All grains contain peptides that mimic morphine or endogenous opioid substances. This is where I deal with my latest loaf craving. Get your bread-based exorphin fix here.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Everyday Bread #25 - Weakling Rye Bread

Weakling Rye Bread: 
a failed variation of Wolter & Teubner's Strong Rye Bread

I read with interest Wolter& Teubner's recipe for Strong Rye Bread.  This is an impressive looking loaf, and it takes an impressive amount of time to build: 3 days. 

The first day, you boil and cool some milk; you build a starter with that and a small amount of yeast and water and oil and sugar and bread flour.  You set this aside for a night.

The next day you mix up some rye flour and some whole wheat flour, and use your starter and some water to mix up about half of that flour mixture: and you let that ferment overnight.

Finally, you mix up the rest of the water and flour, add some salt, and mix it all together until it is a firm dough.

On that third day, you shape it into a ball, let it rise 3 hours, then shape a loaf.  It rises again 2 hours, and you are continually brushing the loaf with water so that it doesn't dry out during this final proofing stage.  Then you score it in a crisscross pattern and bake 2 hours at 400 degrees.  Then you turn off the oven, brush the loaf with water again, and keep it in the oven until it is dry.

Very time consuming, and some day when I have enough time I think I'll try it.  For now though, I just threw all the ingredients into a container and mixed it up.

I really didn't expect I'd get anything interesting out of this method of cutting corners.

But something interesting did happen.  After 24 hours, when there was no apparent activity, I spritzed the top of it with a bit of water.  The next day, it had grown in size, and some bubbles were forming in the upper third of the dough.  It hadn't quite doubled in size, but upon touching the top of it, I realized it was quite a bit softer than it was when I left it. 

I could not get back to it even after 48 hours, but at the 60 hours mark, it was approximately doubled, and I decided to see if I could bake the bread that day.  Rather than shape it into a ball, wait 3 hours, then shape a loaf, I shaped it into a loaf and placed it in a couche-lined basket to rise.  I put some cracked rye on the couche and on top of the dough prior to the rise.

Then I fell asleep, intending to bake it when I woke up after a few hours rest (I had been working nights, and was going to be switching back to days.)

But upon waking, I had to rush off without being able to bake it, and I wouldn't be back until after the 72 hour mark, at the earliest.  I spritzed a bit more water on the top and left it covered.

Exhausted after the Snatum Kaur concert in London, after coming off a 12 hour night nursing shift and sleeping only 4 hours, I felt I had to bake the bread now, because it was already way too overproofed (by about 10-11 hours).  I preheated the oven and stone, and upended the banneton onto it.  The dough came out very nice.  This loaf still showed tremendous promise at this point, I thought.

The recipe calls for an incredible 2 hour bake, however.  I tried to stay awake by watching TV.  Big mistake.  The show I was watching was crap and I fell asleep within minutes of the ending.  Sometime around 0200 I awoke on the couch and heard the oven beeper going off.  The smell of rye acrylamide was in the air.

How long had the dough been in the oven?  The details are fuzzy now.  I guess I got home from the concert around 11.  The oven and stone would have taken at least a half hour to preheat, and I likely didn't start right away.  Let's say quarter to 12 I put the dough in the oven.  So it probably was baking about 2 1/4 hours or so, instead of the 2 hours.  If I had been asleep much longer, I am pretty sure the fire alarm would have gone off -- it went off when the oven door was opened.

Probably the 2 hours would have been too much anyway.  Despite the nice way the dough looked when it hit the hot stone, it immediately began to flow and found its way into the pan beneath the stone that I keep for water that will turn to steam and help the crust along.  The water had long since gassed away, and now there was just a charred mass of blackened starch that was trouble to later clean up.

And what of the bread?  Was there anything salvageable?

Not really.  The top was well burnt.  The bottom part that lay against the stone wasn't too badly cooked, and the interior up to about the middle was sort of edible.  But the bread had flattened so badly, this meant the edible part was only about 1-2 cm in thickness.  I could barely saw through this crust.  I could only break it, and try to cut off some of the bottom to eat part of it.

About 80 percent of this loaf hit the compost bucket.

Another miserable Bread Fail.

Notes to Myself:
  • Where do I start?  You made so many errors with this bread, it is difficult to know where to begin.  First of all: ingredients are not a recipe.  When it comes to leavened breads (whether commercial yeast, or natural leavens),  you have to follow directions, or you will face uncertain -- or in this case, disastrous -- results.
  • This bread requires a 3-day build.  There can be no shortcuts, the yeast has to do its magic, and this takes time and patience.  You must only begin such a bread when you have time to nurture it.  You should know all about nurturing: you are a nurse, for heaven's sake.
  • Don't bake breads in the oven when you are exhausted.  A loaf of bread is not worth burning down the house.  Duh.

No comments:

Post a Comment