The Fresh Loaf

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German Rye Farmers Bread

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ltlmccomas's picture
ltlmccomas

German Rye Farmers Bread

We have a good friend who is German.  He loves a bread that he calls "Farmer" or "Peasant" bread.   He does not have a family recipe.  I have been baking bread for twenty five years and he doesn't like any of my recipes.  It is starting to hurt my feelings!  I know it is a rye bread. I know it is a sourdough bread.  And I know it is dense and has a very thick crust.  He says "The crust is everything."  So, I was searcing the archives and I found the following recipe and it sounds just like the bread he describes to me.  But I am having problems with the conversions of weights.  I am comparing this recipe along side two others.  Does the recipe call for 5 1/2 cups rye flour, 1/2 cup wheat flour,  5 tablespoons sourdough starter, 5 tablespoons yeast, 4 tablespoons salt and 2 1/2 cups water?  That seems like a huge amount of yeast for so few cups of flour.  And so little sourdough starter?  I was going to use the recipe for Sauerteig Sour Dough Starter.  My ego can't stand another rejection!  Are my conversions correct? 

Farmer's Rye Bread

570 gm Rye Bread Flour
60 gm Wheat Bread Flour
500 ml Water
16 gm Sourdough
13 gm Salt
15 gm Yeast
4 Tablespoons Brotgewürz or mix of Crushed Fennel, Coriander and Caraway

Mix all ingredients into a dough and knead till smooth and elastic. Let rest 30 minutes. Put into the desired shape and form and eventually bake in preheated oven 200°c for 65 minutes.

Here is one to start out on. I think the spices make the "difference" you refer to.

The rye can also be reduced and wheat increased, add part of flour mixture and water to your starter to increase starter to about 300 gm. Let stand until it doubles and then add rest of ingredients (I would add a two teaspoons of brown sugar to rest of water) with or without the yeast to make dough. It is not necessary to let rye dough double before shaping but I do recommend using a lined or flowered bowl or basket to proof before baking (top of loaf down). Gently overturn onto baking parchment, spray with water, score and bake. A cold oven can also be used add aprox. 10 minutes to baking time if round loaf. Should you happen to overproof, and this can easily happen, reshape, or roll it up using a little more flour and let it proof again.

Mini Oven

leemid's picture
leemid

That's almost 80% hydration...!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

so that would be 4 1/2 cups about for the rye.   The conversions look a bit off.  Water would depend on the size of your cup...go look...does it also have ml (mililiters)?  How many ml are to a cup?  Some cups are 220ml, 241ml some 250ml.   Salt would be closer to 2 1/2 to 3 teaspoons not tablespoons.    Instant yeast (maybe 1 1/2 teaspoons)   Wheat flour stands at about 1/2 cup.

Does that help? 

Mini O

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

It is not uncommon for the water to be almost equal to the rye flour weight for rye only loaf. 


Yeast isn't instant but fresh cake yeast.  I think the main parts of this recipe are missing... technique.  Too much is assumed.  16 g is not a lot of starter but if you use the ingredients listed, several builds could be made.   Not the best recipe for a beginner.  There is an explaination at the bottom.


Mini

rainbowbrown's picture
rainbowbrown

Perhaps it should read 5 grams? The extra 1 could be a typo. At any rate, 5 grams sounds more like it to me. Are you using a rye starter perchance? I learned from Daniel Leader in Local Breads that rye starter (as apposed to wheat starter) is really quite helpful for rye breads. It needs the extra acidity in the rye starter for structural support. That's why instant yeast is used as well, because the starter needs to be acidic to the point where it can't really leaven well enough.

Actually have you tried the rye recipes from this book? They're great (though I've never been to Germany to compare). There is one for "Soulful German Farmhouse Rye" that sounds like what you might want. Let me know if you want the recipe and I'll be happy to post it.

ltlmccomas's picture
ltlmccomas

I would love to have the recipe!  Thanks for posting.

rainbowbrown's picture
rainbowbrown

Soulful German Farmhouse Rye from Local Breads:

Makes two 443 gram rounds

 

100g refreshed rye starter

350g water, 70 to 78 degrees

5g (1 tsp) instant yeast

350g rye flour

130g unbleached bread flour, preferably high gluten

20g wheat germ

¼ tsp each of coriander seeds, caraway seeds, fennel seeds and anise seeds (all toasted and ground)

