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September 2012
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Lorrie [userpic]
All-Rye Sourdough, Loaves One and Three of Two

The previously mentioned loaves were successfully proofed, and rose well.

Until....*doom chord*!

I was happily ensconced in Greyhaven's kitchen for the publication party for the glorious new novel, Sword of Avalon. Loaf one went into the oven, loaves two and three perched on a shelf over the stove, the better to rise in the warm air.

Then I went to scrape Loaf Two from its bowl onto the breadstone. I turned the bowl in my hands to get a better purchase...


...and my hand found a spot that had been warmed too much by the steam of the pot underneath it.

And to keep my hand from being burnt, my six-quart glass mixing bowl fell to the floor, shattering into a thousand thousand tiny cubes, with the proto-loaf in the center of the splash pattern.

About the only thing you can say for it is that it did happen at just the right time in the chapter dpaxson was reading to enthralled partygoers--there was no picking the glass from that dough, and I considered it a sacrifice to all and sundry as I put the loaf in the trash, sprinkled with the debris of its demise.

But Loaf One was eaten yesterday at Greyhaven's Sunday Tea; the taste isn't as aggressive as I would have thought! On reflection, dpaxson and I realized that much of what we think of as a "rye" flavor actually comes from caraway; should I make this recipe again, I'll be sure to add some.

The crumb was exceedingly dense, and paired well with soft cheese (a chèvre), semi-soft cheese (a cheddar with carmelized onions) and honey (an otherwise unnotable Sue Bee). Tomorrow, it'll be served with some kind of soup.

-- Lorrie


Being wheat intolerant in a way that's too specific to wheat to be gluten intolerant, more than half of the bread I eat (a slice most weeks) is 100% rye that's usually imported from Denmark or Germany. I rarely get the caraway flavored types. Get used to rye flavor on its own and I predict you'll like it.

Rye makes good American whiskey. On the other hand I'm not impressed with whiskeys made from only barley Scotch and Irish. Once I tried beer made from rye and it was nasty. So to me rye is for distilling, barley is for not distilling. At least there is symmetry.

Rye is very slow to rise because it has so little gluten. I take it your baking process includes forming the dough the day before so it has a full day to ferment and rise?

Sourdough needs a full day to rise no matter what grain you're using--although there are many breads with commercial yeasts that are also supposed to ferment for a day before baking to develop their flavor. In the recipe I cite, it's 22 hours to expand the starter from "that bit I keep around for maintenance" to "enough to get a whole loaf going". Once the starter has been fed, one reserves a bit for next time, then turns the rest into bread dough by adding, here, more flour, water, and a smidge of salt.

I found that the all rye dough was softer and stickier (because, yes, less gluten), and I expected the crumb to have very few holes in it, as I've gotten the imported bricks o' all-rye from the store before. This is like that, only you do it yourself. Each of the three loaves was...oh, call it eight inches by four, round, and massed 1200 grams!

(nearly three pounds, or twice as much as what one might expect from a loaf of that shape and size)

Heavy bread, which won't surprise you as you're used to all-rye. *grin*

-- Lorrie

i like the taste too of just rye without caraway. I am currently buying 100% rye bread from the supermarket.


-- Lorrie

Yay rye bread! I'm glad at least some of the bread got successfully baked and eaten!

om nom nom nom nom

Considering how much I *don't* like the strong flavor of what most folks call "rye", I think I'm looking forward to trying a loaf of your bread without caraway someday?


Could happen...

Interested in the sourdough AND the rye

(Would love to try sourdough, not sure how it works. Especially with alternative grains like spelt and rye!

Re: Interested in the sourdough AND the rye

Yeast eat sugar, yeast fart and make baby yeast. 8-)

Basically, with a sourdough culture, you're looking at fussing over it once a week (if you keep it in the fridge) or every day or two (if you don't) after an initial period where it's out at room temperature being fussed over every day. "Fussing", here, usually means removing half of what you had, and replenishing that with flour and water.

Would you know more, or what? *grin*

-- Lorrie

Re: Interested in the sourdough AND the rye

Oh! The big difference between wheat and not-wheat here is that other grains will have less (or none) of a pair of proteins that combine to make gluten, the stretchy net that gives all those yeast farts someplace to go. Even another grain that can glutinize, like rye, won't have as much--so a loaf will be denser, and have far fewer holes.

-- Lorrie