The Fresh Loaf

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Please tell me how to read a recipe. Seriously.

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CountryBoy's picture
CountryBoy

Please tell me how to read a recipe. Seriously.

Since I have been baking for only a year and am therefore only a Novice, I find I have much to learn in how to read a recipe. For instance on the following recipe that I just baked

  1. Do I let the sponge set for any time? It is not suggested to do so in the recipe.
  2. Do I autolyse the dough prior to kneading.
  3. Are the baking temps a bit high?
  4. What other things should I do that I am not told to do?

The following recipe is from Hamelman's Bread book, p. 210

Sourdough Rye - 66% Rye Flour Hamelman Sourdough Starter

 

single 
Medium rye flour3 ½ cups 
Water1 ¼ cups 
Mature Sourdough.6 oz. (2T) 
   
 Final Dough

 

single 
Medium rye flour 1 1/8 cups
High-gluten flour2  ½ cups
Water1 ¾  cup 
Yeast1 tsp 
Sourdough1 lb. 7 oz
Salt1 T 

 Add all the ingredients in a mixing bowl.   

 Bulk fermentation is 30-45 minutes. Divide and shape. 

Final fermentation is 50-60 minutes at 80 degrees. 

Baking: At 460 degrees for 15 minutes then lower the oven temp to 440 degrees and bake for 30-40 minutes. 

The baked loaf shud rest for up to 24 hours before slicing.

nbicomputers's picture
nbicomputers

without more instructions from the book i think this is what needs to be done

the sour dough amount in the final dough is the total of the sour dough starter in the first part so it seems that the first part you are building a final sour (as we call it)

so the first part must sit and rise untill it starts to fall back down (about 12 hours or so) but that is a best guess depending on room temp and how active the seed starter is.

then add the final sour to the mixer and the rest of the final dough ing. and mix to a smoth dough.

other rye breads mixes i have a baking temp of 425-450 so that seems a little hot but it depends on your oven maybe start at 450. and lower if the crust starts to get to dark.

CountryBoy's picture
CountryBoy

Yo! Norman!  Many thanks for the guidance.

What I don't understand is that the book neither suggests nor implies a 12 hour wait on the sponge.  Isn't that a bit like giving me a car without the wheels?

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Item 1, on page 210 states: Sourdough: Prepare the sourdough and ripen for 14 to 16 hours at 70F. So, yes, you need to prepare the sponge and let it ripen for the noted time.

Based on Hamelman's statement at page 9 in the autolyse section, that neither yeast nor salt are added to an autolyse, I'd say you should not do so with your final dough mixture.

I don't think the baking temperature is too high. I made a deli rye last week and baked it at 450F for 35 minutes and it turned out fine.

The formual states the desired dough temperature should be 80F. You should read the section Desired Dough Temperature starting at page 382 so you can determine the temperature of the water to be added.

I found this section fascinating to read as it presented new knowledge about the process of baking breads. Especially the story at page 385.

The formula sounds delicious; do let us know how it turned out!

CountryBoy's picture
CountryBoy

Ok, since I am a Novice I still don't understand when you say:

Item 1, on page 210 states: Sourdough: Prepare the sourdough and ripen for 14 to 16 hours at 70F. So, yes, you need to prepare the sponge and let it ripen for the noted time.

So that means to take my sourdough that I already have and mix it into the sponge mix and then let that sit for 14-16 hours?  Sorry to be so dense on this, but I guess it does.

Also, FWIW, I baked the recipe today and am letting it set for 24 hrs., before cutting into which is what the book says I gotta do.  How's that for delayed gratification?

Also that recipe resulted for me in two loaves: one large and one small.  Both were baked as directed but they look very over done for me.  So here is the next question: I thought rye bread had to cook a long time at high temps.  But this bread is in my estimation over baked when following the directions.  So how does one know if it is baked if it turns brown after the first 20 minutes?  And yes I know my oven is accurate re the temperature. And yes I do tent it after 20 minutes.

sphealey's picture
sphealey

=== So that means to take my sourdough that I already have and mix it into the sponge mix and then let that sit for 14-16 hours? Sorry to be so dense on this, but I guess it does. ===

If you calculate out the percentages you will find that Hamelman's "mother starter" (to use Reinhart's term) and his second sourdough build (first build in this particular case) from a recipe ("formula") have the same flour/water ratio - they are the same thing. I guess when you are making sourdough ryes in bakery quantities you don't keep a seperate "starter"; it is all "sourdough" to them. That way they can pull as much out of the second build as they need and store it for tomorrow.

