Rye Pain au Levain with Cracked Rye and Caraway Seeds
Pain au Levain - Rye with Cracked Rye Soaker and Caraway Seeds
This formula produces an excellent rye bread that tastes great and is good plain or
toasted. With cracked rye soaker and caraway seeds
incorporated into the final dough mix, toasting this bread brings out a pleasant
and more pronounced rye and caraway taste.
The soaker and caraway seeds gives it a good texture and a distinct rye
taste. This is a medium rye,
high-hydration dough that produces a rustic type bread with open crumb and nice
color and crust.
Yield: 8 lbs 15 1/4 oz of dough or 4.08 kilograms (4 loaves @ 1
kilogram (2.2 lbs) each, or 2 loaves @ 2 kilograms (4.4 lbs) each. This recipe may be halved to produce 2 loaves @
1 kilogram (2.2 lbs) each or 1 large miche type loaf @ 2.2 kilograms (4.2 lbs).
- Ferment: Double levain build (starting with a mature rye
starter): 1st levain build 12-14 hours, 2nd levain mix 2.5 - 3 hours for a
total of approx. 15 hours prior to final dough mix, depending on room
- Soak cracked rye: Overnight
- Mix final dough: 8 minutes
- Stretch and Fold : 1 hour with 4 stretch and folds at
20 minute intervals
- After 4th stretch and fold, shape the dough into a
large ball and place it in a lightly oiled covered plastic container and retard
dough in refrigerator overnight.
- The following day remove from refrigerator, allow dough
to come to room temperature (75 deg. F)
- Pre-shape, rest, and shape: 35 minutes
- Proof: 2.5 – 3 hours
- Bake: approximately 45 minutes
Desired dough temperature: 75 deg. F
Levain Build No. 1 Ingredients:
- 1 Tb (1.2 oz./34g) ripe 100%-hydration sourdough
- 8 oz (226g) water at 75 deg. F)
- 8 oz (226g) light rye flour
Levain Build No. 2 Ingredients:
- All of Levain Build No. 1 plus:
- 8 oz (226g) water at 75 deg. F
- 8 oz (226g) pumpernickel flour
Final Dough Ingredients:
- 10.5 oz (298g) first clear flour
- 44.5 oz (1,262g) bread flour
- 1.3 oz (37g) salt (2 Tb)
- All of the double levain build
- 35 oz (992g) water
- All of the soaker
- .5 oz (15g) caraway seeds (2 Tb.) Note. If you prefer a
stronger caraway seed taste, add an additional tablespoon of caraway seeds
to the final dough mix
- 7 oz (200g) cracked rye (1 1/2 cups)
- 12 oz (500g) boiling water (1 1/2 cups)
Note. Conversion rate of 28.3495321 or 28.35 grams per
ounce was used in this formula.
Prepare the soaker (at least 8 hours
in advance, or overnight) before you plan to mix your final dough. Measure out 7 oz (200g) cracked rye (1 1/2
cups) and place it in a 1 quart bowl, e.g.: stainless steel bowl. Pour 12 oz (500g) boiling water (1 1/2 cups) of boiling water over the cracked rye, cover
immediately with aluminum foil and allow to sit at least 8 hours, or overnight.
Levain Build No. 1
- In a 2 quart container add 1 tablespoon active starter
to 8 oz (226g) room temperature water (75-78 deg. F). Mix with a wire whisk until the starter
is completely dissolved into the water.
- Add 8 oz (226g) of light rye flour to the container
and, using a Danish dough hook or wooden spoon, mix well until the flour
and starter-water is thoroughly mixed together. This will be the 1st levain build.
- Cover the container and leave out at room temperature for
12-14 hours, or overnight. This 1st
levain mixture should double in volume.
Levain Build No. 2
- After 12-14 hours, add 8 oz (226g) room temperature
water (75-78 deg. F) to the container holding the 1st levain build and mix
- Add 8 oz (226g) of pumpernickel flour to the container
and, using a Danish dough hook or wooden spoon, mix well until the flour
and starter-water is thoroughly mixed together.
- This will be the 2nd levain build.
- Cover the container and leave out at room temperature
for 2-3 hours. This 2nd levain
mixture will be much more active and will double in volume at room
temperature (75-78 deg. F) in approximately 2-3 hours.
Final Dough Mix
- Add the 35 oz (992g) of final dough water (75-78 deg.
