The Fresh Loaf

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Bread and cake

hansjoakim's picture

Bread and cake

I'm still patiently working my way through the Schrotbrot, but with a bubbly and ripe rye sourdough on the counter, I decided to try out a new formula. I love my everyday pain au levains, and I wanted to see how it would work out with a rye sourdough and an increased amount of rye flour. This loaf is 30% whole-rye flour, 70% bread flour and is made with a whole-rye sourdough. You'll find a snapshot from my spreadsheet detailing the formula by clicking here!

With a modest 30% rye, the overall dough behaves very similar to any other pain au levain dough, but slightly stickier. You notice that it's not quite as strong when you tug at it, and the cuts tend to tear easier and be less well-defined than in straight wheat breads. Still, I think it turned out well! Although it looks pretty much like your everday pain au levain, there's a distinctive rye character to the bread - you'll sense that both by the smell of the baking loaf and most definitely in the flavour of the finished bread. I'd say it brings about a surprising lightness to the crumb, even though it still wholesome and filling. A most agreeable accompaniment to many cheeses.

30% rye


This week's dessert is a delicious chocolate mousse cake with bananas: A rum-flavoured chocolate mousse on top of some ripe bananas, sandwiched between two thin layers of a cocoa-almond sponge. Very tasty!

Chocolate mousse cake with banana



arlo's picture

Those loaves look exceptional Hans! I must say I am always jealous of your ability to make your own formulas. That is something I am bit nervous to try since I do not understand the concept fully enough.

Your cake also looks delicious! That a recipe you thought up as well?

hansjoakim's picture

I think it's always exciting to try out new formulas, not only for the new flavour, but also to see if the assumed hydration and guessed fermentation times correspond to the realities of life in the mixing bowl!

And thanks, the cake tasted great. I browsed a pastry magazine at my local library, and saw the chocolate mousse-banana combination there initially. I used recipes from one of my own pastry books to make the different parts for this cake.

ehanner's picture

It is perfect that you balance the nutritional goodness of your breads with the need for fruits and nuts in the cake. The combination of chocolate mouse and banana is heaven on a fork. You are my hero hansjoakim!


LindyD's picture

The color of your rye reminds me of a lake at sunset, when the water has a light golden reflection.  It's a beautiful loaf, Hans.

I wonder if first clear flour would work with your formula.  I have a bag I need to use before March but haven't decided what to do with it.

As to the cake, well, one look and I had to go searching for my drool bib!  Be still, my beating taste buds!

Eli's picture

Those look great and the cake looks like it will melt in your mouth! Bananas and chocolate mousse, two favorites!


hansjoakim's picture

Thanks everyone!

Lindy: I'm taken by your poetic description of the crust! I see red skies overhead, a cup of smoking hot coffee in hand, a dog tired after a long day's running in the forest and fish that make small circles in the water surface.. Oh how I miss summer!

By the way, judging from other folks' description of first clear flour, I bet it would work wonders. I'm all for it, but keep an eye on the hydration. PS: 2 hour bulk fermentation, fold after 1 hour. Final proof: 50 - 60 mins. Let me know if you try it!

Eli & Eric: Thanks!! Chocolate and banana is a favourite in my book too.

LindyD's picture

Your description is pretty nice, Hans!  I'd just add a crackling bonfire to the mix, then sit back and watch the fish rise.  

I hope to try your formula using first clear flour this week.  Did a conversion of my levain to rye yesterday - now working on coordinating the rye sourdough's schedule with mine.  

As much as I miss summer, winter mornings sometime offer a peaceful greeting.

Susan's picture

And as far as that magnificent cake goes, what can I say?  Mmmmmmm.

Susan from San Diego

hansjoakim's picture

Thanks Susan!

SylviaH's picture

The bread is beautiful and I have to bake something sweet after drooling over your cake.  Did you make the lovely little chocolate decorations on top of the cake? 


Yerffej's picture

I have not yet looked at your formula but I regularly make a bread that is 1/3 rye.  It is my fallback bread that I have made so many times that I can almost do it in my sleep.  Yours looks great.......Now as for that cake, simply beautiful.


ques2008's picture

and who says bananas are boring?  with your magic wand you sure know how to make your daily fruit and bread into exotic, sexy specimens.

ayoy, hans, where is all this inspiration coming from?  not from your dissertation I hope!

hansjoakim's picture

Thanks so much, Sylvia, Jeff and ques2008!

@ Sylvia: Thank you! Yes, I made those chocolate decorations while the mousse was setting up in the fridge. I didn't go about tempering the chocolate for them, I simply melted it and put a small amount of melted chocolate in a piping bag made out of parchment paper. Then traced out the pattern on another piece of parchment paper, while trying to keep an even flow of chocolate.

@ ques2008: Bananas are pretty cool things, I agree :) You know what, I think the dissertation is partly to blame. It's a tedious, mind-numbing piece (to say the least), so baking has become an important creative outlet! :)

Paddyscake's picture

You are exceptionally cruel!

If only, we could have just a taste..