The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Learning to bake with rye

preppymcprepperson's picture
preppymcprepperson

Learning to bake with rye

I've been baking bread for a few years now, and for dietary reasons I try to eat mostly whole grains, but I have worked primarily with whole wheat, with occasional bits of other grains like oat or cornmeal worked in. This weekend I tried my first rye loaf. This recipe came from a Nordic cookbook I was given as a gift recently. The original recipe called for:

150 grams cracked rye

150 grams mixed seeds (I just used sunflower bc that is what I had)

250 grams wholemeal rye flour

1.6 grams yeast

2 tsp salt

2 tbsp of honey

480 ml cold water

The recipe directed me to soak the cracked rye and seeds with 300 ml of the water, and the rye flour with the rest of the water and the yeast, for 18-24 hours, then to knead the two together with the salt and honey, shape and put in a loaf tin, proof for 2-3 hours and bake.

After the initial fermentation, however, I found the dough was really more like pancake batter, thin enough to run off a spoon and completely un-kneadable. I wound up needing to use a fair amount of white bench flour to turn it into something I could shape, probably around 100 grams. 

The crumb turned out okay, remarkably, and the flavor is actually quite nice, but as you can see from the picture, there is some unincorporated white flour from the messy shaping process. 

Critiques? Tips? 

NZBaked's picture
NZBaked

Nice,

I make a dark rye loaf very very similar to this.

I soak the kibbled rye for 24hrs in its own weight of water.By the time I go to mix it 24hrs later it should have soaked up all the water and almost feel dry.

If I get a batch of kibbled rye where the guys at the mill have not kibbled it well enough, I end up with a mess much like you described. It should be super sticky and difficult to work but definitely not running off of your spoon.

I would assume this is where issue veered off from the recipe.

Couple of things with rye:

You need to make sure it's acidic, otherwise the amylase enzymes take over. Your first sign this is happening is the unmistakable aroma.

It's high in protein, but low in gluten. If you want to add more rye into your recipe you may have to add vital gluten.

It goes very, very well with a bit of sugar.

preppymcprepperson's picture
preppymcprepperson

Would you advise trying a different brand of cracked rye then? Mini Oven also recommends acid (lemon) below, so I might try that next time.

The recipe does have honey in it for sweetness, but I could add more I guess?

I'm going to keep trying to improve this bread, as the flavor is very promising.

NZBaked's picture
NZBaked

Does the recipe call for cracked or kibbled rye?

Kibbling is crushing, not blitzing and will absorb more water. I have attached a photo of what my kibbled rye looks like.

I am home from work now but I can send some photos of my soaked rye, dough etc tonight if that helps.

preppymcprepperson's picture
preppymcprepperson

It would be good to see your dough whenever you next make it - thanks NZBaked!

NZBaked's picture
NZBaked

I will get some photos tonight, attached is a boule from it.

NZBaked's picture
NZBaked

Here you go.

clazar123's picture
clazar123

NZBaked, that is a beautiful dough and loaf. Is it 100% rye?

NZBaked's picture
NZBaked

45% kibbled rye

30% white wheat flour

25% ryemeal

= 100%

Plus lots of vital gluten

 

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

as part of the flour. Obviously the recipe works as that is a beautiful loaf. normally I wouldn’t include the kibbled grain as flour, rather as an additive along with any other seeds etc.  just wondering...

Leslie

NZBaked's picture
NZBaked

Hi Leslie,

Adding bulk grains to be part of the flour percentage is standard practise for commercial Baker's.

You can check out this link, bakerpedia is a great website I often reference. http://bakerpedia.com/processes/bakers-percent/

I thought It was weird too when I first started using and making recipes like this.

But, if you have a think bulk cereals are taking a lot of the water in a recipe like this where they make up almost 50% of the flour weight, it would be weird if they were not included and would read something like...

White flour 60%

Ryemeal 40%

Water 180%

Kibbled rye 90%.

preppymcprepperson's picture
preppymcprepperson

Yeah, mine was definitely much runnier than that. I had cracked rye rather than kibbled - the recipe called for cracked and I was following it to the letter to start with - but maybe the stuff I have doesn't absorb as much water as whatever the author was using.

To begin with, at the next attempt (probably this weekend) I am going to add some acid as Mini Oven advised, and also up the quantity of honey for sweetness, and see if those make a difference. If not, I will try reducing the water in the cracked rye soaker a bit.

Does that sound right?

NZBaked's picture
NZBaked

More honey sounds good.

I use acetic acid or vinegar.

Top it with a mix of sesame and linseed.

Unless your grain smelt like farts, you might not need it in your soak but you can add it at this stage - you definitely  want it when you mix the dough.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

a tablespoon of lemon juice (acid) as part of the water and....need to know if the yeast is fresh yeast about the size of a pea or dry instant?  Recipe figures out to 87% hydration.  Dough should be gloppy and most likely spooned into the pan.     I read malt in the written pages of the picture... added when the two soakers are combined?

There is also something written about "cement."  I just love that kind of description!  I'm working on grouting bathroom tiles (pause is over) at the moment and even this grout stuff looks like rye dough to me, fine rye flour naturally.  Doesn't have the same aroma though, and I don't want any foam or bubbles.  Working on my finer bench knife skills too.  

The loaf looks pretty good from here!

gotta run, hubby calling....

Mini

preppymcprepperson's picture
preppymcprepperson

I forgot to add that in the write-up above! The recipe said cement, but this was runnier than that. Spooned into the pan would make more sense - maybe I will try that next time.

The yeast I used was instant, the way the recipe advised. Would it be different with fresh? I have both to hand...

Definitely trying that lemon juice modification next time!

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

My last rye bake was a 100% Rye Gingerbread from the Friesland region of Holland. The recipe called for kneading the quick bread dough for up wards of 6 minutes at kitchenaid speed two. As "luck" would have it my kitchenaid is burned out and the replacement (Bosch) had not yet arrived. This seemed a little off to me. While I know little about rye quick breads, I have made my share of wheat quick breads. Seemed like a lot of kneading. I used a dough whisk and brought it together, (rather quickly I might add) to this point. The bread had a very nice oven spring and looks promising. I will not know for sure till it mellows at room temperature (two weeks) If your interested check out my blog for the link to the complete bake history.

clazar123's picture
clazar123

Book:

The Rye Baker by Stanley Ginsberg (available through links on his website or even generally, when googled.

 

And website:

http://theryebaker.com/

Your recipe sounds very much like one on his website I tried (DAS SAFTIGE or :Juicy One"). Absolutely delicious but not really kneadable. More like a paste/thick batter that I spooned into a pan, smoothed with a wet hand and actually shaped into a dome before proofing. I have found that 100% rye can overproof quickly and when it bakes the middle sinks. Still delicious,though. 

He also has a great article -with pictures- on the different rye flours.

HERE it is.

Enjoy!

 

preppymcprepperson's picture
preppymcprepperson

I had a no-knead type bread that I used to make when I was really just starting out with bread that had to be spooned that way. I didn't love the texture that came from that, but maybe it works differently with rye flour. I'll try that approach too. I have a lot of rye flour in my apartment now, so I am going to be working on a few variations!

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

Over at the Rye Baker facebook group we are doing one (or more) group formula bakes per week! Your all invited to join the fun! #MiseryLovesCompany  Just tell them The Roadside Pie King sent you.