As I mentioned I still keep my starter in a seperate crock, feeding it and taking out what I need. Otherwise I fear I will forget and use up all my starter.

sPh

LindyD's picture
LindyD

As the ingredients for the sourdough formula appear before the final dough formula, that should have been mixed and ripened for 14 to 16 hours as noted in No. 1. After the ripening period, then it should have been added to the final dough formula - it is listed as the last ingredient.

You really can't tell the final temperature of your crumb unless you use an instant read thermometer immediately upon removing the bread from the oven. I think 200F is a general figure but some formulas call for a slightly higher temp. I personally like a darker crust and have returned loaves to the oven for another five minutes to achieve it, with no ill effects on the crumb.

I'm pretty much a novice as well and have found that aside from having everything measured and in place, reading and rereading the formula and visualizing the steps have been very helpful. I've even started to turn on the answering machine when I begin to mix, so I don't screw things up with interruptions.

Am sure you will be rewarded for your patience in waiting to cut into the loaf!

 

sphealey's picture
sphealey

Hamelman's _Bread_ pretty much asssumes that you have already worked your way through both some beginner's recipes and an intermediate book such as RLB's _Bread Bible_, and that you have learned some of the advanced terminology. His rye recipes further assume that you started at the beginning of the rye chapter and worked your way through to the harder ones (which this is).

Almost all of Hamelman's sourdough ryes use a multi-stage build process. For example, you build 100g of sourdough "stuff" for 4 hours at 80 deg.F, then use that to build 400g of stuff overnight at lower temperature, and then mix it all together in the "final dough" (sometimes called the "final build").

Since there is so much rye in this one there are only two builds: the initial sourdough and the final dough.

In the first section you mix 12.8 oz of rye, 10.2 oz water, and .6 oz (2 tablespoons) of your sourdough starter. Mix this all well, cover, and let sit at 70 deg.F for 14-16 hours (mix at 7 PM, next step and 9 AM the next morning).

In the second section you first can remove the 2 T of sourdough stuff to go back in your crock if you need to. This is more the way commercial bakeries work; I keep the feeding of my starter seperate from the build process so I don't forget and lose my starter. Then you mix all the sourdough from the first section with the medium rye, bread flour, water, salt, and yeast (optional but I would use it the first few times to avoid the brick problem).

This is the final dough. "Bulk fermentation" is what regular cookbooks call "rising". For a dough with 66% rye the yeast will work very very fast so the rising period is not long: 30-45 minutes in this case.

After the first rising you shape the dough into a loaf, which will be a very rough and wet log in this case. You can try a freestanding loaf but you are probably better off using a loaf pan the first few times. Put the shaped loaf in the pan, cover loosely with a damp cloth (I use 4 tall drinking glasses to hold my cloth off the top of the pan), and let rise 50-60 minutes at a warmer temperature (80 deg.F if you can get it). In the meantime heat your oven to 460 deg.f.

Then bake per the instructions. It will spring up some, but not much unless you are very lucky. This is not a German pumpernickel but it will be fairly dense.

Hope that helps.

sPh

sphealey's picture
sphealey

=== Are the baking temps a bit high? ===

Actually, Hamelman describes one German bakery where high fraction ryes are given 5 minutes at 900 deg.F before moving to 500 and then 450 for the final baking period! I usually set my oven about 20 deg.F over Hamelman's temperatures because he is working with a deck oven that has a very high thermal mass and really stays at, say, 490, while my oven won't even with the heavy baking stone.

sPh

CountryBoy's picture
CountryBoy

sPh thanks as always for your very comprehensive guidance.

Should I assume that autolyse is not needed here?  I definitely need it when I do my whole wheat bread recipes, but since neither you nor Hamelman suggest it I guess I will do with out it......yes?

sphealey's picture
sphealey

=== Should I assume that autolyse is not needed here? I definitely need it when I do my whole wheat bread recipes, but since neither you nor Hamelman suggest it I guess I will do with out it......yes? ===

No autolyese for high fraction ryes unless a tested recipe specifically calls for it. The enzymes in rye will destroy the dough structure if left to sit. IIRC the next Hamelman recipe in the series calls for a 15 minute fermentation and 5 minute proof!

sPh

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Countryboy. 

As both LindyD and sPh implied, Hamelman provides very detailed instructions for each step for each type of bread. The recipes are rather telegraphic, but they assume you have read and digested the generic instructions. 

If you do so, I think you will find Hamelman's formulas are complete and result in excellent product. 

