The Fresh Loaf

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123 method with Rye

KayDee1's picture

123 method with Rye

I've mixed a dough following the 123 method. The flour is organic rye, and organic AP. 180 grams of rye and 230 grams of AP. The were equal in the beginning but the dough was unworkably sticky so I added 50 more grams of AP. That effectively exceeded the calculations for the 123 method, but I didn't feel I had a choice.

Anyway, after a 40 minute rest, followed by 3 S&F with 40 minute intervals, the dough is still very sticky, gloppy even. The S&F was more scoop and fold with a plastic scraper as the true stretch ended up with the dough breaking off in clumps. 

I put it in the refrigerator for overnight, and will continue with allowing it to rise at RT some more tomorrow, but I'm really wondering about this dough overall.

No silkiness. No shine. No real form... just sticky, gloppy, and dull looking. Is that the rye doing that? 

I like the experimenting, but I'm really surprised at how many problems I seem to be running into. When I used yeast, improvement was a steady progress to success.

This is more like "what I didn't screw up this time, I will next time!" 


jimt's picture

I'm rather new to this whole thing but in my experiments as I wound up working my way up to 100% rye I saw many changes in the dough. It is strange flour and by the time you're at 100% you don't try to handle it as much as scoop it. I think what you're doing is fine but you'll just have to adapt to using rye which above maybe 40% or so becomes a different dough as far as how you work with it.

lepainSamidien's picture

Rye is a tricky and unpredictable beast and very sensitive to its environment ; it's always necessary to expect the unexpected with a rye dough, especially if it's the first few times you're baking with it at high percentages.

If I understand correctly, you have 460 g of flour (280 AP + 180 rye), somewhere in the ballpark of 270-275 g of water, and 135 g of starter -- I based these calculations on your original 410 g of flour.

The hydration isn't high enough to turn a normal dough into "goop"; typically, high percentage rye doughs that aren't too highly hydrated turn into big blocks of thick cement-like, clayey paste rather than goop. That would make me think that the dough just hasn't had enough time to ferment, perhaps the starter wasn't active enough. I find that 9 times out of 10, the problem lies with the starter preparation. Tell us a little bit more about the starter and maybe we can troubleshoot that.

In any case, if the dough is still really unmanageable after a night in the chill-chest, dump it into a lightly oiled loaf pan, let it rise a little and bake it off. It will still be good !

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I would also work in two teaspoons of wet softened yeast into the dough if it shows no signs of rising.  (insurance)

When you take out the cold dough, Cut the dough swiftly (if you can't see it otherwise) and look at the bubble formation inside the dough, then spread out and sprinkle on the instant yeast, mist to dissolve yeast and work it into the dough.  You will then have much shorter rise so go straight into a final shaping and proof.   You will still  have the flavour the rye and sourdough bring.  I would speed it up with yeast as AP often doesn't have the strength to keep going for a much longer proofing.  

Another Q  did you forget the salt?  Taste the dough.  This can often result in wetter, gloppy, sticky doughs.  Also with tasting, note how sour it is.  If very sour, and you don't have the rise to go with it naturally, add a half teaspoon of baking soda, that will cut the acid until the yeast can catch up.  Sieve it onto the dough with the yeast, it won't bother it if you knead it in right away.      

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Try it and see how it works for you.  That is if you are using more than 60% rye flour.   This is a good ratio for 70 to 100% rye flour.   Just search:  Mini's favorite rye ratio     (american spelling)  

or use this link

What you've mixed up is about 40% rye so it will be sticky.  No way around that.  just keep your fingers wet and dunk the scraper and spatula in water to prevent excessive sticking.  I tend to oil a counter top lightly and then mist it ever so lightly with water.  That keeps it from sticking to the work surface.  If you are using a banneton, flour it well and flour the dough after shaping it.  Then plop into the banneton and let it increase in volume about half the way to doubling (do not let it get near doubling)  before carefully, slowly turning out and placing into a hot oven for spring.


KayDee1's picture

Thank you all so much for your help, advice and guidance.

I'm relieved to know that rye is supposed to be difficult! It is definitely rising. I took it out of the refrigerator this am, and it had grown (maybe 1/4 the size of the dough)? 

It's on the counter now, and I'll leave it and see how it goes. The kitchen is cool right now, but once the cooking for the day starts it will get hot, fast!

I like the idea of dumping it in an oiled pan if it doesn't look like much else will help.

The comparison to wet cement kind of gave me pause. The dough could be kind of compared to that... instead of goop? 

I really like rye bread, and when I used to make bread with yeast, I'd tried several different recipes. Never found one I really liked, but I don't recall the dough being hard to work with?

With regard to the starter, it began its life in a bakery and was shared with me by an absolutely incredible Chef. It was originally 90% bread flour, 10% WW. Over the course of weeks I fed it with rye and water, in place of the bread flour and ww. The starter sat on the counter (having been fed) overnight before using. It was working nicely, at least I think it was! I hope that gives you enough to go on for trouble shooting?

If I could figure out how to upload a photo to this forum, I'd do so, but I've not tried that yet! 


KayDee1's picture

A resounding failure. It never did rise again, but I baked it anyway in a preheated 500 degree covered DO.

Heavy, damp interior, dense crumb. Didn't even taste it because it was so unpalatable. Had a not so nice smell, too. 

In the trash... * sigh * again.