Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Happy Accident 100% Sprouted Rye


Hi. Yes. I am aware that it's Monday. I will get my Sidebar Sunday to actually land on Sunday. Eventually. And just a quick note. My last two posts here have been breads of my own design, so, in these instances, this is not really a 'Tartine Bread' experiment, I am aware. Those of you who know me know that I experiment a lot with my own thing so you are going to see a lot more of it (I had actually considered changing the name of the blog and completely going down my own bread path with it, but then the new book came out and I could not resist). I love where my own experiments take me, and the only thing better than developing new breads and new techniques is sharing them with all of you. When I was a kid, I would always ask my dad, 'but what if?' And so this blog is more about the 'what if?' for me, right, what if I did things my way instead?

One thing you should know is that when I put up a post, I have experimented with the bread that you see, some of them many times over. Some of them work straight away because I try to build upon what I have already accomplished in calculations for my next idea. While I love Chad's book, I'm also no different than Chad, or any other serious baker for that matter, in that I want to find my own expression with bread. And the only way to do that is to step off of the path and seek it on my own. One of my strongest interests is to work with completely whole grain breads, and I am experimenting with ways to do that so we don't end up with brick-like loaves at the end of a bake. I think that this post along with my last post proves that it can be done, and I am on a mission to keep working with 100% whole grain breads that achieve excellent oven spring and great taste/texture.

Happy Accident 100% Sprouted Rye

I will probably never own a bakery (my friend Joe will fulfill that dream for us both some day very soon), but I can promise you that because I invent things in an environment similar to your own, you will probably have good luck with the things that I post. So far, knock on wood, I have not received one email or comment with a complaint that one of my breads did not work. My worst nightmare is posting something that will turn out to be a flop for you.

Speaking of accidents, let's get on to this happy accident rye.

So, you know what they say. If it looks like a chicken and talks(?) like a chicken, it must be a chicken, right. Well, here's what happened to me a bit ago: I was generously gifted two bags of grains from one of my favorite millers, 'To Your Health', right, a bag of sprouted rye and a bag of sprouted spelt. I decided to work with the bag of spelt about two weeks ago, and when I really inspected it, it looked suspiciously like rye. Now, I have been working with grains long enough to know the difference between them, alas, I took the label for its word. Perhaps it was some sort of special blue-grey spelt that looked like rye and smelled like rye and talked like rye. After all, To Your Health makes some damn-near holy flours, I would not be surprised if they were peddling some almost extinct strain of spelt that no one else in the world was in possession of.

Onward.

Thank goodness I decided to make a rye levain for the spelt bread that I had in mind before I went to bed. The next day I milled the damn-near holy, blue-grey, extinct spelt. Of course, it looked uncannily like rye flour, concrete gray flecked with gunmetal.



When I added it to my levain/water mixture all doubt was removed: This was rye. Of course it was rye! I knew it all along. Ah, but here's me making lemonade:

So, instead of pitching what was sure to be a thirsty, unruly beast (250g freshly milled, and 250g freshly milled and hand-bolted RYE), I decided to forge on without a safety net. At this point my hands were plunged wrist deep in it, so I could not reach for Reinhart or Hamelman, and I didn't have a free hand to text my friend Joe to bail me out (again), so I decided to do what I do best. Experiment. Why not. It was 5 a.m. and I had nothing better to do. Well, OK, sleep. Sleep would be something better. But enough grousing. The call of bread and all that.

I decided to see what would happen if I did a bulk ferment as I usually do (obviously no turns were going to be happening here), skip the bench, and shorten my final. I did all that. And man. Oh man! The results were fantastic!



The final bread was not overly acidic. It was just acidic enough (I really have good luck with low-acid, or rather, 'adequately acidic' loaves). The flavor of the grain was pulled out at max level, that is to say that it was all earth and mineral and sweet hay. The texture was moist but not dense. I will say that you are supposed to wait for 24 hours before slicing breads with a high percentage of rye. I didn't experience any of the 'gumminess' that can come from breads that are not given ample time to cool and redistribute moisture throughout. I waited about 8 hours and I suggest you wait at least this long before slicing to avoid the unpleasant textural issues one faces with ryes whose crumb is not fully set during an adequate cooling period.



The crust was crisp but tender, not even an echo of toughness. And I finished a quarter of the loaf both plain and with some cured salmon, cucumber, red onion, fennel and a drizzle of homemade creme fraiche. I also achieved more oven spring than anyone could hope for with a 100% whole rye loaf.


