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Sunday, 30 June 2013

"Local Breads" - Whole Rye Berry Loaf (Volkornbrot)

I'm not entirely convinced I got the right "rye berries" for this recipe as they didn't become all that soft after soaking, but make the bread I did.

This is the second to last recipe in the Germany section of Daniel Leaders book "Local Breads" that I am working my way through.  I think Mr Leader left out part of the recipe as he mentioned in his preamble that he had included a refreshment step or "build" to make sufficient rye starter for the dough, but in fact he had not.  So I just made double the amount of rye sourdough preferment that he suggested in the recipe.

Starter - this is 1.5 times the amount mentioned in the book - 50g starter + 170g water + 225g fine rye flour - left to sit at room temperature for 16hrs.
Rye starter bubbling away after 16hrs

Soaked berries - 125g whole rye berries + 175g boiling water - placed in a bowl and also let sit for 16hhrs at room temp.  They didn't swell up that much and didn't soften, which makes me think they weren't quite the right think.  Or alternatively I guess, they could have been old and past their best?
Soaked rye berries
Take out 50g of starter to keep for next time and then add the remaining starter (400g) into a mixing bowl along with 50g of water, your soaked rye berries, 200g fine rye flour and 10g salt.  I then mixed all of this on my stand mixer (#2 speed) for 2 minutes -it was supposed to form a thick, batter-like dough but wasn't quite battery so I added a touch more water until I was happy with the consistency.

I covered the bowl of dough with a plastic bag and let ferment at room temp for about 1.5hrs. It was lightly spongy and had only slightly risen.

I oiled a loaf pan (a fairly big one) and coated the oil with rye flour then scraped the dough into the pan with a spatula (yes it is the consistency of peanut butter!) and smoothed it over.  The loaf pan was popped inside a plastic bag and left at RT for just over 1hr to proof.

The oven was set at 160°C about 15 minutes prior to the loaf going in with a rack in the centre of the oven.  The loaf had formed a slight dome prior to going in the oven and was baked with steam for nearly 2 hours.  It had come away from the sides of the tin and didn't leave any wet dough on a skewer when poked.
I let the bread cool overnight before slicing it - this is recommended for high percentage rye breads.
The rye berries were a bit firm for my liking, almost a bit dry, but the bread had a really nice flavour.  As mentioned earlier in this post I don't know if the berries weren't right for the recipe or what, but next time I make this bread I think I'll use rye flakes (like coarse rolled oats) instead.

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