Saturday, December 19, 2009

second rye sourdough bread

I pulled the rye sourdough starter out of the refrigerator yesterday and fed it. Today I tried another rye sourdough recipe, at It uses yeast as well as sourdough, at least in the less-than-a-day variant.

It starts with a cup of starter, a cup and a half of rye flour, and a cup of water. This can be used immediately or allowed to do its thing and develop some sourness. I let it stand for six hours. It was lively and the volume increased significantly, but it wasn't particularly sour.

A cup of whole wheat flour, a cup and three fourths of all-purpose flour, salt, sugar, caraway seeds, and proofed yeast go in next. I kneaded for nine minutes. This dough was quite manageable; far less sticky and easier to handle than the previous attempt. As instructed, I added flour whenever it felt like it was reaching the point of adherence to something other than itself.

It rose for an hour and a half. I then punched it down, lightly kneaded, let it rise for another half hour.

This is the first time I've used the spray technique. For the first nine minutes at 425 degrees I sprayed every three minutes. It then spent another 25 minutes at 400.

Looked great! It rested for about half an hour while we had dinner. It was still warm, but irresistible. The boys and I sampled it.

Very nice, though not sour at all. In fact, I thought it had a faint sweetness from the whole wheat. Pillowy soft crumb, thin but crispy crust, and good rye and caraway flavors. I think this recipe is a winner. Next time I think I'll give the chef a good 24 hours and see if I can get some sourness.

2009-12-21 update: It's holding up really well. Made great sandwiches yesterday. Very nice with gruyere today.

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