Breads with a lot of rye flour in them have a lower profile, which is a brain-teaser for people who like to bake small loaves, which already have a very high crust/crumb ratio. The only remedy I can think of is to make the dough a little tighter and bake at a higher temperature. Or, get a very small baking tin. Mail me if you have found one for 800g-loaves. I think, next time I will make a huge loaf. ‘Altdeutsches Brot’ or ‘Old-German bread’ was the name given by the company, which offers a couple of bread recipes on their site. 2% of yeast was used in the original recipe, I decreased the yeast quantity to about 1%. A 1kg loaf was recommended, which, at a total hydration of 70%, would mean a total flour weight of 588g. I’ve used 500g of flour, so mine is a bit smaller.
Professional bakeries today, with their laboratory environment and the capacities to monitor everything from falling numbers to humidity, should – in theory – be able to make the best bread in history, but isn’t every baker also standing on the shoulders of the giants? Pioneers, who did things intuitively, beginning at a few thousands of years ago, allegedly one sunny day in Egypt, when the baker let the dough sit out in the sun for too long and discovered yeasty fermentation. So this week-end I found myself playfully and foolishly determined to make this loaf the old fashioned way!
- Bread pioneers would use a wood-fired oven, which is hot. Conclusion: I put the bread in at the hightest temperature my modest home oven can reach, approx. 270°C.
- Bakers of past times would let their breads rise next to the oven. Conclusion: I used the warm room, where the washing machine resides, as a proofing chamber.
- In the old days, ovens had little or no controlled way of injecting steam, a wood-fired oven certainly had no integrated steam injection. Conclusion: I baked without steam.
Very good bread, more robust by the inclusion of rye meal, freshly ground. The bread is quite sour. Looking at it I see a resemblance to the Sauerländer Mengbrot Petra has in her Brotkasten. ‘Not the worst sign’, I thought. Petra keeps showing us how it’s done almost every day on her blog.
- 225 water
- 160g rye flour
- 1 tsp mature rye sourdough, hydration:100%
Let stand at 25°C for 14-16 hours.
Rye meal soaker
- 100g fine rye meal
- 100g hot water, 60-70°C
Let stand for at least 2 hours, or overnight in a cool place.
Bulk fermentation: 1 hour. Desired dough temperature: 27-28°C.
Shape round, then oblong.
Final fermentation: 45-60 minutes.
Bake at 270°C for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to 220°C and bake for further 40-45 minutes. Let cool completely.