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Monday, September 13, 2010

Everyday Bread #67: 100% Sourdough 100% Whole Wheat 100% Rye

I've made these No-Knead 100% Rye and 100% Whole Wheat Loaves again. 

What's different in this bake?  This time, I am also adding some grain flakes and grain meal (rye flakes and rye meal for the rye loaf, wheat for the other loaf). 

Boiling water over the Rye Meal and Rye Flakes.
Cool slightly before adding and place in a buttered tin

Same for the whole wheat, but use wheat meal and wheat flakes

The biggest difference in this experiment though, is that today I am using no yeast.  Only sourdough leavening.

The time for the rise was: overnight.  I finished stirring the second loaf's dough around 2230 before going to bed.  I expected a minimum of 6 hours rise (the last yeasted version took 4 1/2 hours), but I was aiming for 8-10 hours, so I could sleep in.

I don't know when the loaves peaked, but I can tell you that 2 hours after loading them into the tins, there was no visible activity.  I went to bed at half past midnight.

The dough rises in the tins it will bake in

Overnight the sourdough was busy.

I slept in until 7:30, and there had been significant activity in the tins.  I was thinking, "I waited too long."  Probably I can cut back a bit on the amount of starter, if I am going to be waiting this long.  The dough had dripped all over the table.

The whole wheat had dripped more than the rye, but that was simply because it was more voluminous to begin with.  The rye loaf was simply contained better.  But both loaves had obviously over-proofed.

Painting it with yogurt was like painting frog jelly with paste.  It used up a lot more yogurt than usual.

They baked up okay in 45 minutes.  The yogurt actually seeps into the dough, forming a most distinctive crust.  In places, though, it was plenty thick.

The other times I baked these breads, I used a thin tin for the rye loaf.  This time, I put the rye in a regular tin (4x8) to see what difference that would make.  This time, the rye loaf sagged a little in the middle.  Maybe it always did, but in a thin tin it wasn't as noticeable.

I just let them cool in the tins because I didn't think they would come out too easily, having overflowed the unbuttered rim.  In fact, once this mushroom top was loosened, they came away quite easily.

The rye loaf (on the right) sags a bit in the center

This morning my wife demanded some bread for breakfast, and all we had was some stale anadama bread that she said was too far gone.  She soaked it in water for the chickens.  I said that she could try the whole wheat bread even though it wasn't quite cool (I would not let her touch the rye - I want it to sit until tomorrow).

She ate a couple of slices, but unhappily.  These are the loaves that she liked so much, when I first made them with yeast.  But without a bit of yeast, using only sourdough, and a too-long bulk fermentation, she doesn't like them at all.

"Those sourdough breads you made are so sour, they taste like vomit," she told me the next day.  I raised my eyebrow.  But she nodded.  "Seriously," she said. 

She had only tried the whole wheat.  It is unlikely, with that kind of review, that I can get her to try the sourdough Rye.  "There is only so much 'goodness' I can take," she concluded.

In short, my wife can't eat these breads.  They are too sour for her taste.  And I think that the wheat bread is a bit too sour for my taste too.  I can, however, eat them.  Good thing, 'cause I'm going to be on my own with them.

Not even a strong buckwheat honey is enough to take away the sour note of this whole wheat bread

This is a very moist 100% rye bread (left), but it is a bit sour for our household

Notes to Myself

  •  Leaving these loaves to rise overnight (i.e. longer than 6-8 hours) is not a good idea, as they become too sourThere is enough leaven in the sourdough to accomplish the feat, but at some point in the rise, the bacteria content gets out of hand and sours it all too much.  Try stopping the rise at 6 hours, no more, if you decide to use no yeast.
  • You can easily use more whole grains in this recipe -- more flake, meal or cracked grains than just 1/4 c of each.  Simply adjust the water, adding it in the same ratio of 85.4% of the weight.  Probably these grains could benefit from a longer soak.  This part could be done overnight, for example.
  • Try something different for a top crust besides yogurt.  One example might be a variation of Nils Schöner's Landbrot sourdough crust: that uses rye meal, water, salt and a bit of rye sourdough, covered overnight (see my NEXT blog entry).  I would even add an egg or egg-yolk to this for a little bit more oomph.

    Ingredient%Rye amountRye volumeWhole Wheat amountWhole Wheat volume
    Flour1004233 1/4c4403 c
    ID Yeast
    43/4 tsp43/4 tsp
    Starter92.73921 1/3 c4061 1/3 c
    Water85.43611 1/2 c3761 1/4 c
    Salt281 1/4 tsp91 1/4 tsp
    Grain meal2311/4 c311/4 c
    Grain flake2251/4 c 251/4 c
     Boiling Water85.441/4 c481/4 c

    Directions: Mix your motherstarter (discards) with the amounts of flour, yeast, salt and water as indicated by this table.   Separately cover either rye meal and rye flake or wheat meal and wheat flake with boiling water, letting it cool to lukewarm.  Add to flour mixtures, then use your hands to ensure all the flour is well hydrated. Pour the dough into a well-buttered tin. Cover and proof until the dough fills the pan, (or the rye dough, lightly floured with rye, starts to crack the surface).  Do not let the dough sit more than 6 hours or it will become too sour.  Just before baking, paint with plain yogurt and a sprinkling of flour. Place in a preheated 450 degree F. oven (with steam during the early part of the bake) for 45-50 minutes, turning once during the bake. Remove from the tin and cool completely on a rack.

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