I strongly recommend reading the instructions for each section before tackling the individual recipes in those sections of his book. 

If you have questions regarding his techniques, I'm sure you can get answers on TFL that will help you.  

David

CountryBoy's picture
CountryBoy

It is suggested by David that I RTFM which is certainly always good practice before asking questions.  However, I have read over the Hamelman section on Sourdough Rye Breads and I find no mention of kneading or folding although there is mention of the need to do so in the Levain Bread section.  Does that mean with this rye recipe that I should not go for either after mixing?

sphealey's picture
sphealey

=== However, I have read over the Hamelman section on Sourdough Rye Breads and I find no mention of kneading or folding. Does that mean with this rye recipe that I should not go for either after mixing? ===

One of my life goals is now to take Hamelman's multiday rye bread class at the King Arthur center. I haven't done that yet so everything I know about handling rye dough is self-taught. With that in mind...

I have found that the concept of "kneading" doesn't really apply to doughs when the rye fraction goes above 40% or so. I have even read books/recipes where the author implies that high fraction rye can only be made in a mixer, not by hand. I don't have a Magic Mill (or any stand mixer) so I mix the dough by hand in a deep bowl. After stirring everything together with a spoon I use a 49 cent KA plastic dough scraper to scrape and fold the dough in the bowl. My wife has a large, deep Cuisenart stoneware mixing bowl that works well for this. I do that for a few minutes until it is well-mixed and folded. But there is no kneading as we know it with doughs based on bread flour - the rye dough is too wet and too stick to knead per se.

Similarly the high fraction ryes usually have a short fermentation time, so there is no need to fold even if you could given the stickiness.

That's my experience anyway.

sPh

CountryBoy's picture
CountryBoy

sPh ...yes, I finally found a one line mention by Hamelman saying...Dough folding not required for any formulation in the section...Strange since he has need for it in the preceding Levain Section..

Thanks again.

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hamelman's book is written primarily for commercial bakers, with a nod to home and amateur bakers, such as most of us on TFL. His instructions assume mechanical mixers are being used. I think his terminology reflects this. I recognize it can be confusing at first. 

The step in bread making we call "kneading," Hamelman includes as part of "mixing." He never talks about kneading. The word does not appear in the index of "Bread." He does talk about gluten development as one function of mixing levain breads (Pg. 149) and gives instructions regarding the degree of gluten development to achieve in the mixing stage for ryes with lower percentage of rye flour. For example, see "40 Percent Caraway Rye" on Pg. 194 of "Bread." 

Folding is something you do (or do not do) during bulk fermentation, that is to say, the first rising before dividing the dough and forming the loaves. You have found his comment regarding folding rye doughs, I see. 

Hamelman is a big fan of letting gluten develop during bulk fermentation, helped by folding, rather than during mixing (or hand kneading). This is a different approach from the French long kneading and slamming approach. Both seem to do the job. Hamelman's way takes less work, for what that's worth.

David

CountryBoy's picture
CountryBoy

Your mention of

The step in bread making we call "kneading," Hamelman includes as part of "mixing."

Is extremely helpful and I am grateful for your guidance.

SourdoLady's picture
SourdoLady

I made this recipe last week and it turned out perfectly gorgeous. I did a free-form batard which held its shape wonderfully and sprung nicely with a great ear on the slash. I wish now I would have taken a picture of it. For such a lovely looking loaf, I was disappointed in the flavor. It seemed like it needed something more. I used fresh Hodgson Mills whole rye flour and freshly bought caraway seed, which I coarsely ground. Let me know how yours tastes. Maybe it is just my palate.

CountryBoy's picture
CountryBoy

SourdoLady thanks for the response; am always glad to hear from you, especially so when you happen to be working on the same recipe as myself.  Yes I would agree on the taste front as you said.


Also could you possibly clarify for me the results of your baking with 

Hodgson Mills whole rye flour

Specifically I find that Hodgson Mills whole rye flour yields a rough and somewhat gummy or waxy crumb.  It also happens to be the only rye flour that one can purchase in this region short of going mail order from King Arthur. 

I realize some people sift it once to smooth it out a bit but I am not sure the results of that effort are that effective in the final prodluct.  I tried doing so on this recent effort.

Essentially, it boils down to Dan Leader in his Local Breads saying that all his rye recipes are for fine or medium rye flours and that rough flour equals rough bread crumb.

So, are you able to get a light textured crumb using that flour?  If you can I will just keep trying.

Thanks as always for your guidance.  I am still rolling along with the starter process that you suggest.