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2020 October 2

Sourdough Whole-Wheat and Rye Bread

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 16:45
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I decided to make a whole-wheat sourdough bread this week, for bread-and-tea on Friday.  I’m basing it loosely on the Norwegian Whole-wheat Bread and the Bread-machine bread without the bread machine, but starting with a sourdough starter.  The sourdough starter had a fair amount of rye flour in it, from last week’s Rye bread rolls again.

Mix

  • 1 cup sourdough starter
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon unfiltered, raw cider vinegar

Let this age for a day (covered with a cloth).  I added the vinegar mainly because my recent sourdoughs have not been sour enough for my taste, and I wanted to re-inoculate with a vinegar-forming bacterium.

Set aside one cup in the refrigerator for future sourdough baking. To what is left add

  • 1 cup warm milk (100°F–115°F)  (if the sponge had not been very active, then I would have added a teaspoon of yeast to the milk)
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup rye flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1–2 Tablespoons molasses (there was a little blackstrap molasses in the bottom of the bottle, but it wouldn’t budge, so I used the warm milk to dissolve it)

Knead until smooth on a well-floured board, incorporating maybe ¼ cup more rye flour to get an elastic, smooth dough.

Let rise in an oiled  bowl for 24 hours, punching down whenever it doubles in bulk. ( I ended up punching down once, in the evening before letting the dough rise again overnight.)

Shape the dough into an oval loaf and place on baking parchment.  Let the dough rise until doubled again (another 4 hours).

Boil

  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch

in microwave and cool to room temperature.  Preheat oven to 400°F.

Brush cornstarch mixture onto loaf, slash the top of the loaf, and bake at 400°F for about 55 minutes.  Remove the parchment about half way through the baking, so that the bottom crust is directly on the terra-cotta tiles.

The bread  spread a bit more in the rising than I expected, so a slightly stiffer dough may be better, but still came out looking good.

The dough after shaping had a texture of bubbles on the surface, because I tried not to knead the dough during the shaping.

I slashed deeper than usual this time, to get a more pronounced effect. The shininess is from brushing on the cornstarch mixture before slashing.

I may have slashed a bit too deep, but the loaf still looks good.

 

2020 September 25

Rye bread rolls again

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 19:11
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I managed to resurrect my sourdough starter by adding more yeast and keeping it in the refrigerator for a week, and I made a whole-wheat sourdough bread that came out pretty good (good crust and crumb, but not sour enough for my taste). It was basically the same ingredients and amounts as bread-machine bread, except for starting with sourdough starter for part of the liquid, bread flour, and yeast, and substituting molasses for the sugar.  I also baked it on baking parchment (no loaf pan) for the first half of the baking time, then directly on the terracotta tiles for the second half.

The whole-wheat sourdough looked good, as well as tasting pretty good.

So this week I decided to do the rye bread rolls again—the recipe that originated my sourdough.  Now that I have a starter, the recipe is a little different:

Feed starter:

1 cup sourdough starter
½ cup warm water (105°–115°F)
½ cup Strauss yogurt (the sourest one in our local market)
1 cup rye flour

Mix together in bowl, cover with wet dish towel, and let sit at room temperature for a day.  Remove and refrigerate one cup of the mixture for future sourdough starter, and let the rest sit for a day or two more at room temperature.

Dough:

the aged sourdough starter
1¼ cup warm water (105°–115°F)
1 teaspoon yeast
1 tablespoon salt
1½ cup bread flour
3 cups rye flour
1½ cup raisins

Stir down the starter, blend in water, yeast and salt. Let sit for 3–4 minutes so yeast can dissolve.

Stir in bread flour.  Add rye flour a cup at a time until dough forms a mass.  Stir with silicone scraper until dough has lost most of its stickiness.  Stir in raisins (this is different from last time, when I didn’t add the raisins until just before shaping). Turn from the bowl onto floured surface.

Knead on well-floured surface until dough soft and elastic (about 6 minutes), adding about ¼ cup rye flour to keep dough from sticking.  May need to scrape surface initially, as dough starts out very sticky. Put in greased bowl, cover, and let rise for 1–2 hours.

Punch down, divide dough into 2-oz pieces, and roll into balls.  Place on baking parchment on baking sheets, cover, and let rise until double in size (about one hour). Makes 24 rolls.

Glaze:

1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon milk

Remove cover, brush each roll with glaze, and cut X into top of each roll. Bake in preheated 400°F oven for 35–40 minutes.  Done when browned on the bottom and feel solid when pinched.

Cool on wire rack.

The rye rolls came out looking good. They had a nice flavor and texture, but not as much sourness as I would like. I think I also need to cut the crosses deeper.

2020 May 19

Rye bread rolls

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 23:50
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I decided that this week’s bread would be a rye bread, so I looked through Bernard Clayton’s The Breads of France and Joe Ortiz’s The Village Baker, but I didn’t find a recipe that I wanted to follow exactly.  So I’m making up my own, based on a combination of recipes.  I decided to do the recipe for La Tourte de Seigle in The Breads of France with a 3-day starter, but using some yogurt in the starter (sort of like the goat’s milk in the Jewish Rye recipe from The Village Baker).  I’ll also add raisins and shape the dough into rolls like Les Benoîtons from The Breads of France.

