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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.


  1. Lovely bread but I'm most jealous of your visit to the King Arthur store! It's on my bucket list and hubby thinks I'm absolutely bonkers and refuses to make the trip there with me.

  2. That's a lovely looking loaf. I might try this 80% version too.

    I tried to slice my second (70%) loaf just to see if it is necessary to wait and indeed it is. The crumb was too moist. Lesson learned. LOL

    I agree, those baguettes are perfectly scored. I wonder when I'll be able to achieve that.:)

  3. GORGEOUS loaf!
    I have a hard time staying out of the Pensy's Spice store in Dallas. If I was near King Arthur's somebody would have to lock me out. A trip there would be fabulous!

  4. That's a cracker of a loaf! Maybe I will make this one after all, inspired by you!

  5. I love the Standard Baking Company! I've been thinking about the chocolate cork I ate when I was there for Jason's interview this past spring. We are heading back to Maine next month and are spending a night in Portland right next to the bakery!

  6. Thanks everyone.

    Kim, Emily ate chocolate cork for breakfast. I would love to go to Portland with Tom, but I was with my girl scout troop! Did you go to Old Orchard Beach?

  7. Beautiful loaf! Love the color, and, most of all, the crumb. I once planned a pilgrimage to the King Arthur Store, but it was somehow sidetracked. Glad that you went, though.

    Also, I wish they hadn't been sold out of the epis in that pic. I've never seen one sold commercially, and would love to see what they look like.

  8. Wow! your bread makes me re-think my opinion of using rye when baking. I am so inspired by your baking abilities.