This would be one of those times when something goes wrong.
Oh, this is MellowBakers.com’ 19th bread from Hamelman’s book “Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes“. For those who didn’t know, we’re a bunch of crazy breadheads who decided to do all 84 recipes in the book but in a casual, relaxed, dare I say “mellow” fashion. If you’re a bit bread crazy too, join us, jump in at any point and play along. Or just read up on our adventures, lots of talk, lots of photos and links to members’ great blogs too.
Now I’ve done this bread or at least a couple of recipes very close to this bread before and they came out very nicely. The very similar 40% Rye with Caraway based on the Back Home Bakery recipe, for example. This came out so nicely, I’m using photos of that bake as the main graphic for the site.
That looks like I know what I’m doing, doesn’t it?
Let’s put that theory to the test, shall we?
We start this bread with an overnight build of rye sourdough. 363g rye flour, 300g water and 17g starter. Aside from the very green tone to that first photo, you can see this is pretty hefty paste. We let that sit 14 hours. Next day the sourdough has expanded and even receded.
This may be the start of trouble. It’s very possible the enzymes active in this now well past it’s prime sourdough will be a problem.
A wise person might have stopped here and begun again before getting too much further. That, as you’ll see, isn’t me.
Forging ahead regardless, I collect the ingredients and begin making the dough.We add water, bread flour (we want the extra gluten since rye is not too high in that department), caraway (yum) salt and yeast.
Mix everything together in one shot. Three minutes with the flat beater and… hmmmmm. This is looking bad. At this point I wondered if I accidentally added too much water, it shouldn’t look like batter. Switch to the dough hook, maybe developing the gluten a little will help. Nope.
I checked the photos of the mis and confirmed the water wasn’t the issue. that leaves the overactive sourdough as the culprit.
Well, I could chuck it out and start again or just forge ahead bravely and see what we get. I choose the latter.
I pour (literally) the dough into the bulk proofing bowl and an hour later it’s gone and doubled. Still soft as all get out. Time to turn it out and shape.
Ha! Shape? This blob? No way. I worked in another 80 grams of flour until it was slightly more handelable and I could coax it into a loaf shape then I floured my banetons.
Set aside for 50 minutes, the dough proofed fine although still extremely soft.
Getting it out of the baskets proved to be a challenge. They did not, of course, keep their shape very much. Both stuck to the basket but one was adamant it didn’t want to get baked. It lost the battle and has the scars to show for it.
They still baked up not too badly but there wasn’t much oven spring to them at all.
Verging towards biscotti shape, the crumb came out pretty well, considering the lack of gluten and how sloppy the dough was, even after adding extra flour. Still. I can fit two of these short slices into one toaster slot so all is not lost here.
Th flavour is really good despite the visuals. There’s a fairly distinct “tang” to this bread which I presume is due to the excessive sourdough activity right at the start. But I quite like it.
And just for good measure another shot of the loaves cut in half; three will go into the freezer for later consumption. I’m off to the store to by me some pastrami.
Other people have had MUCH better success with this loaf; check out the other Mellow Bakers who produced great looking 40% Rye breads here.
I’ll be doing this one again. Hopefully, the kitchen won’t be so warm and the overnight sourdough not become excessively active.
This bread MAY be getting YeastSpotted.