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, November 26, 2010

Nils Schöner's German-Style Sourdough Bread from 'Brot'

Nils Schöner's German-Style Sourdough Bread

This is another of Nils Schöner's loaves, from his recipe book "Brot": his 'German-Style Sourdough Bread'.  I think that I had better play with this recipe some more to get a proper feel for it.

Like some of Nils' other loaves that I've tried, he does a couple of things that to me seem somewhat unusual: for one thing, his sourdough culture inoculates a sourdough build made up of coarse rye meal.  This sits for 15 hours -- slightly longer than just overnight.  One might not think that the wild yeast would have quite enough sugary starch to get going, on pure rye meal.  But in fact, they are quite active.

And that leads to the second unusual tactic:  The bulk fermentation is only an hour, and the final fermentation is only 45 minutes.  

There is a seed soaker, and it must stand at least 3 hours.  I soaked my flax seeds and sunflower seeds overnight, the same 15 hours that the Sourdough build sat, and this was adequate to make some very interesting goo, as the gums within the seeds began to ooze into the water.  This adds not only texture to the final dough, but also a lot of gumminess, which will support the shape of the final loaf.

I followed the instructions pretty carefully, I thought.

Sourdough build with Rye Meal


Mis en Place


Bulk Fermentation


But once again, I'm thinking that this dough needs to be scaled a bit for our North American size pans.  I don't know, maybe I'm just not getting the proper rise from my wild yeast to fill the pan.  So I guess I should practice a bit before making a pronouncement on this bread.

The picture in Nils' recipe book has some flour on top, so I put a bit of an 8-grain cereal on top of my loaf, along with a tiny bit of Spelt flour.

The loaf had no real rise in the oven, and I was a bit disappointed in that.  I really think that it has to do with my yeast not performing well.  I'm not sure why that might be, I had recently refreshed my yeast, and I assumed it was viable.

I will of course be making this bread again.

How's it taste?  Wonderful.  The sunflower seeds add a really nice touch.  The crust is a nice crunchy texture.  The cereal and spelt I chose for the top crust adds something too.  I'm pleased with the taste, just not the rising of the dough.

Notes to Myself

  • Make this again.
  • Make it with a different sourdough, too -- perhaps using the one you've been keeping now for about a year, at 75% hydration.
  • Make it with 20% more ingredients.
  • Make it the same but don't roll it up as per the instructions, just fold it and stretch it and put it in the tin.
  • Try scoring the loaf.
  • Try a bulk fermentation of about 2 hours

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