The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Leader's Silesian Light Rye

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Leader's Silesian Light Rye

 Silesian Light Rye 1

Silesian Light Rye 1

Leader's "Local Bread" has three formulas for Polish ryes. I have made the Silesian Dark Rye once and the Polish Cottaqe Rye many times. Today, I made the Silesian Light Rye for the first time.


Leader describes these "glossy golden loaves" as having "a delicate rye flavor, a spongy crumb, and a thin, chewy crust." That about sums it up. This rye bread is the farthest you can get from a dense, super-sour, dark german rye. But then, it only has about 100 gms of light rye flour to 500 gms of bread flour. The chew and taste are light even compared to a French levain with a bit of rye flour in the dough. It is more like a (extraordinarily good) sandwich bread. The crust gets very soft, and it is thin yet chewy. The whole loaf feels light and spongy. 
 

I expect it will make lovely toast tomorrow morning to eat with my usual homemade almond butter and apricot jam or marmelade. I also think it would be great for a tuna or egg salad sandwich. I'd want a more substantial rye for corned beef, myself.


silesian Light Rye CrumbSilesian Light Rye Crumb

David

Comments

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder


Silesian Light Rye 2
Silesian Light Rye 2

David

zolablue's picture
zolablue

I have really been curious about making this bread and even bought some white rye flour from KAF in order to do so. I was interested to discover, after I purchased several bags of white rye and medium rye so I'd have them on hand, that Hamelman thinks you never should use white rye in bread and mostly uses whole rye in his recipes. Can anyone explain this to me since I am such a novice rye bread baker?

 

Did you use white rye? I'm assuming that it is an extremely mild rye flavor since the medium rye is noticeably milder than the whole rye I am used to using. I'm really trying to make myself delve into some rye breads to taste the flavor differences but I'm not so sure I'm going to like the more heavy, larger percentage rye breads - just a feeling.

 

Also, I have a question about the rye starter. I only keep a white starter and really have no desire to keep a separate rye starter. I posted this question on another thread that hasn't gotten a reply yet so hope you can answer. :o) I seem to remember reading and I thought it was Hamelman (but I could be wrong) that a rye starter cannot be neglected at all like a white flour starter to keep it healthy and that it can go downhill very quickly if not fed regularly. Would you say that is the case?

 

Glezer gives a recipe for one of the rye breads in ABAA that converts a white starter into a rye levain overnight and says "you don't need to keep a separate rye starter because you are making one now." I'd just like some feedback on that and maybe it is dependent on specific recipes.

 

Wow, lotsa questions. I think your bread looks really good and I'm so happy to find someone who's made it and likes it because it is certainly on my list. It does look like a wonderful sandwich bread.

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Zolablue. 

Yes. I used white rye for this bread.  

White rye is called for in several breads I've made, but I've often substituted whole rye to get a fuller rye flavor. The best examples are Greenstein's Sour Rye and Corn Rye. Hamelman is reflecting his German rye baking background in prefering whole rye. I like the darker rye flavor too, but at times it's good to experience a bread that calls for white rye "as it's meant to be."  

What you've read about the ease of converting a white SD starter to rye is true. These days, I do keep a rye starter going, because I'm making rye breads over half the time. In the past, I've just kept a white (or first clear) starter and converted it as needed for each baking. I gave pretty detailed instructions for this in a previous blog entry. I follow Greenstein's instructions for refreshing the rye starter. Basically, take 1/2 cup or so of SD starter, mix it with 1/2 cup of water and 3/4 cup of rye flour. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of rye flour all over the resulting "paste," cover and let it develop until the dry rye flour is widely separated (8-12 hours). Keep feeding the rye starter with 1/2 cup of water and 1 cup of rye flour (3/4 mixed and 1/4 sprinkled) every 8-12 hours until you have the quantity of rye sour you want. Then feed the sour weekly to store refrigerated and activate it with a feeding or two at room temperature in preparation for baking. 

I have not found a rye starter any harder to maintain than a white SD starter. I have neglected my rye sour for a month or so at times and then re-developed it without difficulty.

David

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Zolablue -  

Here's a link to the forum post with photos of a developing rye sour and more detailed instructions from Greenstein. 

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/4796/greenstein039s-sourdough-rye-rye-sour-care-and-feeding-illustrated

David

zolablue's picture
zolablue

Great news on keeping a rye starter. I think I should give it a try and see how it works just for the fun of it. Many thanks for the info and the thread you provided with your instructions. I'll be very anxious to read it. I'm really happy to hear it is not a lot of work to maintain a rye starter because my white one is so easy and has spoiled me. I just don't need a starter hassle so I've avoided the rye so far but now you've given me some encouragement to at least try it.

