The Fresh Loaf

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Lucy’s Dark Rye Bread

dabrownman's picture

Lucy’s Dark Rye Bread

After last week’s 99% white bread, Lucy nearly went into shock with the Dark Side Heebie Jeebies.  Yes, there is such a thing as fatal HJ’s but Lucy has an app for that.  So, this week she went dark starting with prunes and Deshuette’s Black Porter, 61.3% wholegrain rye and 38.7% whole grain red and white wheat. 

These odd percentiles would upset any full-blooded German to no end.  She didn’t plan on it but she decided to toss in 20 g of red rye malt and since that is whole grain sprouted rye, it threw off the wholistic bread making percentages she usually lives and dies by.  If this wasn’t dark enough, she then tossed in 1% each cocoa and espresso.

She normally would not use the last two dark side elements but I told her she couldn’t bake the bread low and slow, pumpernickel style, in the mini oven outside on the patio.  I wasn’t going to be out there in the AZ heat for hours and hours checking on her latest DaPumperized loaf.  She was worried it wouldn’t be dark enough so in they went.

She worries about the oddest things and could care less about important matters like getting groomed and summer clipped at the Paw Salon and Spa this week and what kind of canned Alpo is going to get mixed in with her Purina Pro 100 dry food.  No, she isn’t getting paid by Purina and Alpo for these plugs but I think they should at least pay me.

Don't fprget to dock the top of the loaf with a toothpick before closing the lid and putting it in the oven.

Being a rye bread where abundant acid is the most important thing in controlling amylase action that destroys the crumb structure she upped the pre-fermented flour of levain to 17.6%.  the pre-fermented flour was entirely bran that was sifted from the whole grain and wheat after milling it to a medium constancy rather than our usual fine grind.

Potatoes butter rosemary and basil with 1/8th cup of water steamed woith lid on and then removed until browned becomes the best fried, herb potatoes ever!

The levain was our usual 100% hydration but was different in that it 20 g of our NMNF WG rye starter and was a single stage 6 hour affair that was not retarded.  We autolyzed the dough flour with a bottle of the Deshuettes Black Porter and some water and 5% barley malt syrup, for 1 hour to get the overall hydration up to 92.3% with the PH sea salt sprinkled on top.

We still eat grilled salmon just about every week

Once the levain hit the mix we did 4 sets of slap and folds of 60 20, 10 and 4 slaps and folds with the prunes and toasted, crushed, aromatic seeds going in at the 3rd set after trying to fold them in first.  All the slapping the dough into shape was done on 30 minute intervals.

This was chicken grilled veg cheese crisp wit pork chili verde - extra yum with guacamole, crema and pico!

We then shaped the dough into a loaf shape that would fit the pan release sprayed Exotic Oriental Pullman Pan.  We slid the lid in and put it in the fridge for a 12 hour retard after a short 40 minute proof on the counter.  Since the cold brings amylase activity down to a crawl you can retard your higher percent rye breads like any other one without worrying about the word ending – but Lucy has an app for that too.

Lucy says to have a great salad every night and this one was exceptional with perfect peaches and blueberries

After taking it out in the morning, it looked like it had puffed itself up weakly in the middle about .34“ without much movement anywhere else - pretty sad at the time.  So, we let it sit on the counter to warm up and finish proofing to fill that lovely pan up to the brim.  We expected this to taok many, many hours - over 8 in fact in the vein of this bread Purim and Sprouted Westfalian Rye

We were surprised when it took only 3 hours.  The levain had to be much nor active plus the kitchen was 25 degrees warmer too!  We decided to bake the bread the same way as we did last March but using the mini oven instead and adding 20 minutes to the steaming portion since the MO heats up so much faster than Big Old Betsy.  We started with the mini oven off, put the bread in, cranked it up to 450 F and steamed it for 30 minutes at 425 F after it hit temperature.  We then removed the lid and continued to bake for 1 hour at 375 F.

We were going to let the bread continue baking out of the pan at this point but I was already 206 F and a bit more than the 202 F we were shooting for - so onto the cooling rack it went.   We will now wait to see if the crumb came out as nice as it did in last March sans nuts and sprouts.  The crumb was not as moist as usual due to the over baking by 4 F we were looking for.

This shot not taken in direct sunlight and represents the real crumb color better .

The bread sliced very thinly and easily making  for perfect less than 1/4" slices.  The bread spices are more subtle than usual too..... 6% would have been better.  We still like this bread very much even if not as open as others but it is 100% whole grain bread in the classic 60 / 40 rye wheat split found all over The Netherlands - but the prunes are pure Andy of TFL fame and delicious in this bread.   I also like it better with Mini Oven's Toasted Walnuts and Lucy's sprouts as additional add ins.  It is still about the best thing since sliced bread none the less.

Breakfast was two slices toasted with a schmear and a tiny slive to taste all on its own untoasted.


17.6% preferment rye and wheat bran levain using 20 g of NMNF rye starter at 100% hydration.  This was a singe stage, non-retarded levain, that took 6 hours to double.


29.6% whole grain red and white wheat 50/50

49.5% whole grain rye

3.3% red rye malt

5% barley malt syrup

4% toasted and cracked seeds - half caraway and the other half anise, fennel and coriander in equal amounts

15% prunes – each one sliced into thirds

1.1% each cocoa and instant coffee

Enough water and 1 bottle of Deschuette’s Black Porter to make the hydration 90% without taking into account the water in the barley malt syrup.  Overall hydration would be 92.5% with the BMS

2% pink Himalayan sea salt

Here is the Girl Baby fresh from the salon and spa


Filomatic's picture

Amazing bread.  I would love to see a video of you slap and folding this dough.  Any chance of that in the future?

dabrownman's picture

all over the place.  80% Forkish white bread is worse.  Still, once the add ins get involved. I do a few folds to get them all in before slapping to keep them them from really getting out of hand - but the slaps are less aggressive too :-)  I'm a lot more camera shy than Lucy so getting me on video and her holding the camera would be a stretch.  Glad you like the bread sans video.  it is delicious.