F) to the container with the levain mixture and mix thoroughly. Note. Hold out salt until after autolyse
(initial final dough rest period).
- In a separate large bowl mix the 10.5 oz (298g) first
clear flour with the 44.5 oz (1,262g) of bread flour for the final dough
mix and set aside until completion of the next step.
- Pour the levain/final dough and water mixture from the
container into the bowl of a stand mixer.
Turn the mixer on low and begin adding the final dough flour (mixed
first clear and bread flour), a half cup at a time. When the dough has reached the shaggy mass stage shut off the
mixer, cover the top of the mixer bowl with film and allow the dough to
autolyse (rest) for 30 minutes. Remove
the plastic film from the top of the mixer bowl, turn the mixer on low and
slowly sprinkle the salt 1.3 oz (37g) salt (2 Tb) onto the dough. Mix until the salt has been thoroughly
incorporated into the dough, about 3-4 minutes.
- At this point add the cracked rye soaker (19 oz (700g)
3 cups) to the dough mixture.
Continue mixing on low/medium speed until the soaker is evenly distributed
throughout the dough (3-4 minutes).
- Lightly spray the inside of a large enough plastic
container with vegetable oil. The
container should be large enough to hold nine (9) pounds of dough (or alternatively,
four and a half (4 .5) pounds if you're making half the formula). Turn the dough out of the mixer bowl
into the oiled container and cover.
- Give the dough 4 stretch and folds at 20-25 minute
- Cover the container and place in refrigerator overnight
to retard for at least 12 hours.
Remove the container of dough from the refrigerator and
allow the dough to come to room temperature (75-78 deg. F). This will take approximately 3 hours.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, divide
the dough into either 2 or 4 pieces and pre-shape each piece into a ball. Cover the pre-shaped dough and allow it to
rest, covered, for 10-15 minutes before final shaping.
- For the final shaping, lightly dust a section of the
work surface with flour and place the dough on the floured area. Using the flat of your hand gently degas
the dough and flatten it out into either a round or oval shape. Move the
flattened dough to an area of the work surface that's free of flour. Gather the outer edges of the flattened
dough and fold it into the center.
Continue turning the dough and folding the edges tightly into the
center forming a roughly shaped ball or oval. Tuck and rotate the dough and tuck the
edges of the dough underneath and tighten the dough surface. This final
shaping is done on a clean work surface free of flour to provide resistance
needed to get the ball very tight. After
final shaping, the seam will be on the bottom of the dough ball. Don't bother trying to seal the bottom seam.
- Lift the dough off the counter and place it, seam side
down, into bannetons that have been generously dusted with a mixture of
50% rice flour and 50% bread flour.
- Proof, covered, at room temperature, for 2 – 3 hours,
until the dough passes the "finger poke" test, an indentation
left by a fingertip comes back slowly.
- Note. One hour prior to putting the loaves
into the oven, preheat the oven, with baking stone along with a cast iron
skillet, or pan, on the oven rack located below the baking stone. Preheat the oven to 500F. You will need steam  during the initial phase of
baking. Heat a cup and a half of
water in the microwave on high until it's boiling (approx. 3 minutes) just
prior to putting the loaves into the oven. Immediately, after placing the loaves
into the oven, pour about a cup of the boiling water into a cast iron
skillet or pan sitting on the oven rack located below the stone. Use oven mitts to handle the cup of
- When the loaves have passed the "finger poke"
test, they're fully proofed and ready to bake. Turn the loaves out of the floured bannetons
onto parchment-lined baking pans that have been liberally dusted with
semolina, with the floured side up.
- Score the loaves and place the baking pans on the stone
in the oven. Pour the boiling water
into the skillet or pan on the shelf beneath the stone. Close the oven door and don't open it
until midway through the baking cycle, 20 minutes).
- After 10 minutes at 500 deg. F, reduce the oven
temperature to 475 deg. F.
- Midway through the baking cycle (about 20 minutes), open
the oven door and turn the pans around a full half-turn to ensure even
baking and also allow the steam to exit the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 450 deg.
F. for the remaining baking cycle.
- About 35 minutes into the baking cycle, check the
internal temperature of the loaves using a digital thermometer. When they reach an internal temperature
of 205-208 deg. F, remove the pans from the oven and transfer the loaves onto
wire racks to cool. Allow loaves to
cool at least 3 hours before cutting them.