Sunday, 15 January 2012

Rye Rye Rye?

A month ago I baked 3 rye breads with different percentages of rye in each (see here). But since then I have acquired my copy of Andrew Whitley's "Bread Matters". I gather he visited Russia and came back with the bread bug, and particularly the rye bread bug. In his book, after making a rye sourdough starter he sets the reader off with 5 rye recipes  4 of them 100% ryes. Now that's how to spot a rye purist. I made one of these in my last post Brodinsky so this weekend I set myself the task of making three more. Two 100% and the mixed grain Rye with Caraway (only without the caraway as the family has an aversion to it).

Friday night was mad as I prepared three starters and a soak of Rye grains

Friday Night - (feeling right?)

Whitley says of his Whole Grain Rye: "The loaf will be grey rather than black and will look pretty much like what it is - a brick-shaped  coagulation of coarse grains." Based on this description, I've succeeded!

Whitley's "Whole Grain" and "Russian"

"Russian " and "Caraway" minus Caraway
Caraway proving in banneton
 The first thing I've learnt from Bread Matters is that 100% ryes need a tin. The Caraway has some wheat flour and was raised in a basked and then baked on a baking tray. It spread like parafin wax all the same. Next time I will decrease the hydration or put it in a loaf tin.

Saturday Morning

Risen Rye

I baked my 100% ryes with tinfoil over the top to retain moisture. For Russian this was removed after 20 mins at high temperature,  but for Whole Grain Whitley suggests a Pullman tin with a lid. Not having one of these, cover with a baking tray.  The cooking is long (4hrs plus) at low temperature.  My approximation to the Pullman was to leave the tinfoil on with a baking tray on top to weigh it down. Mistake. It stuck good. ( it's  only 5 months to my birthday.)

Whole Grain comes to a sticky end!
Whitley has been a rye revelation.He points out that rye starter  is very active. You only need a little to raise a loaf. He is also clear that it is a waste of time kneading a 100% rye as there is no gluten to work on. I kept the dough sloppy, perhaps too high hydration as I could pour the 'dough' into the pan with just a little scraping required. He's contradictory about baking methods. Russian goes into a high oven but Whole Grain is cooked at a low temperature for a long time.  So, as both are 100% rye, it seems  anything goes!   Certainly judging the long cooking was a problem and I ended up baking uncovered for an extra 30 mins the next day (ssshhh) I no longer think of using extra dried yeast to make rye sourdough. You get all the lift you need from sourdough. None of these breads has any sweeteners. When you add them to rye you end up with something akin to a malt loaf! I will add comments on eating quality because in line with advice from the book, you need to allow 24 hours for the flavour and texture to develop!

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