I haven’t written in here in a while, not that I haven’t been baking, but it has essentially been more or less the same stuff that I have done before. Today I had a go at something completely new, a rye bread.
This one I made with a rye leaven (started with 30g of my standard starter). The leaven was made with 100g of rye flour and 100ml of water plus the starter, all on the night before. The leaven was quite thick, but it doubled beautifully overnight. The next morning I added the leaven to 800ml of water, then added in 700g of rye flour and 300g of white flour plus about 2 tbsp. of caraway seeds. After making sure all of the dry ingredients had been incorporated, I let it set for 45 minutes. I then added 20g of salt and another 50g of water to make an 85% hydration mixture.
I noticed something very strange, unlike the wheat-based breads, this was just a bunch of clumps when I tried to turn it. I left it to set for another 45 minutes and went back to do the next turn, where I encountered the same thing. I then did a quick bit of research on the Internet and discovered that rye doesn’t work the same way as wheat, so there was effectively no point in doing turns. I left it to rise covered with a tea towel like I usually do with the wheat breads. After another 5-6 hours I went back and it had risen significantly, but in the process the top was quite dry. I added some water and moistened the top and then gave it another 30 minutes, but covered it (not tightly) with a plastic lid. This time it did not dry out. I then turned it onto a lightly floured work surface, split it
quickly in two, and just formed as carefully as possible two round loaves. The outside of each was lightly dusted with flour. I then lifted them into the two prepared bowls lined with tea towels that were dusted liberally with rice flour. I covered them up and left them to sit for another 2 hours. I then baked them in the usual way, giving 20 minutes in the combo cooker with the lid on, and then 25 minutes with the lid off. I scored them slightly differently, with a cross in the center, and then short slashes in each area defined by the cross. The results were fabulous! The breads both looked good and tasted great! They were somewhat moist in the center, and retained their moisture level for longer than the wheat breads managed to do. I probably should have baked them a bit longer.
The structure is more uniform, but still contains largish holes. The crust is very tasty, and the slight hint of caraway comes through. The bread is a bit more sour than other breads I have baked so far.