The Fresh Loaf

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100% Sourdough Rye, (interior)

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gmask1's picture
September 21, 2008 - 4:36pm -- gmask1

My second successful rye bread baking (5th attempt). I still don't have the scoring and folding right, but the rye sourdough is rising well and tastes great.

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gmask1's picture
Submitted by gmask1 on

(edit: I started a blog on this site with the recipe... erm http://www.thefreshloaf.com/blog/gmask1)

I keep a journal with notes on each attempt at baking rye bread (and there are literally only five attempts so far; I have no bread making experience prior to that). I can't give a particular reason or method that I could hold my hand on my heart and claim 'that's why it worked'. Here's what I've learnt in my baking youth:

- My house is cold. It takes longer for any fermenting or proofing to get done. I learnt this while getting the starter culture up and running.

- I can only go by the label on the flour in believing that it is 100% Rye Flour. The amount of rising that goes on is triggering my paranoia that there's something in the flour other than... well, flour, but I'm happy to continue using it.

- I don't kneed the dough once it's built up to the final quantities. One or two folds is about it, then into pans. I tried kneeding the dough on a couple of attempts: these loaves were solid, and may as well be used to restump a house!

- I err on the paranoid when it comes to things - if the dough is meant to be tacky, I go for sticky. If kneeding caused problems before, I get worried anytime I have to even fold the dough. Touching the dough after mixing and fermenting is on a needs basis only - people have told me over and over not to degas the rye dough after the final dough has risen.

- Hot water out of a tap, then through the water filter; by the time it goes into the mix, its very warm, but no longer hot. The back of my hand is my water thermometer. My friend at work boils his water, then adds cold water to lower the temperature until he's happy.

- My dough is extremely difficult to work with at first. The floured bench helps a little once I'm folding the dough down to the pan size.

- For these loaves, I forgot to steam the oven (for what it's worth).

- Also for these loaves... I don't know when they actually rose. The went into the oven at about half the height that they came out, but I'm not certain that they rose right away (what I've understood to be the oven spring). I didn't start the temperature at 500F on these loaves, as many recipes suggest; it remained at the preheated temperature of 356F (180C) for the whole hour.

I hope that something here has helped; like I said, I just don't have enough experience to know what I'm doing right and what I could improve yet!

Ultimately, the little voice in my head keeps reminding me of the importance of allowing the rye dough time to rise, and not to rush. That's why I've left my friends recipe to have such long standing times - not so much for flavor, but for the dough to expand. If I leave the dough alone for those amounts of time, it definitely doubles in volume.