More Bread Experiments

I bought some rye flour a short while back and have been playing around with it.

Rye Pane Rustica

I made a loaf of the no-knead Pane Rustica using a 50/50 mix of white and rye flour… turned out pretty good even if it didn’t rise a whole lot. I think the rye flour can absorb more water, so the batter was more well-formed than I’d like and had difficulty rising too much.

Next I tried making some sourdough. “Bread Alone” has a fairly involved process for making a rye sourdough starter that I followed religiously for a week, adding small amounts of water & flour every day for four days, and then letting the whole mix percolate for a few days after that. While I got plenty of yeast fermentation going on, once again I don’t think I added enough water, for the mix was really heavy and sticky.

The resulting bread had a pretty strong sourdough taste… I’d put a picture of it in the post, but for some reason WordPress insists on using the original orientation of the picture instead of the correct one. That’s the last time I try and get tricky with the camera on my cell phone. You can see a picture of it on my flickr site.

I thought the bread was tasty, but my lovely wife didn’t, so most of the loaf went to my in-laws. I pitched the rye starter and am now trying a whole wheat sourdough starter using the much easier process found on Ran Prieur’s site. I’ll report back on my results in a week’s time.

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4 Responses to More Bread Experiments

  1. We talked about using Rye flour in the class I took and the teacher recommended that we use Bread Flour for it’s higher protein content. Rye flour doesn’t have any protein, thus no gluten is formed. Bread flour has about 1% higher protein content than normal flour so it helps make up for the rye not making any Gluten.

    She also recommended to always keep your percentage of alternative flours under 50%, ideally around 40% is best.

    I made some bread today following their recipe and it turned out great. Very flavorful and moist, although not a good choice for sandwich bread.

  2. Bart says:

    I used rye for the sourdough starter based on recommendations from both “Bread Alone” and “Nourishing Traditions.” Seemed to work OK, but the resultant bread has a definite rye taste even if you don’t use any further rye flour in the bread.

    The bread recipe (Sourdough Bread from NT) called for about 2 quarts of rye starter plus 13 cups of other flour, but after 6 cups of flour the bread was impossible to knead out without additional water, so I stopped there. Had less dough to work with, and what I had was very difficult to work with, but it did rise after being shaped into loaves, and the end product was tasty, although very sour.

  3. That is a ton of flour. My goodness. How could they expect anyone to be able to work with that?

  4. Bart says:

    The recipe was supposed to make 2-3 loaves of bread, but it wasn’t going to happen. I punted and paid the price for doing so. Freelancing baking recipes doesn’t always work that well.

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