The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Tonight - First Loaf With Rye Starter

JamieOF's picture

Tonight - First Loaf With Rye Starter

My rye starter has matured well so far so I thought it was time to put it to the test. It doubles in less than 2 hours after feeding and will rise fully and start to collapse after 4 or 5 hours. I keep it at 125% hydration for ease of mixing and handling.

Again, I used a basic 1:2:3 formula, starting with 130 gms of starter and adjusting water to make it 65%. I didn't put any VWG in this one, but the dough seemed drier and easier to handle than others I've made @ 65%. I don't know if that fairly low percentage of rye will make that much of a difference. The only rye was in the starter and the rest of the flour was Robin Hood white AP unbleached.

I would have liked to bring it darker but the gang at work (where this one is destined for) said they prefer a softer crust rather than nice and crispy with shards flying from the knife.

My bride of 37 years thinks I've now lost it altogether when she came in the kitchen and I was watching it open and the ear forming!!!! I told her "If I have to explain, you'll never understand".

Night all.




Forgot to add this was proofed in my 'poor-man's couche", a smooth cotton towel with a tight weave and baked open on a stone, with 10 ice cubes in a cast iron pan providing steam.

Eudoxus's picture

That's a great-looking loaf! The ear is fantastic! Something about the proportions in the last shot really catches my eye.

alfanso's picture

Ain't that the truth.  Well, I got over that a long time ago already.  I went from that to avoiding looking (just in case ), to "just going about my business", with a mere peek through the glass at the halfway point of steaming.  

Not only is the bloom high quality, but so is the overall shaping of the batard.  If you are first starting out, you are already hitting the mark.  Congratulations, alan

leslieruf's picture

well done Jamie, bet it tasted great.


dabrownman's picture

one handsome loaf.  It is a beautimous loaf but it is a bit dull in color.  I'm thinking you need to up the steam by a whole lot.  10 ice cubes doesn't make it in a home oven.  I would consider Lava rocks in a pan of water so you can really gelatinize the crumb, bring out the color and shine.  Other than that you gt the scoring, spring and  bloom to come out on this one.  Well done and happy baking                                         

JamieOF's picture

10 ice cubes doesn't make it in a home oven.  I would consider Lava rocks in a pan of water so you can really gelatinize the crumb, bring out the color and shine.

Just so I understand, I always put 8-10 cubes in the pan, close the door while I'm scoring the loaf, then open the door and put the loaf in quickly. After 10 minutes, I take out the pan, and there's always water left in the pan. But you say this still isn't enough, even though all the water hasn't boiled off?


dabrownman's picture

to 20 minutes for a 800 G loaf of bread.  I think David Snyder does a pan if lava rocks under a cover that has holes in it and he puts ice cubes on the cover and lets the water drip through the holes onto the lava rocks below.  If you have a small loaf or a 350 g baguette, 10 minutes of steam would be be about right.

I like to heat the oven to 500 F then put 2 pans of lava rocks in that are also half full of water.  15 minutes later the steam in billowing them the bread goes in for 18 minutes of steam.  Do not have your face by the door when you open it to load the dough or take the steam out or you will burn yourself badly.  I call this Mega Steam.  You can also use Sylvias's steam which is a kitchen towel rolled up in each pan half full of water too.  I use to use one of each but did a test on which method puts out the most steam the fastest and the lave rock won hands down.

Happy baking 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

"...they prefer a softer crust rather than nice and crispy with shards flying from the knife."

Great Looking Loaf!   

That great shot from the end, if you didn't see the oven and background, looks so Organic!  Like a prize Tulip bulb ready to put out root and send up a blossom!   Classic!  Wow.

When no one's watching me, I'm watching the oven.  I pull up a chair and enjoy.  

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

How was the inside? It certainly looks like a winner on the outside. Just a note - if your mates like a softer crust you can wrap the warm loaf in a kitchen towel after it comes out of the oven. That will soften it up a bit.

Funny how attached we get to our bread, isn't it? When my customers come to pick up their bread I'll take it out of the bag and show it to them, saying "Isn't that beautiful?" They might think I'm a little weird but they keep coming back! :)

Ru007's picture

i don't know how many times i've found myself sitting in front of the oven watching my dough turn into bread!! I totally get it!! 

Great looking loaf!! 

Well done :)

joc1954's picture

Jamie, that loaf is really nice and your starter is really active and produces so beautiful loaf. I see that your shaping was also great. 

Well done and happy baking!