Starter:

½ cup warm water (105°–115°F)
¼ cup yogurt
1 teaspoon yeast
pinch salt
1 cup rye flour

Mix together in bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit at room temperature for 1–3 days.

Dough:

all the starter (I’ll save a bit for a sourdough starter for next week)
1½ cup warm water (105°–115°F)
2 teaspoons yeast
1 tablespoon salt
1½ cup bread flour (original recipe has all-purpose flour, but I think the extra gluten will help)
3 cups rye flour
1½ cup raisins

Stir down the starter, blend in water, yeast and salt. Let sit for 3–4 minutes so yeast can dissolve.

Stir in bread flour.  Add rye flour a cup at a time until dough forms a mass.  Stir with wooden spoon or silicone scraper until dough has lost most of its stickiness and can be turned from the bowl onto floured surface.

Knead slowly until dough soft and elastic (about 6 minutes).  May need to start work with pastry scraper initially, as dough starts out very sticky.  Dust occasionally with bread flour to control stickiness. Put in greased bowl, cover, and let rise for 40–60 minutes.

Soak raisins for 10 minutes, then pat dry.

Punch down and flatten dough and spread raisins on top. Fold dough and knead until raisins well distributed.

Divide dough into 2-oz pieces and roll into balls.  Place on baking parchment on baking sheets, cover, and let rise until double in size (about one hour).

Glaze:

1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon milk

Remove cover, brush each roll with glaze, and cut X into top of each roll. Bake in preheated 400°F oven for 30–35 minutes, turning baking sheet at 15 minutes for more uniform baking.  Done when browned on the bottom and feel solid when pinched.

Cool on wire rack.

Update 2020 May 22: The rye sour smelled rather nasty (as might be expected for dairy products souring for 3 days), but the rolls came out well.  The dough is very sticky, so shaping the rolls required some practice and a lot of flour on the hands.  The recipe makes about 30 rolls.

Rye rolls cooling on the wire rack.

Rye rolls on a plate, with a pot of green tea for the bread-and-tea event.

 

2020 April 17

Norwegian whole-wheat bread pictures

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 21:53
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Yesterday I posted a recipe for Norwegian Whole-Wheat Bread (from page 81 of Beard on Bread, which he credits to the Norwegian Government School for Domestic Science Teachers in Oslo), and promised some pictures of how it came out for today’s bread-and-tea. 

Here they are:

Before first rise (about noon).

Covered with a damp towel during first rise.

After the first rising (about 2pm).

Punched down and shaped before second rise.

After second rise (about 4pm).

Slashed before baking.

Finished loaf (about 5pm).

The dough really was very stiff, as Beard warned in his book, but the crust was excellently crisp and the crumb a good texture. The rye adds a nice flavor to the wheat, without making the bread too dense.

2020 April 16

Norwegian Whole-Wheat Bread

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 21:02
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I decided that tomorrow’s bread would be an unambitious one (not the brioche or the bean-paste bao I’d been considering).  My wife suggested that I look through Beard on Bread, which has relatively easy bread recipes.  Because she has 8 or more cookbooks just on baking bread, and dozens more that have bread recipes, getting some guidance on where to start looking for recipes was useful.

I settled on Norwegian Whole-Wheat Bread (page 81 of Beard on Bread), which he credits to the Norwegian Government School for Domestic Science Teachers in Oslo.  I’m going to halve the recipe, since it is twice as big a recipe as the bread-machine recipe of last week, and I still have a loaf of that bread in the freezer.  I’ll also make tiny tweaks to match the ingredients and equipment that we have in the house.

  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 2 cups warm milk (100°F–115°F)
  • 4 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup rye flour
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 1½ teaspoons salt

In the KitchenAid mixer, dissolve the yeast in ½ cup of warm milk and let it proof for a few minutes.  Add the remaining milk, and gradually stir in the salt and flours, using the bread hook on the mixer. Knead with the dough hook for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a well-floured counter and kneed by hand for a couple more minutes.  Form the dough into a smooth ball, grease it with butter or oil, and allow it to rise until doubled in volume.  In our kitchen, I figure that will take about 2 hours—maybe a little longer.  I’m planning to use a tupelo-wood bread trough that we have for the rising—the insulation of the wood should hold the heat in better than using the metal mixer bowl.

Punch the dough down and knead it by hand on a well-floured counter for a couple of minutes.  Shape the dough into a round loaf and place on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal (to prevent sticking).  Let the dough rise until doubled again (another 2 hours?).

Slash the top of the loaf and bake in a pre-heated 375°F oven for about an hour.

So—I have my recipe for tomorrow.  Maybe this time I’ll remember to take some pictures of the bread for the blog.

 

 

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