Thursday, May 13, 2010

Rye bread 1.0

If you are sick of reading about my bread experiments, I have a few words of hope for you. It won't be nice and cool in Boston for long. Soon the temperature will creep into 80s and I might come to my senses and stop this insane bread production. But if you are interested in artisan breads, you probably know that keeping a diary is crucial to improving your skills. So for the moment, I am using this blog as a diary for me to remember what I did, not as any means of helping you reproduce this at home, so forgive my abbreviations, lack of explanation, etc.

This is my first rye bread. Stupidly, I picked up the one type of rye flour available at the tiny Whole Foods in Wellesley. It's by Arrowhead Mills and as soon as I started reading The Bread Bible, I realized it's probably the wrong type. What I wanted was white rye flour and the one I ended up getting was whole grain. Here is what I learned about rye from the Bread Bible: less gluten than wheat, makes the bread a bit sticky, the bran might also bake it a bit bitter, so rye is often mixed with wheat. I decided to replace 20-25% of wheat with rye in Jason's recipe with Poolish version. Since I threw in a piece of old dough from a previous wheat batch, it was probably more like 20%, and still was a bit much -- a tad too cardboardy for me.

Here is the formula

AP -- all-purpose
DCK -- Diamond Crystal Kosher salt

Pate Fermente:

a small piece of dough left over from a previous wheat bread batch that I kept frozen.

12 hour Poolish:
100g AP flour
80 g rye flour
180g water
0.07g yeast

234 g AP flour
40 g rye flour
1 tsp yeast
4 tsp DCK salt
233 g water

To knead:
140g (5 oz) of flour -- rye made the dough feel stickier and I couldn't get away with 2 oz I used before. Next time, I should up the flour. It really doesn't need to be that wet. Huge holes is not what I am after in this bread.

I combined pate fermente, poolish, and remainder, and kneaded by hand. Let rise for 3.5 hours (more than doubled). Deflated, folded, shaped, proofed for 45 minutes in a proof box. Baked in a dutch oven. I forgot to separate a piece of dough, like I did for previous batches, plus this one was bigger due to pate fermente. So the loaf ended up huge and kept not baking through. I started the oven at 500. When the bread went in, I reduced to 425F. After 45 minutes, I reduced to 400F. 22 minutes later, I was only registering slightly over 200F and the inside felt sticky. I got the bread out of the pot and finished directly on a rack for another 20 minutes before it finally got to 210 and stopped feeling sticky inside. By that time, the crust got a bit burnt.

The inside had good chewy texture and good flavor (a tad cardboardy to my taste, but not bad).

I keep wanting more acidity and was hoping rye flour would give me that. Is there no way around this whole sour-dough starter business? I was hoping to avoid it because I don't trust myself to feed anything that doesn't make noise.

1 comment:

SteveB said...

Ah, but if you listen carefully, a sourdough starter does indeed make noise at full maturity.