The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

is it a bit flat?

harum's picture
harum

is it a bit flat?

Brought some bread this afternoon from a nearby bakery to find this in a bag.  It's 11-1/2" in diam and 1-3/4" thick around the center.   I know it's got "100% rye" in its name, but not much more.  Is the extra flatness intentional or is it just a botched batch?  Taste is okay, except that it's mostly crust, which makes it somewhat bitter.  

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

I'll risk and say that for this style of rye bread it's normal-ish, e.g. see the result in this video: https://youtu.be/H-8bZpQOM58

jl's picture
jl

It's hideously overproofed and way overhydrated. (And also dusted with something unnaturally white.) The whole rye loaves do tend to get flat, but this is way too much. There's no need to chase the open crumb with rye.

Around these parts, professionally made 100% rye loaves look something like this. (I'm sure they picked the tallest and prettiest specimen for the picture, but still.) Note the small shallow cracks. Generally speaking, large dark channels between islands of flour mean overproofed, sparse deep cracks mean underproofed. 

Gadjowheaty's picture
Gadjowheaty

The loaf from your photo is gorgeous.  Do you have suggestions on what they did, or do, as a matter of course?

Anglophone by birth, francophone by blood and love since then, Finno-Ugric by virtue of being married to an Estonian, somewhere in there an international language should suffice. :)

jl's picture
jl

This is peasant bread. Pre-ferment roughly 50% of the flour overnight. Add water, salt and flour, mix the dough and shape the loaves:

(Note how little flour there is directly underneath the dough. If you work too much dry flour into the surface, you'll get large ugly cracks.)

Let proof until cracks form and expand a bit and bake it.

Gadjowheaty's picture
Gadjowheaty

Thank you, jl.  It's quite beautiful, actually.  Reminds me of my wife's late grandmother, raised on a farm in Estonia, who had great hands and worked her rye doughs much like these.

Do you have any formula suggestions?  I've always gone by Hamelman, and used the Detmolder process as described by him.  I'd love to go all-rustic.  Hope it's not a hijack, OP, but I'd love a solid, peasant rye, unadorned.

 

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Be sure to mind your head on your way out of the TFL door.

mariana's picture
mariana

Yes, this style of bread can be baked that flat. Or taller. It depends on tradition and on baker's and consumer's preferences. 

My very first 100% rye was that flat, but it was by mistake. I had no experience with hearth rye breads then and did not know that I had to make dough a bit stiffer or maybe handle it a bit differently during proof and bake, whatever. It was delicious.

Here's a video from a bakery that makes rather tall balls of rye dough and they spread as they proof and then spread even more as they bake. They are maybe an inch taller than your loaf but still, quite flat.

harum's picture
harum

Well, will see what this bread is going to be next time around.