 

I appreciate the info on the white rye flour. I bought all these bags of white and medium rye so I could keep them in my freezer and avoid reordering and then read what Hamelman said and thought, ugh, did I just buy a bunch of flour that I won't want to use. All these leading bread bakers do things a bit differently and have their own philosophies but that's what keeps it interesting.

 

Seems like I came across an interesting "white rye" recipe on King Arthur's site a while back so I might have to look that up. David, thank you so much!

FMM's picture
FMM

Zola,

 I too keep a rye starter for the same reasons as David- about 1/2 my breads are rye and I just find it a lot quicker and easier to give my rye starter one feed than building up a rye starter from a stiff leavin (my other starter) over a couple of sessions.  I use Leader's recipe in Local Breads for both the stiff and rye starters.  I think the rye one is much easier to maintian as it's 133% hydration and only takes seconds to mix.  I was sure I killed the starter on a coulpe of occasions due to neglect and leaving it in excessive heat.  I didn't have much hope on either occasion and just fed it a couple of times to see if I could do anything with it.  Within a couple of hours it had risen like a phoenix from the ashes.

I have no idea what white rye is.  I have never seen it in Australia.  I assume it is a fine sift of flour.  The rye flour I buy I think is more medium grain than fine.  When it runs out, I'm just going to mill my own.

I've made both the dark and light Silesian rye from Local Breads and love them both.  It's amazing the difference in colour given that I seem to recall the only real change is the addition of yeast in the former (in light of the fact my rye flour didn't change with each loaf).

Fiona

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Fiona. 

As I understand it, whole rye, medium rye and white rye differ only in how much of the bran is sifted out. Pumpernickle rye is whole rye that is ground coarser.  

Jeffery Hamelman, in "Bread," writes that, in Germany, rye flours are catagorized by ash content. In the US of A, the definitions are certainly looser and vary from mill to mill. 

Leader's Light and Dark Silesian ryes differ not only in added yeast. The Dark Rye uses whole rye flour rather than white rye flour and also has 30% rye flour in the final dough whereas the Light Rye has only wheat flour (except for the rye in the starter). The difference between these two breads, when the prescribed ingredients are used, is great. 

Have you made Leader's Polish Cottage Rye? I think it's my favorite of the three.

David

FMM's picture
FMM

Hi David,

 I HAVE tried Leader's Polish Cottage Rye and I agree, it's the best of the three.  The first time I made it I vowed I'd never do it again as it was so incredibly sticky I really couldn't handle it (I think that was due to the fact I only have medium rather than fine rye flour).  I seem to recall that after fermentation Leader says to shape it into a round.  Well I tried that but the dough was like a leech and just wouldn't leave my hands.  It was sticking to my arms, my t-shirt- everthing.  There was no way I could shape it into anything, let alone a ball.  In the end, I just chucked it in the banneton, swore a few times and left it alone for a couple of hours.  Even when I removed it from the banneton, I didn't get a clean release.  It is quite possibly the ugliest thing I have ever put in the oven but it bakes up well and tastes fantastic.  The other two times I made it, it wasn't much different- I just knew what to expect so I wasn't nearly so frustrated.  I guess I could try adjusting the water down but I often find with my ryes that they are either really sticky and I just have to trust that they will transform in the oven or, they are too dry and simply sit there like lumps of mud, not reacting at all.  I'd rather put up with sticky.

Fiona

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Fiona. 

Ryes, in general, are stickier than all-wheat breads. I don't know that medium vs. fine grinds would make a dough stickier. Higher hydration would. Weaker gluten development would. But over-kneading will also make rye doughs stickier. 

I find that Leader's ryes are less sticky after fermentation with folds. You might also try an autolyse, even though Leader does not prescribe one for the rye breads, to get better water absorbtion prior to kneading and fermentation. 

Are you hand kneading or using a mixer? I machine-knead then do a brief hand kneading before bulk fermentation. I don't find this dough too, too sticky (for a rye bread dough). 

If the dough was really sloppy, perhaps hydration was excessive. 

Just some thoughts.

David

lkomenda's picture
lkomenda

have you noticed that in polish cottage rye description appears phrase:


"my recipie includes a step for incereasing the amount of rye sourdough, hwat bakers call a "build."....


but then in the recipie there is nothing like that! It's stright conventional proceeding of previous polish ryes. What's more in contrary to descripion it's rather white bread formula, and for sure it doesn't result in "darkest, most rustic of Polish ryes" (I live in Poland, so you can belive me here;)


I think there is gross error in this formula and recipie, as with many from this book.


any clues?

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Technically, the "Rye Sourdough" is "a build," but you are correct that Leader has this step in all his sourdough rye formulas.


I like this bread a lot, but I have been skeptical regarding Leader's description. As you say, it is hardly a heavy, dark rye. By the way, I feel the same way about his "Dark Silesian Rye." It's hardly "dark."


