66 Percent Sourdough Rye

ImageJeffrey Hamelman’s Recipe. Rye starter has a strong smell of bread and my boyfriend asked whether I was baking bread when the starter was fermenting (not even baking). I only kneaded the dough 10 times with three 10-minute rest, then had first fermentation for 30min. The dough had little strength even after the first fermentation. Due to the hot weather in Hong Kong, it only had 20-30min 2nd proof which was shorter than the recipe indicated (50-60min). Most flavor of this bread comes from the rye starter.

The bread has to be waited for 24hrs before cut to stabilize the crumb and develop flavor. I put it under room temperature for the first 24 hrs wrapped with linen, and put it in fridge wrapped with parchment paper for the next day as Hong Kong’s humid and hot so I tried to avoid mold on it.

I love the taste of this bread, moist, mildly sour, mild taste of rye, and the crumb didn’t feel crumbly even the dough didn’t have much strength (I used Doves Farm Rye flour). It’s an easy going rye bread and I know it’s happy with my blue cheese.

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2 Sourdoughs with Amaranth Flour

Been making sourdoughs with amaranth flour too. The one in batard shape was made with 25% white starter (100% hydration), 10% amaranth flour and 65% overall hydration. The other one was made with 33% white starter (100% hydration), 5% amaranth and same overall hydration. Both were retarded in fridge overnight. I like amaranth mainly because it gives a more reddish color to the bread. Also there was study saying it can keep the bread moist. Amaranth flour alone has a grassy smell but it wasn’t tasted in my finished bread. Both bread tasted quite good ..

Submitted to Yeastspotting

Levain with Whole Wheat, Levain with Whole Wheat & Amaranth

Levain with Whole Wheat (Left) Levain with Whole Wheat & Amaranth (Right)

The Pain au Levain with Whole Wheat Flour is from Jeffrey Hamelman’s recipe. I retarded it overnight and the taste was really good, sweet and strong in wheat flavor. I also experimented by substituting 5% of the whole wheat flour with amaranth flour. It was prepared in the same condition – same retardation, fermentation hours, both bread baked together. Interesting finding was the whole wheat and amaranth bread was a bit gummy in texture (crumb & crust), also the taste was not as sweet as with whole wheat flour alone. Gosh seems whole wheat and amaranth cannot be a couple now? Maybe give them some time and let me try to experiment more first..

Submitted to Yeastspotting

Levain with Whole Wheat & Amaranth

Levain with Whole Wheat Flour (Jeffrey Hamelman recipe)

Levain with Whole Wheat, photo shot under sunlight

Experiments – Overnight Retardation for Different Sourdoughs

Light Spelt Sourdough with Assorted Nuts and Raisins (Overnight Retarded)

Sourdough making is now even simpler and time saving for me. Recently I’ve been experimenting retarding different sourdoughs overnight and baking the other day, so that I don’t have to wait till weekend and spend half a day in making a bread. I have tried retarding sourdoughs with different flours, amaranth, whole wheat and spelt, which you’ll see in coming posts, I would say that those with amaranth and whole wheat tasted great, but for spelt it seemed its flavor was lost after retarding. They were not as sweet and the spelt flavor was not as strong as spelt sourdoughs I made in the same day. Of course these were my findings from 3 spelt sourdoughs only, but for sure not all breads are suitable for retarding overnight which I read the same from Hamelman’s book from the Levain section. More overnight retardation findings to come, stay tuned. :)

Spelt Sourdough with Chia Seeds (50% spelt, 75% hydration, 3% chia seeds, overnight retarded)

Whole Wheat and Spelt Sourdough (70% whole wheat, 30% spelt, 75% hydration, overnight retarded)

Whole Wheat and Spelt Sourdough Crumb

Levain with Light Muscovado Sugar and Nuts

The bread is made with 15% light muscovado sugar and 24% assorted nuts. The muscovado sugar not only gives the bread a soft and moist texture, but also added a fudge flavor which pairs very well with the natural sweetness of the dough.  Overall a savory, easy-going and popular bread among friends I would say. :)

Recipe

112g levain (100% hydration) 44.4%
188g bread flour 74.6%
64g whole wheat flour 25.4%
38g light muscovado sugar 15%
3g salt 3%
140g water 55.6%
60g assorted nuts (cashew , almond, walnut, macadamia) – slighted toasted 23.8%

First fermentation – 3 hours; Second fermentation – 45 mins (hot weather in HK..)

Bake at 230C for 10 mins, then 210C until done

Bake Again

Finally I bake again. I finally bought a new home oven which I thought would be great to help generate steam in the oven and make great bread. Now it seems I need to spend few more times with it to make better bread. The 2 sides of the crust in this bread is not as crusty and there could be more oven spring? Well it’s not a professional oven (and I’m not professional) after all. :P

Below is a simple levain with a hint of honey which I modified from a Japanese bread book. It’s 113g sourdough with 100% hydration, 250g flour, 105g water, 5g salt and 5g honey. Overall hydration is approximately 54% and flour is Marriage’s Organic Strong White Flour. Clean flavor and stay moist on 2nd day. It reminds me of the good old baking times, and it’s always good to take a break and bake at home. Haha.

