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.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Irmie's Loaf with Wheat Germ

Baking bread from a familiar recipe is a bit like living Bill Murray and Andie McDowell's GroundHog Day.  You keep doing the same thing, over and over, but every time you do it, it's different.  Eventually you might achieve mastery over some things, but you are never quite sure whether you are going to achieve your heart's desire.

Once again, I've baked the "60% Rye with Apple-Juice-Soaked Rye Grains", a recipe by Nils Schöner from his book "Brot: Bread Notes from a Very Floury German Kitchen" for my mother-in-law, Irmgard.  I call this "Irmie's loaf", it is the one she always demands.   It has been my wife's mother's favourite ever since I made one for her, a long time ago.

But it is a tricky loaf, there are things that you have to do in the right order.  I often forget the step of building a wheat flour levain, forgetting to revisit the recipe before measuring the ingredients and I end up dumping all the wheat flour and rye flour together.  But that step of making the wheat preferment is simply too important to leave out.  The entire bread takes a long time (>20hrs, start to finish) and timing is everything.  If my mother-in-law lived closer, I could make this any time and expect that she could get it.  Unfortunately, I have to plan ahead to make the loaf, and I don't always know that far ahead when I can bake before I know that I'm going to be visiting her.

This time I figured out the baker's percentages and discovered that indeed, I had been doing it right when long ago I adjusted Nils' original amounts to fit my slightly larger pan size -- except I hadn't always been consistent in the way I translated his fresh yeast (which the original recipe used) to dried yeast (what I have), using his guidelines. 

Here is my latest revised list of percentages and order-of-operations for this loaf.  Really the only thing different this time is that I am adding 5% wheat germ to the loaf this time.  Can one buy rye germ?  No.  But it would be nice.

Irmie's Loaf: 60% Rye with Soaked Grains
Mix Baker's% Amount (2tins)
Starter 2.5%  (@ 100% hydration)    ~1 TBSP == ~25g
Sourdough Build
do ahead 12-18 hrs
Rye Flour 30%
Water 25%
Rye Soaker
do ahead 13 hrs min
Rye Kernels, uncooked 25%
boil for 1 hour
Apple Juice / Cider to cover
soak for 12 hours min.
then drain
250g (dry grains)
~625g (soaked grains)
Wheat Dough Levain
mix 90 minutes before
mixing rest of dough;

this is a very thin, consistency 
~125% hydration
Wheat flour 40%
calls for strong white; for Irmie I use AP,
but for myself I use whole wheat
Dry Yeast 0.28-0.35%
Water 50%
Total Dough
bulk ferment 30 min
proof 60 min
Rye Flour 30%
Salt 2.5%
Wheat Germ 5%
Sourdough Build (all)
Rye Soaker (all)
Wheat Dough Levain (all)
10 minutes @ 480℉ 475 ℉
80 minutes @ 375 

1 full day before slicing

I made several batches of this loaf: 

  • For myself, a whole wheat version that used our own crab-apple juice as the rye kernel soaker. 2 tins (gave 1 away).  This is one tangy loaf.  Sweet and sour, and a curious scent.
  • For Irmie, an all purpose version that used apple cider.  Some of the cider I used was mulled (spiced with cinnamon).  I bought it by mistake and I wasn't too sure that Irmie would like the scent of it. 4 tins (gave 3 away -- two of them were given away before I took a picture)

The taste and the crumb improves with a couple of days aging - but the top crust was a bit too tough this time
I've made this before, I'll make it again.  Some day I'll solve the problem of the top getting too hard during the baking.  Here are some links to the other times I've made this loaf (has it really been over a year since I made this loaf?):

Notes to Myself
  • I reserved the liquid that I used to boil the rye kernels and then made some soup with it later. Tasted good. The soup recipe I used called for 10 cups of water, and since I had made 4 batches of boiled grain for my bread, I had perhaps twice that much liquid. I left about 10 cups in a container at room temperature overnight, thinking I might use it for something else (perhaps bread) and the next day it was definitely fermenting! There was foamy action on the top of the fluid, and the particulate matter had floated to the bottom of the container. I was surprised that there was yeast in it, I was sure it would have all been destroyed in the boiling process. But no. I tasted the foam, and it was definitely "beery".
  • I felt that the top of these loaves was a bit too dark. I may have had the first temperature a bit hot -- I can't accurately set this oven to 480℉. I wonder if 475 ℉ would be better. Or should I be backing the longer temperature down to 350 ℉ too?
  • What if you made the sponge, or wheat flour levain, a day before -- say, 12-24 hours prior to baking? Would that develop the gluten more, and give it more flavour, and allow the enzymes in the mixture to break down the amylose? Or would the proteases begin to break the gluten down?
  • The wheat preferment or levain doesn't really develop any length of gluten strands in the hour and a half allotted.  I did try to tug at it a bit, but it really is too wet to do this.  Would it be better to back this hydration off just a bit, to be able to stretch the dough?  The rest of the water could be added during the final mixing stage.  Just asking.
  • I have my whole wheat sourdough. Does it matter that the 25g of starter that Nils uses is a rye sourdough? Possibly. Yoke Mardewi says that certain breads taste better with different grain sourdoughs. But my sourdough build is rye, elaborated from a single tablespoon of whole wheat starter. That should be enough, right? How much different can the two starters be?
  • Is the higher quantity of salt really necessary, and why?  I suppose it is there to counteract the sweetness of the soaked grains.  Try cutting it back to 2%.

No comments:

Post a Comment