70 Percent plus Rye Sourdough Hearth Bread
This is not exactly a 70 percent rye, with 30 percent whole wheat; it also includes a lot of rye in the sourdough starter. I could figure out the ratio, but who cares? I am using the same old recipe for the tinned loaves I've been making, the only difference here is that part of the flour I am working into the final dough is some whole wheat.
I start with the Rye Starter; this one is at about 70 percent hydration. I consider that to be 92.7% of the total flour I will use, and after weighing the starter, I calculate the amount of flour to be 100%.
Formula: Assume the weight of your starter is n. n X 100 / 92.7 = w, where w is the weight of the total flour.
In this case, my starter weighed 598g. So: 59800 / 92.7 = 645g.
I wanted to have about 30% of this total flour weight to be whole wheat, the rest to be rye flour. So if 645g is 100%, then 30% is going to be 194g, and the rye at 70% will be 452g. Yes, I said I didn't care how much flour was in the starter today.
The water is supposed to be 85.4% of this total flour, but since the thing is too wet for a hearth loaf, I will try backing this off by 5 % next time, and each time hereafter until I get a consistency that actually holds together on a hot stone.
Here is the latest whole recipe in a nutshell:
- Rye Starter 92.7% (598g)
- Flour 100% (645g; 452g was dark rye, 194g whole wheat)
- Yeast 1% (4g)
- Salt 2% (13g)
- Water 85.4% (551g)
- Mix all the ingredients together with your hands and shape to a basket-sized lump. Place in a couche-lined basket that is liberally sprinkled with some multi-grain flour.
- Let rise min 2 hours, max 6. You are looking for some expansion, but not a doubling in size.
- Dock dough, then turn it over onto a hot stone and Bake at 450 degrees F for 65 minutes with steam.
I was hoping that this dough would hold together more, and retain its height, but it sagged a lot. Would cutting down on the hydration help? Would kneading it help? I very nearly tried putting it in a bread machine and letting it knead for a while. But I decided against it, and just floured a couche in a basket and after letting it rest for about 2 1/2 hours, I docked it, turned it out onto a hot stone, and baked it for 65 minutes at 450 degrees F with a bit of steam in the beginning.
Bread and 2 Goldfish that we saved from the pond yesterday before it freezes
The crust of this dark rye loaf is very hard and difficult to cut: it should keep out anyone but the very determined. But those who, like myself, are very determined, will find that this bread is very tasty. It does have a mild sourdough scent, but there is no sourness in the taste. I ate some with a Gouda cheese the morning after baking it, and it was very nice without being toasted. I also toasted some to see how it would hold up under those conditions, and it was fine. There is a lot of wheat on the surface of the crust, left over from sitting in the couche, and I really should shake some off outside, as otherwise it gets all over the slices that I cut.
Although I like the way this loaf tastes, and even how the crumb looks, my big complaint is that this loaf, as so many others that I bake, has sagged rather than plumped in the oven. This happens to all of these highly hydrated loaves when they are baked freeform, i.e., not in a tin or some other container. If they would just retain their shape on a hot stone, I would be a happy home baker.
Notes to Myself
- Try 80% hydration next time for a hearth loaf. And if that is too saggy, next try 75%. Then 70%. Etc. until you find the right hydration.
- Try kneading this in a bread machine for a cycle before putting it in the basket to rise.
- Let it rise more than 2 hours, but less than 6.
- Does the old rule apply when making a rye bread that is not 100% (i.e. let it sit until cracks form in the surface)?