034 - Sourdough #9

Rye Bread
May 31, 2011

Trying to restore some meaning to the 'per diem' in my blog's title. My first rye attempt accidentally came out gorgeous, my second attempt was disastrous. But after being thoroughly inspired by Crunchy Bottom's rye with raisins, I decided to give my first sourdough rye a shot. Previous attempts have produced a gummy loaf that failed to rise much, but dark and bitter crusts. 

[335RY - 165WM - 235LE - 350WA] Autolyse 25 min
[50WA - 10SA] Bulk Ferment 2 hr, folding every 30 min
7 hour retardation, straight from the fridge to the oven

Used warm water as always - just noting that my leaven this time around did not completely float (about 70% of it did). I'm not sure what accounts for this change but I decided to proceed anyway. Followed usual procedure through bulk fermentation; having no gluten, the dough never developed a silky or soft texture, it was more like playing with thick mud every 30 minutes or so. Dough expanded slightly (10%?) by the end of the two hours but it wasn't very noticeable or significant. Retarded for 7 hours and the dough almost didn't change shape - exhibited slight droop, no expansion, and more or less formed a rectangular rye cake in the loaf tin I retarded it in. Dusted with flour, slashed, sprayed with water, and baked for 1:25 after steaming the oven with boiling water. 

The loaf did not exhibit any sort of oven spring, and managed to more or less keep its shape (expanding outwards slightly). As with my previous rye loaves, this was distinctly gummy, though less so than previous versions. The rye flavor was more pronounced than I remember with the previous ryes and certainly the most sour bread I've made, without being unpleasant. The crust was very dark, nutty, and quite crunchy, though somewhat soft as with 033. I'm starting to suspect that for the thick, dense sort of ryes I should be lowering hydration down from 80%, and for gorgeous, hole-y, raisin filled ryes like Crunchy Bottom's, I should be incorporating white flour as she does (a la Richard Bertinet). 


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