10g sea salt

80g rolled rye flakes (to be used as topping)

 

Stir all ingredients except the starter together. Once mixed, stir in starter.  If kneading by hand, knead for 8 minutes, rest for 10, knead for 4-6.  If kneading by machine (use speed 2 on a kitchen aid), knead for 5 minutes, rest for 10, knead for 3-5. The dough will be pretty shaggy.  Let rise to double, about 2 – 2.5 hours.  Shape gently into two rounds (use heavily floured bowls for proofing and sprinkle the rye flakes in the bowls before putting the dough in).  Proof for 1 – 1.5 hours, until slightly puffed.  Score. Bake at 450 for 30 – 40 minutes, with steam in the first 10.

 

*note: The book says to use cumin, I changed that to caraway.  There was a discussion here at one point that suggested that he might have been off in his translation.

 

Good luck and enjoy.

ltlmccomas's picture
ltlmccomas

What are you using for your starter recipe?  Do you know the recipe in cups and/or ounces?  I am going to buy a baking scale but haven't yet.  Thank you.

rainbowbrown's picture
rainbowbrown

Ah jeez, sorry, after the original post I do it in grams...Here you go:

(conversions in referance to Soulful German Farmhouse Rye) 

1/2 cup starter

1 1/2 c water

1 tsp yeast

2 1/4 cups rye flour

3/4 cup bread flour

1 tbs wheat germ

1/4 tsp each for seeds

1 1/5 tsp salt

1 cup rolled rye flakes

 

As for the starter, I switched my wheat starter to a rye one by switching the feedings to just rye flour at a 1:2:2 ratio by volume. So for 1/4 cup starter I add 1/2 cup rye flour and 1/2 cup water. Now I just have two starters.

holds99's picture
holds99

Rainbowbrown,

I thought they were talking about rye flour...  Maybe I'm confused.  Mini O - 125 g per cup is what I use for measurement of flour.

Howard

rainbowbrown's picture
rainbowbrown

Oh, my apologies, I didn't specify that in my original response.  When I said perhaps it meant 5 grams I was refering to the yeast.  I was wrong though.  Mini O cleared the yeast thing up.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I got this measurement by walking over to my sack of rye flour, filling up a dry cup measuring cup, leveled it off, poured it into a bowl (00) on my scales.  It came out to 125g.  I did another scoop and the scale read 250g, so what more can I say... I'm a consistant scooper?  

I'll go weigh a scoop of white bread wheat if you like.....  (into the bread flour bin, measure, weigh)   155g   hmmm  did a second measure (poured it back and scooped again, leveled)  125g    (I hate to point this out but now you know why it's time to use a scale.)     

Mini O

JERSK's picture
JERSK

  15 gms. of yeast wouldn't be 5 tbsp. It would probably be more like 4-5 tsps. If this is an old recipe, it may be fresh yeast, so it wouldn't be a lot. It would be quite a bit of yeast if it were instant or active-dry, but not as much as you feared. Rye is pretty dense, and with that high of a pctg. in your dough, you might need a lot of yeast to get it to rise.

ltlmccomas's picture
ltlmccomas

Are my conversions correct?  On one web site I found that a cup of rye four is 115gm but a cup of wheat or white flour is 100gm?  Off of the yeast jar I got the information that 1/4 tsp = .8gm.  Now I realize that I miscalculated that amount.  What about the sourdough started?  Could it be that small amount?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

And there's a Q about a recipe I posted. Let me see, How can I be of help?

15g yeast, cake yeast but I've learned a different way to work the recipe since I've posted this.... I make the rye flour sour, using about half of the flour given in the recipe and as much water as it needs. Once I see or better yet smell the sour in the rye mixture, I add the rest of the flour, cake yeast, water and salt, proceed with the short proofing times and bake in a well greased and floured casserole. 80% hydration is not for everybody but it sure makes it good!

16g of sourdough is not a lot, not in the beginning. Take the 16g and add 50g of the water and 50g of the flour, stir and let it sour in a cool place overnight (6 - 8 hours) Then add about 100g more water, spices, and 100g more rye and let it sour, maybe 4 hours or until doubled. Then combine all the remaining ingedients together. Let rest 20 minutes and shape into a ball, slash and let rise 20- 40 minutes depending on the room temp. Bake until center reads 180°F on thermometer.

