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.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Nils Schöner's 60 Percent Rye, Apple Cider Soaked Rye Grains, x4

Nils Schöner's 60% Rye with Apple Cider Soaked Rye Grains times four

The success of this particular loaf in the past means that I have to keep making it, for those who, like my mother-in-law, seem to like it.  I have my eye on some of Nils Schöner's other loaves -- they all look great to me, just what I want to try -- but I keep coming back to this one because others like it so much.

And it is so easy to make, too.  This is one of those no-knead breads, you really just mix it up and leave it.  Letting it take its time is the real trick, I guess.

I would like to try this loaf with whole wheat flour, instead of the all-purpose flour that I've been using.  It does use rye flour, of course, and 60 percent of it is whole rye flour.  And there are, of course, lots of rye kernels in the mixture too, so we don't have to really worry about the whole grain content of this bread.  But that 40% of white, all-purpose flour seems to be the ingredient that keeps others asking me to make this bread; and it is the one ingredient that I want to change.

This time I made a large batch, to see if I could handle it.  As in the last couple of times I've made this, I have scaled Nils' recipe an extra 20% so as to better fit my pans.  Last time I made this, I think I doubled the recipe, to make 2 loaves.  This time, I've quadrupled the recipe to make 4 loaves.  Two of these loaves I've immediately given away to friends and family.

 Mis en place, Day 1
 Sourdough build, day 1
 The Rye Kernels are boiled

 After 45 Minutes, some of the kernels are popped

 Mis en place, day 2

 Sourdough build, Day 2: not much rise seen

I wasn't happy with the way my wild yeast performed overnight in the "sourdough build" portion of the recipe.  I didn't see much expansion, so I am guessing that I didn't leave it long enough, or else the wild yeasts are a little off their game.  I haven't refreshed them in a while -- I suppose I've neglected them, through the busy holiday season -- and I suppose that explains their sluggish behaviour.  The nice thing about this recipe is that you can adjust things like this during the final dough: there is yeast in this part of the recipe, too.  So I increased the amount of yeast slightly to account for the unfortunate tardiness of the sourdough.  I was supposed to add 6g, but I tossed in a full tablespoon of yeast, which amounted to about 10 grams.

 Woops: at 90 minutes, this dough has expanded into the towel

The biggest failure came when I put one of my wife's tea-towels over a large bowl of the yeast dough to sit for 90 minutes.  I guess I didn't believe that the expansion would be so large in that time.  The tea-towel is now a terrible, hard encrusted mess.

The biggest challenge of today's baking was to find a container large enough to mix up the dough.  I found an old kettle in the basement that fit my needs.

 All ingredients go into the old kettle
 Nils says wait 30 minutes.  Here I gave it about 45 minutes
 And at the 45 minute mark, I can see some dough expansion

The dough was moved to tins at this point, and then given a final 1 hour proofing.  I moved the tins close to a warm woodfire.  The cat didn't even notice.


The loaves were all baked together, but I had some left-over egg yolk, and I painted one of the loaves with an egg wash.
Egg wash applied just prior to baking

All loaves came out of the pans easily.


This is a great bread, but there are fewer surprises now that I've made it a few times.

Both people who received these loaves as gifts enjoyed them immensely, by all reports.

The apple cider made the whole rye grains very flavourful.

Notes to Myself
  • Here are the amounts for a quadruple amount that I used:
    • Sourdough Build: 
      • 600g rye flour, 
      • 500g water, 
      • 50g Rye starter
    • Rye Grain Soaker: 
      • 500g rye kernels, 
      • boiling water to cover, 
      • apple cider to cover
    • Final Dough: 
      • 1000g warm water, 
      • 600g rye flour, 
      • 800g ap flour, 
      • 50g Sea salt, 
      • 10g yeast 10g (or 1 Tablespoon).

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