We are somewhat limited in what can be disclosed, since the formulae are copyrighted and, as yet, unpublished intellectual property belonging to Stan. But, ask if you have questions. You might get just the answer you need.
I second your comments...this is about Stan's book, not about what we get..., and community, and all those other things you mentioned.
And, I think I just had an "Ah-hah!" moment from one of this week's recipes. Won't know for certain until the final bake tomorrow.
that there is a discrepancy between the hydration levels of the final dough and the described constency for the After-Hearth Rye Bread. I've sent a note to Stan a little while ago but don't know when he might get a chance to respond. I added a lot of water (200g) to the final dough in an attempt to get to the described consistency but I think that was a bad decision on my part. I'll know for sure when I cut into it tomorrow evening.
...the discrepancy: one ingredient--essentially flour-like after processing--is ignored in the stated hydration. However, like you, I did notice the consistency of the final dough was not as described.
I went looking after reading your comment above. If you calculate the hydration with that ingredient omitted the hydration is as stated. If you include that ingredient's weight the hydration is reduced by about 14%: a significant reduction.
Nonetheless, I had made the bread using the prescribed weights and processes. While baking the loaves my temperature probe failed, and was giving me confusing readings. By the time I realized its failure I'd over-baked the loaves slightly. Despite the comedy of errors, while I'm not enamored of the bread overall, the crumb finished relatively open (for a rye loaf) and tender. I'm letting it sit another 24 hours to see if it improves further.
Paul, here's a pic of the crumb after 24 hrs rest wrapped in linen. The crumb remains dry and tender after 48 hrs; I can't discern any further improvement in flavor.
Which is no big surprise, given my attempt to chase the described consistency.
Yes, the other ingredient ought to be included in the hydration calcs, IMHO. Even so, I think a different descriptor for the consistency is in order. I'll try to put up a post here in the next day or two, with photos.
I messed up pretty good on another recipe and got the hydration too high resulting in a gummy crumb and a sticky mess. I had soaked an ingredient to make it softer and forgot to drain it first. Whoa! Afraid to type up the report but, "every disaster is a window to learning." Might try it again if I find the right ingredient without having to substitute. :)
--or drain my substitute properly this time.
Looks pretty good, in terms of crumb. Was the top crust rather pale on yours, too? It appears that it may have been. My take is that it still wants some additional water, maybe 1/3 to 1/2 as much as I put in.
There hasn't been much shift in flavor with mine, either.
Here's pics of my test loaf's crust and crumb. I've commented on this loaf in PMcCool's thread http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/40922/rye-test-6b
That looks very familiar, indeed, David.