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.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Everyday Breads: 30% Rye, 100% Red Fife

Everyday Breads: 30% Rye; 100% Red Fife Sourdough

I baked some more bread.  Big deal.  Big fat deal.

One dough (2 loaves) was 30% Rye with the rest Whole Wheat.  The other dough was 100% Red Fife flour (except for the 200g of whole wheat starter).  Both loaves were at 75% hydration.  The Red Fife loaf really felt gritty at first, and the gluten kept tearing.  But later on, after I added the salt and gave it a few turns, it started to silken a bit.  But it was always much tighter than the partial-rye dough.  The Red Fife smells really unique when you are turning it by hand.  Fresh, nutty -- you know, the usual, when you have newly cracked wheat oils.
L: 2 misshapen 30% Rye loaves  R: 2 100% Red Fife loaves
Both loaves turned out okay, but I was tired and they may have been slightly overproofed and slopped a bit upon going into the Dutch Ovens.  They are not beautiful to look at.

The Red Fife loaf stales a lot more quickly.  And the crust is much tougher.  Nice as a novelty, nevertheless I happen to like the taste of the partial rye loaf more.  Not bad toasted with some Montfort Goat cheese and a fresh Honey Crisp Apple.

Let's Move On
Here is an experiment with what to do with sourdough that would otherwise be discarded.  I meant to make a sort of sweet-n-sour bar.  The intention was to have a cookie-like crust, and then layers of granola-ey stuff, and top it with a teensy bit of icing.  I just laid layers of stuff and baked it, no recipe.  Obviously just making it up as I go along.  Which can be a fun way to spend some time in the kitchen when no one is looking.

Butter a 9x9 ovenproof pan

Sourdough.  We're dealing with about 200g of 100% stuff here.  Discards, but not real old.

Add some ww flour.  About 150g.  No more water though.

Yeah, it's pretty dry.

Just a hard ball of gunk.

Pressing it down into the buttered pan

Didn't I add salt?  Okay, add some salt.

Trail mix.  With dried cranberries.  Later you'll learn that they are the best part.


Cocoa.  The real deal, not that sugared stuff.

What's that?  Cracked wheat I think.

Now I'm mixing some eggs.

A bit of honey.  Looks like about a tsp.

More sourdough?

Yeah, its sourdough

More cracked wheat.

Looks like Turbinado Brown sugar.  Heaping tsp.

Just pour it on

Oatmeal.  Okay, it was an afterthought, but who's gonna notice?

Bake that stuff.  Maybe 400 degrees F for 20 minutes.

Some ingredients for icing: butter, some icing sugar

and enough vanilla to make it work.

Looks like icing.

Stuff should be baked

If you were in less of a hurry, you'd let it cool before trying to ice the thing.
Meh.  No doubt others could improve on this. I ate it, and a couple of others did too, but I got no raves about it.  Mostly no one noticed.

Just a typical bar

Ordinary looking

Sweet and Sour!  Geez, not what you'd expect.

Notes to Myself
  • Try a Red Fife and Rye loaf together.  Might keep a bit better.
  • The bottom layer of the bar needs something to make it more shortbread-like.  A bit of sugar, no doubt.  You could add an egg to it if it isn't moist enough to hold together.   
  • Wait until the baked bars cool before icing, or suffer the consequences of the icing looking not like icing.


  1. Why such negativity in your articles lately? Are there other stressors that may be affecting your bread baking? How does one get out of such a funk?

    Will you move on to another project? Move away from making bread entirely? I personally think that would be a shame, since you seem to be starting to get the hang of things.

    Or maybe that's it - maybe bread is now "old hat". Maybe bread is now uninteresting. What new abstraction can you throw onto baking bread? Is there such a thing as a new way to bake bread?

  2. Glad my shrink reads my blog. Thanks, Dr. Anonymous.

    Likely I'll have more to say eventually, more bread ideas, more + less -. Just now going through a bland patch.

    I still have to eat, though, and bread has become a big part of that by now. The loaves I make keep disappearing, so I make more.

    Guess at this point I'm still blogging about the loaves by force of habit. Whether that alone will carry me through the dull spot, dunno.