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70 percent rye

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I am beginning to think that the role of the final fermentation is not described clearly enough in the books I’ve read so far, or at least I haven’t understood it. In the last couple of breads, most of them using either a high amount of rye or other flours with poor gluten development, I reduced final rest to a minimum, meaning that the dough was put in the oven right after shaping. Results were promising, aeration did not suffer much; yes, the breads’ crumbs were a bit tighter, not in a compromising way though. And final weight of the finished breads seem to be the same (feels like that).

I am susprised about the good flavors of all these loaves and the good oven spring they had. This bread I gave only 5 minutes of a free-standing rest on the baking paper before I put it into the oven. Crust looks good, loaf feels light. I am proposing the following meaning to this babble: I think when speaking of final fermentation of rye breads it should have a stress on relaxation and not so much on the fermentation. And I would suggest that the quality of many rye breads is best with a short final rest. Indeed, the crust splits and has a rustic look. So for loaves with smooth crust, I’d reduce oven temperature.

70 Percent rye bread

  • 200g rye sourdough, hydration: 100%
  • 215 rye flour
  • 135 strong white flour (or spelt or Einkorn)
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 230g water (to make a sticky and loose dough)
  • 9g salt

Mix ingredients shortly, then let rest until well-aerated, approximately 2-3 hours (or less in a very warm room). Shape on a bed of rye flour, let sit seam side down on a piece of baking paper for 5-10 minutes and put into a hot oven, 250°C.

Bake for ten minutes, then reduce heat to 210°C and bake for further 40-50 minutes.

Written by theinversecook

28 February 2009 at 19:26

Posted in Bao, Bread, Brot, food, pain, pane, Recipe

8 Responses

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  1. I am not an expert on sourdough rye breads, but from my personal observation (reading, hands on, class…etc), the second or final fermentation is usually 45 mins to 1 hour long. The first fermentation is very short…about 15 to 20 mins. I have also noticed the temperature of the dough when it is taken out of the mixer is generally warm…maybe around 25 to 28 C.


    1 March 2009 at 00:28

  2. @ Carl: You’re right, and I had misplaced J. Hamelman’s approach from my memory. Sorry about that.

    Final fermentation being 1 hour, I think, resultud in a reoccuring problem: the spreading of rye doughs, also the crust was not satisfactory to my taste – too brittle. Can’t really say if all of this is because of a long fermentation – a different flour or meal might do the trick – my interested is sparked in doing some more breads like this and see how it goes from there.


    1 March 2009 at 04:45

  3. Nils, no need to apologize. When you said you have a problem with the rye doughs spreading, do you mean the dough is a bit wet or flüssig, and the rye bread does not have a good rise after it is baked, or it is not holding its shaped after the bread is baked? One thing that might solve the brittle crust problem is wetting the dough. I have noticed German bakers wetting the bread dough with a special brush after the bread has been shaped, and then it will go through the final fermentation after that. I did not asked the baker why he does this, but I can speculate it will do 2 things. It will make the crust thicker, and it will give the crust a sheen after it is baked.

    A good source of rye breads to read about is called, “Baking: The Art and Science.” It is by Claus Schunemann. ISBN 0970858485. This book was translated into English, but maybe you can find the original German version.


    1 March 2009 at 12:59

  4. Das hört sich aber sehr revolutionär an und kommt mir ungeheuer entgegen. Wird umgehend ausprobiert. Na ja, in den nächsten Tagen.

    Sounds revolutionary to me and quite convenient. I’ll try it immediately – well, within the next days, I suppose.


    1 March 2009 at 22:44

  5. Didn’t mean to be revolutionary :-D Was a good reminder of how simple things can be sometimes.


    2 March 2009 at 00:30

  6. @Carl: I’ve heard about brushing dough with water, maybe even a rye-floured loaf so it will gelatinize form a thicker crust. It’s a good idea and will keep it in mind for the next rye bread.

    Another book on the horizon to buy…oh, oh. My book shelf is starting to look a little too geeky?


    2 March 2009 at 00:34

  7. Your recipe is extra simple and your bread is beautiful! How was the crumb?

    Flo Makanai

    2 March 2009 at 20:34

  8. @Flo: Thanks :-D Crumb was good and textured as espected for this hydration…not too open but definitely not particularly compact.


    3 March 2009 at 14:00

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