The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

70% Rye Loaf Cracked

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

70% Rye Loaf Cracked

Hey all.  Been quite a while since I've been on here.  Back at baking breads again!  I just tried out a 70% rye loaf (first one for me since 2012!), formula found here:

https://www.kingarthurbaking.com/recipes/jeffreys-sourdough-rye-bread-recipe

As you can see in the photo below, there are quite a few cracks, even though I slashed quite well.  Is this a classic sign of overproofing?  I wouldnt be surprised as I did ferment and proof in a very warm environment.

 

Also the crumb is a bit tight compared to the 70% rye breads I've seen.

John

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

Welcome back.

My guess...

A gas oven, a convection oven with the fan on, or an electric oven using the upper heating element might cause that effect.

Those three things cause the crust to dry/set/harden too soon, before the loaf is done expanding.

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Thanks for the feedback...but actually, I used a combo cooker (cast iron pan with lid) to hold in the steam for the first 15 mins of the bake.  Also, I did notice some of those cracks happening on the loaf dough after the proof and prior to even going into the oven.  Hmmm....

ciabatta's picture
ciabatta

What was your other 30%?  KA Bread same as the recipe? or another flour.  I think this is just not enough gluten in the dough to hold things together.  And for whole meal rye flour, the grind and water absorption varies so much.  that said, the crumb looks pretty good to me for 70%.

 

the recipe didnt really call for much folding or preshape/final shaping. i thing some stretches, and pre shaping would have helped make a more elastic skin.

and lastly, maybe one deep cut (3/4 inch)  down the length of the dough would be better for expansion.

James

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Hey James!

I used a local organic bread flour for the other 30%.

In fact, the dough felt nice and elastic as I was kneading.  Surprisingly so.  

John

ciabatta's picture
ciabatta

KA bread flour is on the stronger side of bread flour in terms of protein.  I think it's 13.7%. 

So other bread flours may not be a direct substitute.  Did you do a window pane test on the dough before shaping?

70% rye wont get a very strong one, but should have some signs of it.   If you think the elasticity / gluten development was alright, maybe next time try to do some pre-shaping and final shape with a letter fold then roll it up to build a stronger structure  on the crust. and score deep. 

The color, browning, and crumb looks really good. i think maybe just better shaping will fix the cracked crumb issue.

 

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

(Update:) Picking up on the same thing as ciabatta, the scoring. I like the way he thinks. (The original version of this comment doubled with his.)

Did you score in both directions?  lattitude and longitude?  Instructions said a cross, which is "oddly specific."

the big burst looks mainly longitudinal, so maybe it really did need 2-dimensional scoring, ie at right angles.

--

The KA formula is kind of dry, only 66% hydration, if I did the math right. So there's little to no margin for error. 

Did you weigh the flour or measure by cup?

If by cup, did you spoon it in or scoop?  Somewhere on their website, KA says to spoon, as scooping picks up too much.

--

Did you make any substitutions? Dark or whole rye is thirstier than medium rye, and that would tend to dry it out, if that sub was made.

the slice and crumb do look good!

 

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

I always weigh my ingredients.  Scored 4 slashes in one direction. 

I did use organic local milled rye and bread flour.  I adjusted the hydration as I mixed the dough...it felt dry so I think I added an extra maybe 10g of water.  Dough felt nice and elastic (for a 70% rye).

 

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

"I did use organic local milled rye and bread flour. "

As the saying goes, "the devil is in the details."

If you used "whole grain rye" (sometimes call "dark rye"), which has about twice as much bran/ash as "medium rye", that would explain the dryness, dense crumb, and maybe the cracking.

"medium rye" has had a good portion of the bran removed, not all, but it has significant less bran than "whole grain rye."

Does your rye  flour package indicate "light rye", "medium rye", "whole grain rye",  or "dark rye"?   Those are the most common descriptors of rye flour.

And did the package say "rye flour" or "rye meal"?   "Rye meal" is generally taken to mean whole grain, though the usage is not totally standardized.

Another descriptor can be "pumperknickel", but that usually means a coarse grind, not the amount of bran removed or left in.

Table III on this page: http://theartisan.net/Flours_One.htm

gives a brief description of light/medium/dark/meal for rye.

Rye expert Stan Ginsberg discusses the common confusion over non-standard rye classifications here: http://theryebaker.com/rye-flour/

--

KA's "Bread Flour" is .50% ash (practically branless) and 12.5% protein. So if your local mill did not refine their bread  flour to that level, that would also require more water, and lead to a denser crumb.  .50% ash corresponds to approximately 70% "extraction rate." 

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

This particular rye flour I used is labelled as a medium rye. I have had great experience in the past with it.  

I will try my hand at it again with some adjustments per all these wonderful tips!

Thanks again!

John

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

would you believe Austria got dumped with snow above 2000 m. Yesterday?  30 cm of the stuff at 0°C.  It will surely melt away by tomorrow.  I git 4" of soaking type rain.  Nice and cool, good for baking.  

Anyway, i got one Q for you... Did you score before or after the final proof?  My quess is after.  

If you score after shapping, the loaf will rise and seal up the scores only to reopen during the bake right where you want them.  You can do all kinds of fancy stuff too!  Try a lattice, diagonally.  :). Rye dough is great fun to want to shape more but I would stick to minimal handling like you did, maybe one fold or two shaping early, or ruin the rye matrix.  Crumb looks good.  

I sometimes pat my shaped rye dough with a dab of olive oil to keep it from drying out (unless coating it with seeds for an exoskeleton) then (maybe) score and let rise. This loaf looks to me like it wanted to be in a loaf pan for support.  Still came out lovely dispite the tiled look.  Just look at those lovely slices!  Does the recipe call for a glaze?  (Ok, two Q's). Lol!   

Mini

3rd Q..... Is there lemon juice in the recipe?

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Hi Mini! Long time no bake!

Thank you for your usual helpful self.  To answer your qs:

Yes I slashed after proof, the moment before going into the oven.

No lemon in the formula.

I also did lightly rub with oil to avoid drying out.

The one thing I didnt mention in my post is that during the kneading, the dough felt nice and smooth, and had a hollow sound to it when I patted it.  It proofed in a very warm environment, around 32-34 degrees C.  This is why I was thinking OVER proofed. But perhaps not.

I posted the link to the formula above but here it is:

https://www.kingarthurbaking.com/recipes/jeffreys-sourdough-rye-bread-recipe

John

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Ah! That might explain a fast rise that tore as it rose.  Too much power while expanding.  Think expansion joints on a large driveway.  Anyway, try scoring just after shaping.   While shaping, make sure the seam is well closed and where you want it should it open with oven spring. Lemon juice will help the matrix stretch instead of crack. Chuck in a good squeeze (tablespoon) sometime and see what it does for you esp. if adding the yeast to the formula.

I love it when rye dough has that stretchy inflating feeling.  Your x-ray hands are well trained.  Super sensitive. :)  During the final proof, just for fun, try resting wet palms against the loaf and pushing them together ever so gently to feel the dough inside bubbles growing.  If you feel any underlying softer spongy hollows, dock those air pockets. I see no indications of overproofing in the pictures.  

This time of the year that sensitive touch is good for picking out well filled sweetcorn ears and ripe nectarines!