Since you live in Poland, and I assume you wouldn't be on TFL if you were not a bread baker, do you have a more authentic formula for a Polish Cottage Rye? I really like the heavier German ryes I've made from Hamelman's formulas, but have no source for Polish rye bread formulas, other than Leader.


Regards,


David

lkomenda's picture
lkomenda

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Hi,


The first thing to say about bread in Poland is, that it's situation isn't good at all. Most of the market consist large bakeries bread which is mediocre at best. Sourdough is a norm, but mainly added along with commercial yeast (which isn't bad at all). There is lot's of rye in different  percentages and darkness. Lots of bread is artificially colored (to make it "healthier"). After this lament, I can give some constructive highlights on polish bread.


There are still some small bakeries making decent bread (especially rye), which is baked almost exclusively in pans. Rye bread is often made with high percentage of light rye flour labeled as 720 bread rye, which makes American 620 (ash). This ryes are often made with sole sourdough as a rising agent, and often with addition of buttermilk. The Leader's "light polish rye" was very popular 15-20 years ago when I was young, and it was honestly baked then. We used to eat it warm with sole butter:) Bread like "cottage rye" are still present in small quantities, especially in Silesia, and they are good. I remember breaking teeth on one's called "double baked" for it's dark caramelized crust;D.


As to traditional polish breads, which are highly esteemed by my parents and grandparents, they were baked in private country ovens and every village had some secret formula. I don't believe the breads were much better then those we can bake today with a little of commitment but some people say they actually were. As I'm happy to have my grand-grand mother's "Practical Recipes - for yeast dough, cakes, cookies, candies, ice-creams and liqueurs" from 1926 I can give you an authentic recipie from the past


 I have tried both of them and it was at the eve of my breadbaking enthusiasm. They certainly have potential but have to be adjusted a little. In my opinion, the Lady who wrote them down wasn't a serious bread baker and she made at least one/ two mistakes. She isn't very exact also... None the less I'll try to translate her work word for word it will be sort of folklore I warn you:)




Rye bread on sourdough from Rose's Makarewiczowa book "Practical Recipies - for yeast dough, cakes, cookies, candies, ice-creams and liqueurs"


The most nutritious and for one's health best is bread made from rye flour; so it's very important that every housewife knew how to proceed to make a good one. So to make a good bread, the flour used should be good; it should be dry so that for 100 parts of flour 65-75 parts of water are needed. To make a bread dough, you should go this way:


12 hours before bread baking give to the warmed bowls best sifted rye flour e.g. 1/2 kilo. Make a hollow in the middle, dissolve 150g of sourdough in lukewarm water, add 3 liters of lukewarm water and mix it with flour and sourdough to make a stiff mass. (for me it's impossible to make a stiff ball from 1/2 kilo of flour and 3 liters of water so I take it as a typo so I would  use rather more or less 350g of water).


When dough is thoroughly mixed, sift some flour on top and leave it in moderate temperature covering with warmed linien, so that the fermentation can start. Next morning start mixing adding rest of flour and some lukewarm water ( one litter or so) and handful of salt. (here I got confused again about the amount of liquid and flour). Mix for an hour (!). When the dough is fully mixed sift some flour on top cover and leave for some time to rise again. Then form loafs on the floured counter. Forming always fold the dough to the center, even and smooth loafs will result. Put boules to floured baskets and when the bread rises beautifully put it to the oven. Everything should at hand (mise en place:) i.e.: boiling water in the kettle, peel floured, the oven swept clean (150-200 centigrade). Then put the loaf on the pan upside down, pour on some boiling water sprinkle with some caraway seeds or nigella and put to the oven for 1 1/4 h. From 4 liters of flour you should have 3-4 large loafs.


For knowledgeable housewife I add that there should be more bread on scale, i.e. for 6 1/2 kg of flour you should have 8 1/4 kg of well baked bread.


here comes some rather lengthy description of well baked bread, then comes formula:


for 8 kilo of bread 4-5 loafs: 6 1/2 of best rye flour, 150g of sourdough, 3 litters of lukewarm water, nigella or caraway, handful of salt.




And some comments to this rather simple recipe:


1) never pour hot water on the loaf prior to baking unless you are really curious of  results;)


2) Proportion of water makes very stiff dough, I would rather use 4-5 litters


3) Bake it in large shallow (less then 3'') baking sheet. It was baked this way in my grandfather's village. Ryes baked in shallow pans are often sold by weight in Poland, I've never seen a good one baked freestanding



regards


If you like I could give you some more formulas from this book, maybe in more concise form;)




 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

What a wonderful thing to have - your grandmother's recipes!


I'll take a look at the one you translated and get back to you.


David

lkomenda's picture
lkomenda

Hi David,


I hamve some century old recipies for polish ryes and other cottage breads. After weekend I will try to translate them and post on this thread. With some coments to contemporary polist baking;)


regards


Lech