Happy baking

IceDemeter's picture

This would make a fab dessert after the moose shoulder pot roast that I made...  it would be an awesome match!  I'm gonna have to go and raid my freezer stash for a 100% rye with fruit...

Ms Lucy is looking ever so fine, and deserved a day of pampering after all of the stress of that white bread.  It's a good thing that you agreed to make this one to at least partially make up for it, but messing with her baker's percentages was more than a bit cruel, you know.  I'm sure she'll make you pay for that.

I, too, would love to see a video of you slappin' this type of dough around, just to see how close the visual in my head is!  I actually gave it another try yesterday while trying to get a porridge in to a 100% WG dough (which ended up being just over 102% hydration after the porridge was included - yikes!).  While I succeeded in not stippling my walls, ceiling, and bottom of the cupboards, apparently I'm anticipating the trend of the spattered dough look being all the rage in fashion...

Hope the temps start cooling down, and that you and yours all have a wonderful, fun, and safe weekend heading in to to the 4th, and keep baking happy!


dabrownman's picture

a cooling trend.  Monsoon should start soon and then it will really be sticky like Miami only 15 degrees warmer. - what a reprieve.  Moose shoulder sounds killer.  I've been trying to get Ski to smoke some moose ribs but maybe you could post some.  I know they would be terrific with Lucy's rub and wood combo!

Once Lucy remembered to get the ted rye malt in there she messed up her own percents with that 20 g of flavor and color.  The bread would be the same without it though.  I'm gong to take it darker the next time I make red rye malt just to make Varda's Double Chocolate Rye - one of the best breads ever posted on TFL in my book.

Don't hold your breath waiting for a video but if one shows up it will be because Lucy learned now to film her master.

Glad you liked the bread and happy baking ID

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

But she looks very tired after that burst of creativity. She needs a well deserved rest! For a minute there, when you said it was already 206F I thought you meant the temperature outside. Then I realized it was the bread - doh! Perhaps you could put a nice rye paste into the Pullman pan and just leave it outside for the day!

The prunes and malt syrup (and Porter) sound mouthwatering in this one - good call, Lucy! Perhaps to keep it pure you could add some fine-milled dark chocolate malted barley in place of the coffee and cocoa powder. It gives the nice darkness and that boost of flavour too.

dabrownman's picture

by doubling it but it wouldn't have been as dark or put the coffee and chocolate subtle flavors in the mix.  I actually like them both in rye breads if kept to small amounts.  My facorite way to darken it up is o bake it pumpernickel but that takes all day.  My 2nd favorite way that only takes 2-3 more hours is to do a low temperature  140 F baked scald with medium rye, red and white malts, molasses and barley malt syrup.  That really darkens things up..

I have always lived the rye bread Varda posted here where she went to the brew shop and got some double chocolate malt - one of the best posts ever on TFL.  Next time I make malt I will take it very dark for sure.

Poor Lucy is getting older and tuckers out faster then she did in=n the old days but for, a 13 year old, she is very active and in good shape - even if she sleeps most of the day like she is right now at my feet:-)

Glad you like the post and happy baking LL

IceDemeter's picture

check out that oh soooo scrumptious crumb (and with a schmear and toasted yet --- you just triggered my addiction...)  Seriously nice bake, sir.

And adding that extra beauty shot of the ever so lovely Lucy - well, that's just put the perfect ending to my day...  Off to dreams of dark and sultry ryes and snuggles with a silky little baking apprentice...

Happy baking, DAB!

dabrownman's picture

in the winter when she wants to burrow under the covers just like you do.  I always wonder how she breathes under there but she eventually pokes her head out just like she was a human...... she thinks she is better than that:)

Isand66's picture

Love this one and can imagine how rich and decadent this tastes with that nice schmear.  Bet this would make a great grilled pastrami with cheese as well!

Those potatoes and other delights looks fantastic as well.

Max just saw Lucy's beauty shots and is packing his bags as we speak to come visit his pretty Lucy.

Happy 4th of July and enjoy your "cool" weather :).

dabrownman's picture

Bagel Man's Lox on top and you have the best breakfast ever - like today's!  His lox are the very best and I wish I knew how he cures it.  Most people like it sliced thin to make it cover more bagels because it is so expensive but, if he likes you, he will tell the slicer to 'slice the fish thicker for the DaBrownman' or DaSandman! His Eastern European English dialect makes for a perfect 'Da' to replace 'The'  in front of any noun.

This bread is perfect for Reuben's or any meat and cheese in between.  On the 4th Cousin Jay is coming over so it will be ribs, chicken and sausages in the smoker .  St Louis was in town this past week, his and my wife's hometown team so we went to the Diamondback's game, their new hometown team.  No matter who won they were both happy - a real win win.  So we get to see Cousin Jay twice in two weeks!  It will be sparklers and smoked meats on the 4th.

Glad you liked the bread and happy baking Ian - Have a great 4th.  Lucy sends her best to the 2 black and 5 furry ones.

PalwithnoovenP's picture

Love this dark rich bread for this week. I'm craving for something similar since it's raining here all week. I just want to clarify what is a schmear? Is it some cream cheese?

CAphyl's picture

dabrownman:  The bread looks, fab, too. I love the salmon and potatoes....and the peach salad.  You don't use a tin very often, so this must have been a change for you.  I don't use it very often, either, but have to for most of the gluten-free bread. Sigh.  Enjoy the rest of the summer.   Phyllis