After seeing Shiao-Ping's post last week about the Sonoma Bakery near her, I was awakened from a long slumber. My other half has been working on a high protein diet that forbids grains, potatoes and rice. I have been supportive of the diet plan and have tried to not create things in the kitchen that would test her strength. What happened was I also was keeping to the plan and found surprisingly that I did not crave starches. So my self imposed hiatus has come to an end.
The beautiful crumb image from the Sonoma Miche really caught my eye. The red/brown color with the open crumb pattern and gelatinous structure seemed a contradiction of possibilities. Reports of long spoiling times and moist mouth feel were clues I can follow.
I thought I would deviate from the norm in creating this mix in that contrary to most SD mixes that use rye, I did not mix the rye with the levain. I poured boiling water into all of the rye (360g) at 100% hydration. So equal amounts of dark rye and hot water. To my surprise the dark rye absorbed all of the water and I had to work to get it mixed evenly. This I left on the counter for 24 hours as a soaker. The next morning it was a very firm Frisbee. The next time I will use much more water. I had an awful time getting a smooth mixture but eventually it came together. I added all the water for an overall hydration of 80% and mashed with a potato masher. I then added the levain and the 60% bread flour and salt. The dough looked more like chocolate frosting and was smooth and soft. I used 15% of the flour weight for levain and expected a good first rise in 4-6 hours. It had doubled in 6 hours with 2 stretch and folds in between.
I did a final shape on the counter into a boule and rolled the 1160g ball into a large banneton dusted with flour. I'm working on a distinctive slash pattern and thought I would try my first initial "E". No snickering please. A surgeon I am not. I'll have to think of something more simple to execute.
After proofing for 1.5 hours, the dough had risen respectably. I had preheated my oven/stone to 480F for the initial phase of the bake. I steamed normally and removed the block after 12 minutes and lowered the oven to 430F for 20 additional minutes. At this time I checked the internal temp and found it to be 180F. I again lowered the temp to 410F as the crust color was looking good. Another 10 minutes and the temp was 200F so I again lowered to 380F for another 10 minutes. The internal was 210 now so I shut the oven off, propped the door open with a blade and let it dry for another 10 minutes.
After cooling for 1 hour, we cut it open. The crumb was more like I would expect from a rye recipe. Some aeration but not too tight. It is very moist on the inside. After a day of being out and covered by a towel it is still moist in the center. Longer and lower baking next time. The flavor is exceptional and different from any sour rye I have made previous. There is a mild sour taste but another sweet aroma and flavor I am not familiar with. The soaking of the rye and then not souring the rye must be the difference. I dried a piece in the toaster today and it was delicious.
I do want to get a more open crumb than I did here. I think I'll try 30% dark rye next time and the extended ferment. It's a very good loaf if a little heavy. A longer baking profile will help that.
Added by Edit:
Note: I really like the finely milled dark rye I get from Stan at NY Bakers. It gets nice and dark when scalding and has a wonderful aroma. No caraway seeds here. Just the flavor of scalded rye and a hint of sour.
Dark Rye flour, fine milled, from NY Bakers. 360g
Bread flour 800g
360g Dark Rye or whole Rye sifted.
720g Very hot water
Stir in a large bowl. Cover when combined and cover for 24 hours.
All of Soaker
208g water at 80F
Combine water and break up the soaker.
When soaker is broken up, add 174g of Levain and combine.
Add flour and salt. Mix until well combined and gluten starts to develop.
Ferment at room temperature until doubled. During ferment time, every hour perform a gentle stretch and fold and return to bowl.
When doubled, gently pour out on floured counter and gently shape into desired shape, tightening as you go. Place in a banneton and proof for approx 1.5 hours, or until 80% expanded.
Preheat oven to 470F. Bake at 470f for 12 minutes with steam. Release steam and lower oven to 430F for another 30-40 minutes. Check for internal temp of 210f. Prop door open with oven off to help dry the bread for 10 minutes.
Allow to cool on wire rack for at least 1 hour. The moisture does spread out after a day of being covered with a towel.