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Friday, July 16, 2010

80% sourdough rye with a rye flour soaker

The breads for July for Mellow Bakers include two rye breads. One of the rye breads contains rye chops. Rye chops are chopped up rye berries. I have been on an elusive search for rye berries. There is only one local grocery store left.

I actually flew to New England and searched for rye chops. OK, so the trip to King Arthur Flour store just happened to fit into my New England trip. It doesn't matter, there were no rye chops in the store. A wonderful store, filled with flour and linens and beautiful things for the kitchen. There is a bakery in the store filled with beautiful delicious goods. I am glad that it is on the other side of the country from me. They were able to suggest a place in Vermont where I could find rye chops, unfortunately, we did not have time to go exploring for whole grains.

So, I have made the 80 percent Sourdough Rye. The night before baking, you make a sourdough with whole-rye flour, water, sourdough culture. You also make rye paste, boiling water is poured on rye flour and left to soften over night.

In the morning I had a bubbly sourdough and a gooey soaker. They were combined with some rye flour, high gluten flour, water, salt and yeast. It made a sticky dough. It was allowed to ferment for 30 mins and then shaped. I needed to use a bit of flour to shape the gooey mess into two loaves. I wondered while I was working with the rye, why it always reminds me of kindergarten and glue paste. I wondered what a mud bath was like while I tried to wash it off my hands.

The loaves fermented again and then were supposedly left for 24 hours to stabilize the texture of the crumb. Except my husband came home and does not believe that any loaf should sit around unsampled for 24 hours. It is a delightful rye. Perhaps the best rye bread that I have ever made.

I saw some beautiful slashing on my travels. I stopped off at the Standard Baking Co. in Portland Maine. I really enjoyed Portland, add it onto your travel list. What a delightful New England town. The customers in the Standard Baking Co. thought that I was odd when I photographed the breads, but look at the slashing.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


One of the three breads from Hamelman's Bread for July's Mellow Baker's challenge is Bialys. I have made Kossar's Bialys from Maggie Glezer's Artisan Baking. I was looking forward to seeing how the recipes differed.

This is an easy recipe. High gluten flour, water, salt and yeast are combined in the mixer. The stiff dough is mixed, fermented, folded after an hour and fermented some more. Glezer's recipe used a food processor, which quickly heated the dough, which then had to be cooled. I prefer Hamelman's method.

Half of the bialys are already gone, they are irresistible. I will make these again but caramelize the onions.

The dough is formed into balls, which rise again. They are then formed into six inch pizza shape with a raised outer lip. Think inflatable kiddie pool. A teaspoon of finely chopped onions, that had visited with some white bread crumbs, is put in the center of the dough.

Here is the big difference. Glezer's recipe called for the same finely chopped onions without the bread crumbs. The onions are mounded and cooked in a 350 degree oven for an hour, caramelizing them before putting them in the bialys. I much preferred the flavor of the caramelized onions.