The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Trying out the 40% caraway rye...

cardigan's picture

Trying out the 40% caraway rye...

I've recently decided to start baking rye breads and have jumped in this past weekend with Hamelmans 40% Caraway Rye recipe. I had the ingredients on hand, including a rye starter that seemed to be percolating, whole-rye flour and some high-gluten flour left over from a bagel bake.

It was my first time working with a dough that had more than 15% rye flour in it (or my first time in a very long time), and I was hand-kneading, so it was indeed a bit sticky though not unmanageable. I did wonder part way through if I should have gone with the mixer (I have a DLX--mix time suggestions and speeds welcome...) But I kept going, then let the dough sit for its bulk ferment, divided, shaped, gave it a final ferment for an hour, and baked.

A couple of thoughts:

-- Judging from the splits and burst, I'm thinking it was under-proofed at the end... I'm still not good a good judge of proofing. More rye seemed to make it more complicated.

-- I also think I should have kneaded it a bit more. I could feel the gluten developing as I went but was also a bit skittish about overkneading a rye (perhaps I was too cautious, though, with just a 40%...) I do know I was a degree short of the dough temperature of 78F that Hamelman mentions... I'm wondering if I could have gotten a bit more rise out of this loaf and a better crumb though. Still, I'm looking forward to the next loaf! It tasted quite good.

Here's the crumb, btw:

40 Rye crumb - Copy


Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

Well, that looks absolutely wonderful to me; I don't know how you could have gotten a better crumb from 40% whole rye. I can only imagine what a pain that must have been to hand-knead a high-rye dough. I was scraping 25% rye dough off my hands this past week, just while shaping it (mixed it in the big planetary mixer as I was making a batch of 12 loaves), and mixing that by hand would have been just too much to bear.

Good work!

cardigan's picture

Many thanks! It helps to have another set of eyes on it. And yup, just dealing with two loaves of rye by hand was an interesting negotiation, especially for a first-time run. Can't imagine 12!

IceDemeter's picture

That is a GREAT crumb for a 40% rye dough!

Seriously - the main "trick" for dealing with rye (and barley and einkorn) is to NOT treat them as your usual wheat breads, and not expect the same handling or the same results.  They just don't have the same gluten going on, and the only way to get a "wheat" result form them is to add gluten, so please don't ever be disappointed when your wonderful rye crumb (like this one) doesn't look like your best wheat crumb.

As for working with the stickiness - work beside the sink with the faucet dribbling, and keep your hands wet (advice courtesy of Mini Oven) and it makes all of the difference!

Great job, and please keep sharing as you keep playing!

cardigan's picture
cardigan's definitely tasting great. Thanks for the tips, too! It is funny how much one starts to take for granted after working with wheat for a while (and has to unlearn.) I'm finding it very interesting though -- especially looking looking forward to moving into the higher percentage rye loaves after practicing on this one a bit more.

More to come!