As you can imagine, I had visions of rye possibilities dancing in my head after this so I schemed up another loaf. This time I had a little more time to think through some sensible design rather than wing it with my hands swallowed up by the quicksand that made for such a lovely loaf. This time I milled up my rye, 250g freshly milled, 180g freshly milled and bolted with the #50 screen, 120g freshly milled and bolted with the #30 screen for a complexity of textures. I toasted up some sunflower and pumpkin seeds, plumped up some sultana raisins and added them to the dough. I long-fermented the levain, 9 hours, because it was uber stiff, shortened the autolyse to 30 minutes and the bulk to 3 hours, and my final fermentation was 7.5 hours.


Intentional Sprouted Rye with Seeds & Sultanas

The crust was great. A teensy bit stronger than the first loaf but only because of the raisins, which happens with fruited breads. The sugars create sort of a 'caramel' that hardens when it cools in the spots with fruit, even with white flour breads, alas, I think that we all know this. The crumb was really moist and evenly textured. Truly a lovely bread that hit the spot because I had a sweet tooth this afternoon after I baked it. Lovely with tea, and I can't wait to have it with butter tomorrow morning. I have some exciting experiments in mind for this loaf that I will pass on when I come back around to it



The thing is, I have always been told that 100% rye loaves are tricky. They don't work. They make crusts like tree bark. The formula to arrive at any worthy one is long and tedious and even then it may turn out to be something to build a house with rather than eat. And none of that was true for my loaves this week.

About the grains. So, I have waxed poetic over and again about To Your Health flours, well, the rye that I used for these loaves of bread have proven that their grains are as fantastic as their flours. They sell online, though you can find it at Whole Foods, which I never do, because they mill their flour to order and I would rather have it fresh. When I opened the bag of rye the heady aroma of sweet hay and freshly-cut grass and lovely quince came rushing forth. What a fabulous nose! The flavor translation in bread, while obviously delicious, is definitively earthy, clean and sweet, herbaceous and spicy all at once. I have baked with rye flour that has tasted really strong, almost dirty, and bitter, but not To Your Health. Neither their rye berries nor their flour have these unpleasant flavor profiles. So, I forgive them for mislabeling my little bag. It allowed these two new breads to be born.



After having the intentional rye, here is what Christina, one of my dearest friends, said about it: 'This is the best bread I have ever eaten. Seriously'.

Seriously. Here are the formulae for your two new ryes, one accidental, one intentional, both the start of a rye journey that I have been dying to travel down. The wheels are turning bread friends. And we have only just begun.

Have a look.



Happy Accident Rye

The night before dough night, make your levain:

10g 100% rye starter
75g hand-milled To Your Health sprouted dark rye flour
75g h2o

Mix together the above until you arrive at a very stiff paste. This is a stiff levain, so it will need to ferment longer than your more liquid levains. Mine fermented for 9 hours.



DOUGH DAY

250g hand-milled To Your Health sprouted dark rye flour
250g hand-milled To Your Health sprouted dark rye flour, bolted with a #50 screen
330g h2o
12g kosher salt, I use Diamond

After the levain has fermented adequately, dissolve it in the water, add the flours and vigorously mix by hand, raking and squeezing the dough with your hand shaped like a claw for about 3 or 4 minutes.

Autolyse for 30 minutes. After the autolyse, squish the salt into the dough and repeat the vigorous 3 to 4 minute claw-handed mixing. Now it's time for the 4-hour bulk fermentation. 30 minutes into the bulk, perform your vigorous claw-handed mix. Now leave it be for the remaining 3.5 hours. The dough will expand just a bit. It will get a little 'puffy' looking rather than getting that intense and obvious expansion that you see with higher gluten flours.

When bulk fermentation is accomplished, turn the dough out onto a workspace dusted with some of the 'chaff' that you saved from bolting your flour. With wet hands, lightly pat and shape into a round, then pop into a banneton or a bowl lined with linen that you have dusted with your leftover chaff.





Pop in the fridge and ferment. Mine fermented for 9 hours.

BAKE DAY

Preheat the oven to 500 with a dutch oven and baking stone inside.

The dough will have expanded a bit, but will not have increased enormously in volume. It will feel firm but alive. Rye is as serious grain with almost zero gluten development capability, so you are going to get a modest amount of expansion during final fermentation. Expect that. If you have done things successfully, you will still achieve lovely oven spring. Just keep moving forward with it. This is the nature of rye. Once it is baked, you will see the magic happen. I promise!

Unearth the dough by placing a sheet of parchment over the mouth of the dough bowl, then place a peel over this and quickly invert the bowl so that the dough ends up sitting on the paper and the peel.

Slide it into the shallow half of the hot dutchie. Cover with the fat half, slide it into the oven, and steam for 15 minutes at this temp, then turn the oven down to 475 and steam for another 15 minutes.

After the steam, remove the fat end of the dutchie, then stack the pan over its mouth to create a buffer between the hot stone and the bread. This will help keep the bottom of your bread from blackening.

