Yet. Another. Rye.

January 17, 2010

I think that this is going to be my year to go all out with the whole grains.

I like white bread. Love it even. however, when I’m looking for toast in the morning, it isn’t white bread I turn to. Multigrain, rye, whole wheat…this is what my nightly dreams are made of. 100% whole grain? Sometimes, but usually even just a hint of whole rye or whole wheat in a bread will give it a good enough flavor to be deserving of a name other than plain.

This is one such bread.

Behold the 10% Rye Sourdough.

This is a simple, extremely basic loaf of bread. Your ingredients are starter, white bread flour, whole rye flour, water, and salt. It stays good for more than a couple days due to both the rye and the sourdough if kept in an airtight container. An extra long fermentation period, but not too long, and the addition of the rye flour give the loaf a pleasant, subtle tang, but nothing a person who doesn’t love sourdough bread would detect.

And the crumb…

Perfect for sandwiches. Not completely uniform, but your mustard isn’t going to slip out of these holes…much.

If you want a slightly higher loaf, add a bit of gluten flour in place of the white flour in the formula. It’s slightly wet at 68%, so it would benefit from stretching and folding after the all-night ferment. If I hadn’t shaped a round loaf (and scored a bit too long) I think I would’ve achieved something that could be a little higher…but this is just fine for my sandwiches.

Basic Sourdough Rye
My own recipe

175g 75% hydration starter
350g bread flour
50g whole rye flour
14g salt
265g water

Dissolve your starter in the water. Mix together the bread flour, rye flour, and salt. Add to the starter/water. Mix until you form a shaggy mass.

If using a stand mixer: I like to give it about 4 minutes, turn off the machine and let the dough rest for 10 or 15 minutes, then 3-4 more minutes to make sure of good gluten development.

If using the stretch/fold method: I don’t think I’ve really explained how this method works on the blog, but it’s explained elsewhere. For those of you who don’t understand the method, this is how it goes.

After the dough has had a 20 or so minute rest, take the edge of the bowl in one hand and use the other hand, with a bowl scraper or not, to gently fold the dough in on itself while turning the bowl. I hold the bowl with my left hand and use my right to fold. I move the bowl in a clockwise motion, slowly, while stretching small amounts of the dough into the middle of the larger mass. I do this as much as the dough can actually stand; you don’t want to see gluten strands breaking. That’s generally 20-25 times. You want a 20 minute rest between each of these little sessions, and I generally do about 3 of them. Then I do a letter fold twice during the fermentation time: take the dough out of the bowl, flatten it a bit on the counter, and fold in thirds like a letter from left to right and from top to bottom. This will give the dough even more strength.

Once your dough has finished the initial first ferment (mine rises about 2x the original size in about 4 hours), punch it down and do one more. If you’ve used the mixer method, I suggest at least one letter fold here to strengthen your dough. Allow to double in size again.

Shape your dough to proof. About 30 minutes before fully proofed, if using a baking stone, or about 15 minutes if not, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. When your oven is ready, slash your loaf as you choose and slide it carefully into the oven, whether on parchment, a cookie sheet, or just using semolina on a peel. Bake until a thermometer registers at least 200 degrees. My one large boule baked for about 35 minutes.

Makes 1 large boule or batard, 2 medium sized boules or batards, and about 3 smallish baguettes.

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