The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Buttermilk Rye

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

Buttermilk Rye

This morning I baked Sarah Owen's Buttermilk Rye. This is a nice bread! It's interesting in that it uses banana in the starter as a Japanese influence. Otherwise it's (for rye I think) a relatively straight forward bread. Personally I'm after making a seeded rye bread that I can use as a "go to" loaf. But I read this recipe in her book "Toast and Jam" and thought to give it a try. It is so good!! I"m actually not a huge rye bread guy. And I find it so strange to work with dough that feels like I'm a stone mason handling concrete! But this is fun and tasty! I'll definitely make this again!

 

 

 

Comments

Benito's picture
Benito

I don’t think I’ve been baking long enough to know this but that is so interesting that the Japanese will sometimes use bananas in the starter.  Any idea the purpose of the banana, is it for the sugars or microbes?  Either way I have to agree with you about dealing with rye, now with my rye starter it is really weird to mix, you’re right it feels like mixing cement.  Nice loaf Frank!

Benny

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

..of using fruits to create starters.. think of raisin water. It's meant to add flavours, etc. I'll give it some thought over the next few days to see if I like notice the banana in taste or smell.  Thanks!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Check out and compare potatoes, bananas, and other potassium rich foods.  There might be something there.  :)

Benito's picture
Benito

Definitely throw in cantaloupes as well as bran then too.  So perhaps potassium is super important for the microbes, interesting thought.  We know bran is excellent for sure.

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF01566880

https://www.jbc.org/content/176/1/39.full.pdf

If you are interested in working out the concentrations and checking if they are limiting in the starter environment.

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

Ilya, thanks for sharing that. You too Mini.

I don't sense any "banana" essence/effect/etc.. in the bread as I smell or taste it.  So perhaps it purpose is purely to help juice the starter's growth. I wonder if I ran an experiment - I don't think I will - that compared one bread made using the banana and the other without if there would be any discernible difference in rise of the two final loaves. Which I'd then interpret as the benefit of feeding the starter with potassium / banana. I was surprised by the rise from such a heavy whole rye flour recipe. Maybe that's the trick. While not an open bread the crumb came out much 'lighter' than i expected. Thanks again.

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

How much banana does actually go in the recipe?

Rye dough can rise a lot, just look at rye starters - they can easily more than double, and very quickly. So I agree - while adding sugar from the banana can speed it up, I doubt it would drastically change the properties of the dough. While 100% rye bread is obviously inevitably quite heavy and with a tight crumb, it still has a lot of gas trapped inside in small holes.

The potassium idea is interesting, but somehow I doubt that's a limiting factor in the dough.

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

I'm not sure I know the answer. And your point about a rye starter rising well is fair.

The recipe calls for feeding your active starter about 10 hours before making the dough with 1:1:1:1 - starter:water:whole-rye:banana

The starter is 20% of the final dough.

At the end of the day the sugar and potassium likely help the starter and dough - but I think the intent was probably more about adding a banana essence.

Thanks for sharing.

Benito's picture
Benito

Thanks for sharing that Ilya.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I do like the crumb.  

About the smashed banana, how ripe was it?  Dead ripe, really dead ripe bananas will have more flavour....the reason they are used in banana bread.  Raisins are also high in potassium.  

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

It called for a super ripe banana. Mine was ripe but hadn't blackened the peel that much yet. It really taste good. My kids really liked it. I'm quite happy with the crumb. Thanks for your help Mini!