Toggle the oven between 450 and 475 until the boule is reaches  internal temp of 210 degrees.

Cool on a wire rack for at least 8 but preferably 24 hours before slicing.
.



Intentional Rye with Seeds & Sultanas

The night before dough night, make your levain:

11g 100% rye starter
78g hand-milled To Your Health sprouted dark rye flour
78g h2o

Mix together the above until you arrive at a very stiff paste. This is a stiff levain, so it will need to ferment longer than your more liquid levains. Mine fermented for 9 hours.

DOUGH DAY
For the dough, you will need

All of the levain
200g hand-milled To Your Health sprouted dark rye flour
180g hand-milled To Your Health sprouted dark rye flour, bolted with a #50 screen
120g hand-milled To Your Health sprouted dark rye flour, bolted with a #30 screen

360g h2o
65g toasted sunflower seeds
65g toasted pumpkin seeds
190g sultana raisins, soaked in hot water for about an hour, then squeezed of excess liquid
11g kosher salt, I use Diamond

After the levain has fermented adequately, dissolve it in the water, add the flours and vigorously mix by hand, raking and squeezing the dough with your hand shaped like a claw for about 3 or 4 minutes.

Autolyse for 30 minutes. After the autolyse, squish the salt into the dough and repeat the vigorous 3 to 4 minute claw-handed mixing. When you are done mixing, incorporate the seeds and sultanas into the dough. Now it's time for the 3-hour bulk fermentation. Leave it be for 3 hours. The dough will expand just a bit. It will get a little 'puffy' looking rather than getting that intense and obvious expansion that you see with higher gluten flours.



When bulk fermentation is accomplished, turn the dough out onto a workspace dusted with some of the 'chaff' that you saved from bolting your flour. With wet hands, lightly pat and shape into a round, then pop into a banneton or a bowl lined with linen that you have dusted with your leftover chaff.

Pop in the fridge and ferment. Mine fermented for 7.5 hours.

BAKE DAY

.
Preheat the oven to 500 with a dutch oven and baking stone inside.

The dough will have expanded a bit, but will not have increased enormously in volume. It will feel firm but alive. Rye is as serious grain with almost zero gluten development capability, so you are going to get a modest amount of expansion during final fermentation. Expect that. If you have done things successfully, you will still achieve lovely oven spring. Just keep moving forward with it. This is the nature of rye. Once it is baked, you will see the magic happen. I promise!

Unearth the dough by placing a sheet of parchment over the mouth of the dough bowl, then place a peel over this and quickly invert the bowl so that the dough ends up sitting on the paper and the peel.


Slide it into the shallow half of the hot dutchie. Cover with the fat half, slide it into the oven, and steam for 15 minutes at this temp, then turn the oven down to 475 and steam for another 15 minutes.

After the steam, remove the fat end of the dutchie, then stack the pan over its mouth to create a buffer between the hot stone and the bread. This will help keep the bottom of your bread from blackening.





Toggle the oven between 450 and 460 until the boule is reaches internal temp of 207 degrees. You must keep this temp on the low side so that the interior thoroughly bakes. If you blast the oven, the loaf will burn and the crumb will remain underbaked. Now is a good time to use your Thermoworks instant read thermometer. Mine took a total of one hour and 10 or 15 minutes to get there.



Cool on a wire rack for at least 8 but preferably for 24 hours before slicing. This is a heavy loaf of bread due to the addition of fruit and nuts, so it needs time to set.

The Accidental Photos


To the staff of life!

6 comments:

  1. Hi, what a great blog! Can you let me know what you mean by h2o? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Marion. I'm glad you love the blog! H2o is water. :)

      Francis-Olive

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  2. It is really a divine bread! I am really impressed of how much time and how many thought you put in it. It works for me every single time and more importantly I can alter the ingredients (f.i. figs and dates instead of raisins) or alter the recipe to barley that I always wanted to make. I honestly thank you for that. I think I finally approached the smell of my bread, the very same smell my grandma's wood-oven emitted every time she was baking breads. Unfortunately only the smell is my guide since my granny is demented and she has never passed on the knowledge.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sooooo SO glad it always works for you Michalis. And I always love hearing from you! I know I am on the right track when you are baking the breads on my blog :)

      I'm sorry to hear about your Grandma :(

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  3. When you say "180g hand-milled To Your Health sprouted dark rye flour, bolted with a #50 screen," do you mean, measure out 180g of flour, then bolt it, and use what you get? Or do you mean bolt enough of the flour so you get 180g?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jonathan! Bolt enough flour to get 180g. In the future, if it's unclear, remember that one loaf will always take 500g of flour. x

      Delete

Hey. So, I answer all comments, but it might take me a few days. Sit tight, and I will get back to you as soon as I can!