Thursday, 31 May 2012

Seeded Rye Loaf

This Seeded Rye Loaf is another one of William Alexander’s breads from the May Issue of Saveur Magazine. This bread takes 11 days to make. However, the time spent each day is negligible. For the first 9 days, you build the rye starter with a mixture of rye flour and water each day, then on day 10, you build a sourdough culture using the rye starter, more rye flour and water. 24 hours or so later, you make the rye loaf. If you already have a rye starter, then you can reduce the time needed to make this bread to less than 2 days. 


Making this starter was good timing. One of the breads on the list for the Mellow Bakers this month is Whole Grain Rye Bread, and I needed a rye starter for that bread. I could’ve converted my regular sourdough starter to a rye starter or used my existing rye starter; however, I hadn’t fed my rye starter since last December. Oops! 

I decided I would just start all over. If you haven't noticed, I like building starters and having experiments all over the counter.  So that’s what I did. Ten days later, I had this delicious rye bread. Never thought I’d say that.  I definitely have become a rye convert.


Seeded Rye Loaf

Makes: One 2-pound loaf

Look for the recipe in the May 2012 Issue of Saveur Magazine

Here is a photo tutorial of the process for making the Rye Starter and the resulting Seeded Rye Loaf. 


Day 1: Make paste of rye flour, water and yeast and let sit 24 hours.
Day 2: Feed starter with additional rye flour and water and let sit for 24 hours.
Days 3-9: Feed starter daily and let sit for 24 hours.
Day 10:
Create the sourdough culture and let sit for 8 – 24 hours.
Day 11: Mix the remaining ingredients with the sourdough culture.
Day 11: Knead the Dough until smooth and elastic.
Day 11: Transfer dough to bowl and let dough double in size, about 3 hours.
Day 11: Shape dough into oval and place in a banneton basket to proof for 3 hours.
Day 11: Invert the loaf onto parchment paper.
Day 11: Spray loaf with water and cover with remaining seed mix.
Day 11: Score loaf down the middle or in the pattern of your choice.
Day 11: Bake loaf in preheated oven on baking stone with steam pan underneath. Cool on a wire rack.


I didn’t follow his process completely for proofing and baking the loaf. He puts the loaf in a floured kitchen towel in a colander. I used a brotform basket to proof the loaf instead.  He made a round loaf; I made an oval loaf. I did bake the loaf on the baking stone and tried his method of using an iron skillet underneath with ice cubes in it. I wasn’t sure about the whole ice cube in the iron skillet thing. I didn't want to ruin my skillet so I used one of my small cast iron skillets that I don’t use much. It did okay but I’ll probably stick with the steam pan underneath.

I let the loaf sit overnight before slicing it. This Seeded Rye Loaf has tangy undertones due to the rye levain. Not too sour. I like it!  I like the use of seeds in the dough and on the crust. It provides a unique texture and flavor. I’ve enjoyed it with cheese for a light lunch with a salad or an afternoon snack.

I hope you enjoy it as well.

Happy Baking!

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