Nils 60 Percent Rye with Apple Juice Soaker
I have been building a new rye sourdough using Nils Schöner's instructions in his book, Brot. The object of today's bread was to make use of my new rye sourdough starter, on the seventh day, rather than throw half of it away. This sourdough is so new, it is not expected to be full strength yet. Nils says that it really needs to be refreshed a couple of times before it is able to leaven a dough in a timely manner. But it would still have some ability. I was hopeful.
Still, not much starter was going to be used in the making of this bread -- just 1 teaspoon. In addition, though, in the final dough there is going to be some yeast.
Apple Juice Soaker
I used our home-made apple juice that we made this year in our Dampfensafter. The apples were locally grown, and the juice was pure and unadulterated. It is sweet without being syrupy.
There are several things that seemed a bit unusual to me in the making of this bread. It was not just that I was boiling the rye grains for 30 minutes and then soaking them overnight in applejuice. It was more the order of how things came together that seemed a bit different. For example, the yeast sits in the flour for 30 minutes until it all gets bubbly. Also, the Bulk Fermentation only takes 30 minutes although the final proof takes about 2 hours.
The actual baking time is just over one hour.
This version of 'Nils 60% Bread with Applejuice rye soaker Bread' was first cut about 30 hours after baking, when we were up north in my brother-in-law's cottage at Kearney. We had some with our mid-morning tea. I tasted the bread without any butter or anything first, and it was amazing.
The bread is quite good. It didn't rise that much in the oven, and I probably would make slightly more for our north American pans, maybe 20% more dough, but the taste of the loaf is lovely and interesting.
We had stopped en route at a northern grocery store and picked up some fabulous cheese which nicely complements the apple juice soaked grains in this bread. This is a wedge of Thornloe's Hard Ripened Temiskaming cheese. It has a milder taste than an old cheddar; I taste something that is almost like a Pecorino, it has that green grass freshness about it. The 30 minute boiled rye grains are still somewhat crunchy after soaking in applejuice overnight. Together, the bread and cheese are the perfect combination.
This is a lovely bread, very engaging to eat. Perhaps it was the setting where we ate it, in the quiet wilderness by a northern lake in the penultimate bright crisp air before winter sets in; perhaps it was just the lack of a huge rise in the dough, or the way the bread came from the pan, but to me, it seems as much of a treat as cake, but far more interesting. It has a compelling taste, a slightly sour scent, and lots of texture of crust and crumb. Eating this bread, here today, is one of those extravagances that makes life worth living.
Notes to Myself
- Make 20% more dough next time you make this, so the loaf is somewhat larger to fit our North American pans.
- Try this again after your sourdough develops its full strength.