Mini O

ltlmccomas's picture
ltlmccomas

Where are you getting the 16 grams of starter?  I assume you mean that you have it on hand.  If you do, what was the original recipe for the starter?  Or is 

"I make the rye flour sour, using about half of the flour given in the recipe and as much water as it needs. Once I see or better yet smell the sour in the rye mixture"

this your recipe for starter?  Are these ingredients separate from the ingrdients in bread recipe? I don't know where the recipe for the starter ends and the recipe for the bread begins.  I feel like such an idiot.  Claus will never like my bread!!!!!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

The 16g of starter is my firm rye starter that I always have on hand nurtured in the back of my refrigerator. My starter or sourdough starter is a culture of natural yeast taken from the rye flour itself.

 

There is much confusion about sourdough recipes. Some recipes let flour and water sit for a day or two with commercial yeast and then used into a recipe, this is not the sourdough starter I'm referring to. I don't really call that kind of recipe a sourdough but more like a long preferment. The starter I use has a long goofy history but it is possible to make one with a little time and patience. This site has lots of methods (from 3 days to 2 weeks) posted for starting and maintaining starter cultures and you can get started on one yourself.

 

Meanwhile you can bake with instant yeast until your starter is ready. You can also make long preferments to improve bread taste. But before starting a rye recipe with a lot of rye flour in it, I recommend growing a rye starter or adapting a wheat starter to a rye starter. For now, try recipes with less rye first, a recipe with half a cup (65g) of rye flour will improve taste dramatically.

 

Please don't call yourself names, I remember how mixed up I was in the beginning when I first came to TFL. Then as I read and asked questions, it all started to make sense. So read and use the search box at the top left corner of the page and keep asking questions. It's the best way to learn. Type anything that comes to mind.

 

About the recipe, that is just a list of ingredients. I have taken those ingredients and with them (standing measured before my eyes in little bowls) used the flour and the water to develope my starter (active living culture) into something that would taste good and rise when baked. Rye is not like wheat and behaves differently, very important to remember, basically the gluten that developes in wheat is not present in rye and the souring process helps it stretch and hold the carbon dioxide bubbles that form and raise the dough. Even then the dough will look and feel more like cookie dough than bread dough, the more wheat in the recipe, the more it will feel like "typical dough" -- that smooth mass of stretchy stuff with the baby bottom characteristicts.

Mini O

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

4 tablespoons of all those spices will have a huge impact on the bread, so huge that you could make your bread with only mud and spices and get the same taste.


Maybe you should verify if your really need all that much; for my bread I never used more than a single teaspoon, and I also felt it a bit excessive.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

That's what the recipe says on the Bread Spice Jar.  (Brotgewuerz,  geschrotet, Kotanyi GmbH, Wolkersdorf)  Keep in mind those are level soup spoons, it is not powdered but crushed and they want to sell the spice.  It seems to be lopsided with coriander which takes up space in the spoon but I don't find it to be too much, I use two rounded tablespoons for that much rye flour.  I don't know the proportions of each spice.   Granted, in a wheat flour it tastes much stronger and I use less when the % of rye is lower.    It all comes down to taste and how the bread is eaten.  Up to you.


I had received a purchased loaf many years ago where it was agreed that the baker was skimping on spice and the loaf was too bland.  It was given to me to pass on to the goats. But it was the only rye within 5 hours drive and so I decided to rework the loaf into three more loaves as altus adding lots more spice.   They came out fantastic!  I returned one loaf to the Austrian thanking him for the goats.  ...Poor goats never saw any of that loaf or the three it made.  They did get to smell them baking.


Mini

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

in fact the site is now in English:



Bread spices crushed

This wonderfully scented mixture is a combination of the finest spices which are typically used in bread. For a 1 kg loaf add approx. 3 heaped tbsp KOTÁNYI Bread spices into the dough. That's h...


http://www.kotanyi.com/Product-range/Produkte/Bread-spices-crushed
ehanner's picture
ehanner

The KOTANYI bread spice Mini is referring to above is a very special ingredient. The aroma is amazing but not overwhelming. The aroma of the bread is completely more subdued and in fact you can barely smell or taste the anise overtones at all.


Unfortunately this spice is unavailable in the US and I have been unable to duplicate it to any degree of satisfaction.


Eric