Sourdough with Amaranth Flour

A sourdough with 13.5% of amaranth flour (to all flour) added to the final dough. Overall hydration is 68%. The bread this time darkened even more quickly compared with the amaranth sourdough that I made before which the overall amaranth was about 9%. I covered the crust with aluminum foil in the midway to avoid the crust getting burnt before the crumb was fully baked. Texture with the increased amaranth flour was also not as chewy as last time as well. I still love the beautiful reddish brown color that the amaranth flour gives to the crust.. :-) Now I’m thinking of other bread recipes with amaranth flour for next time. Any good ideas? :-)

Recipe

Bread Flour 212.5g 85%
Amaranth Flour 37.5g 15%
Water 163g 65%
Salt 5g 2%
Starter (100% Hydration with Bread Flour) 50g 20%

220C for 15 mins. Then lower to 200C for another 20 mins.

Love the Blister ~

Genzano Country Bread (Pagnotta)

According to Daniel Leader’s “Local Breads”, Genzano Country Bread is a round loaf with a thick bran-coated crust which is baked almost black, but has a moist and full-flavored crumb inside. The dough is of high hydration which is almost 80%. It requires long baking which leads to the thick and charred crust. The bread is also made with high proportion of sourdough (approximately 28%) which makes the crumb more sour. Authentic Genzano Country Bread is huge and a smaller version is called Pagnotta which is what I baked today. My bread doesn’t look as black as the photo from Daniel Leader’s book but there is already a big contrast in taste between the crust and crumb. The charred crust and sour crumb have made it a stronger flavored bread. See some twist on the crust and crumb can make a dough so different. Love it :)

Genzano Country Bread (Pagnotta) - from Daniel Leader's "Local Bread"

Didn't take care for my sourdough for 2 months but it's still vigorous :)

Nils’s 60/40 Rye (Ze 60/40)

Life is miserable when I need to eat those commercial, pseudo and bland bread for breakfast. This is what happened to me in the last 2 months. Working day and night and not having the time to prepare a dinner or bake something for myself. Why can’t there be better breakfast or dinner choices in Hong Kong? In the coming months I wish to keep on baking at least once a week and preparing dishes for myself. That means much better management of my work and life.

Always happy to see the sourdough rise. It smells naturally sweet and great :)

I’m happy to see my sourdough got energized after feeding for once though I didn’t take care of it for 4 months. My good companion, haha. The bread tastes really good too. I particularly like it after after the first day when all the flavors mellow. Mildly sour, mildly moist, strong wheat flavor, moderate bites from the brans of rye flour, lightly charred and thick crust. Thanks Nils who shares so many great German bread recipes. :) You might take a look at Joanna’s blog as well which had very good result with this recipe too.

I used Dan Lepard’s method to rest and knead the dough. The bread is comfortably done under the hot weather. :)

Real breakfast tomorrow ~ Yay~

Nils’s 60/40

  • 270g rye sourdough, hydration: 100%, made from fine dark rye flour, Type 1150 (I used Doves Farm’s Organic Wholemeal Rye Flour)
  • 135g fine dark rye flour, Type 1150
  • 180g strong white flour, Type 550 (I used Gold Medal’s Bread Flour)
  • 200g warm water, temperature: 52°C minus Your ambient temperature (I used tap water)
  • 2g fresh yeast
  • 9g sea salt

Mix to a smooth dough, let rest 45 minutes, give a turn and let rise for another 45 minutes. (I used Dan Lepard’s method to rest and knead the dough – mix the dough, rest for 10 mins and knead for 10 sec. Have rest and knead for 2 more times. Then I let the dough rise for 1 hour and didn’t turn the dough more)

Shape oblong or round, proof for about 1 hour, slash and bake at 260°C for 5 minutes with steam, reduce heat to 220°C and bake for a further 45 minutes. Let cool completely.

Amaranth Sourdough

I love playing around with different grains. When I saw the Amaranth Flour from Bob’s Red Mill in the supermarket, I bought it without hesitation. There was very little information about amaranth flour in my bread books on hand. Luckily I found a formula on whole grain sourdough in MC’s blog. MC is a devoted blogger on bread who shares so much information about her SFBI workshops and passionately visited and introduced to us different bread bakers in her blog where I’ve learnt a lot. Do visit her site (though I guess many of you already know her). :)

 

Back to amaranth flour. It is gluten-free as it is not wheat and is produced from amaranth grain. It has a  smell of grass and raw carrots. The formula in MC’s blog was suggested by Safa Hamzé who was the instructor the SFBI workshop and has developed techniques working with whole grains. You can find some of the information in an article in “Whole Grain Mania” in Baking Management.

Hence this bread is made of 20% amaranth starter. The starter smelt less “grassy” when ripen but did not smell as sweet as starter made of wheat.There was no amaranth flour in the final dough and so overall amaranth flour was abot 9%. When baking the bread gained color pretty quickly and turned into beautiful reddish-brown. Safa mentioned in the Baking Management article that amaranth kept moisture well which I agree from my result this time. The crumb of my bread was nicely moist and did not stale as quickly on the next day. The crumb was also open and color was yellower. However I could not taste the slight lactic flavor as mentioned in the article. I could not taste the “grassy” flavor from the amaranth neither.

I am happy with the result of this time and agree with Safa that bakers can consider adding amaranth flour to their breads in order to help extending shelf life of the bread. Safa has suggested overall gluten free flour should remain under 15% in overall formulation,  and I will try playing around with 15% of amaranth flour next time.

This bread will be submitted to Yeastspotting. Let me know if you have more ideas or other information about amaranth or whole grain sourdough. :)

Recipe:

Bread flour 250g 100%
Water 163g 65%
Salt 5.5g (approx) 2.2%
Amaranth Starter (100% hydration) 50g 20%
Instant Yeast 1/8 tp (approx) 0.2%

*I baked at 220C for first 25mins, the bread gained much color that time. Then I lowered to 200C for another 10mins, and kept the bread in oven for another 5 mins with oven turned off.

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