Monday, January 19, 2009

Grandma's Bread 2009 (#9?)

Trying a totally revised recipe. I spent a bunch of time building a spreadsheet based on what I learned from "The Baking Bible" by Rose Levy Berenbaum.

This new recipe is based on 18% rye flour ratio (i.e., 18% of flour weight). I read that 20% of more of rye makes bread gummy/sticky. This of course is contrary to the amount of rye flour my grandma suggested (closer to 23%)

1-1/4 cups water
2 cups buttermilk
1-1/3 cup rye flour

6-1/4 cup AP wheat flour
2 tsp yeast
1/2 cup honey
3-1/2 + 1/8 tsp table salt

1. Over medium-low heat, warm buttermilk and water, stirring occasionally, just until it curdles and remove from heat. Stir in all rye flour, cover tightly and leave at room temperature overnight (at least 12 hours).

2. Into dough mixture, add white flour, yeast, honey. Mix on speed "2" for 2 minutes, until the dough is somewhat uniform. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes.

3. NOW ADD THE SALT ALL AT ONCE. Mix using dough hook set to "1" or "2" (low speed). You will need to clean the dough hook often (every 10 seconds or so), because the dough will bunch up a lot, over the top of the dough hook. After a couple of minutes, it MAY stop sticking. Total kneading time should be about 5-7 minutes.

6. Grease two bread pans with butter, and dust them with white flour. Cut dough into 2 equal pieces, shape dough into loaves (they will feel like ...) and place in bread pans. Cover with plastic wrap and towel, and leave in warm place to rise for 1 hour. Refrigerate covered for 7-8 hours; you can leave it up to (but not more than) 24 hours.

7. Remove loaves from fridge, remove plastic wrap. They were still pretty wet & sticky but with good bubbles, and soft. Re-shaped loaves: remove, dust with flour, and use the letterfold (tri-fold) technique to reshape as a loaf. Cover with towel, and let rise again in warm place for 3.5 hours. Preheat oven to 450, adjust racks to put bread on 2nd to lowest rack, and put an empty broiler pan at the bottom. Slash loaves down the center; brush tops with butter, and place bread pans on rack in the oven. Add 1 cup hot water to pan to steam and close door. Bake at 450 for 40 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when tapped. Alternately, should be done somewhere around 190-210 degrees.

8. Take bread from oven, remove from pans, and brush tops with remaining butter. Let cool on rack, uncovered, for at least 30 min; will still be warm 2 hours later.

9. Store in large Ziploc freezer bags when cool; this will help promote a soft crust.



JACKPOT! I think I hit it 95% on the money
  • Crust color, evenness and flavor: perfectly dark brown and toasty!!
  • Salt/honey amount: perfect
  • Texture/crumb: perfectly tender, perfectly chewy, with perfect size crumb, cooked perfectly through, not gummy in the middle!
  • Rye flavor: good, but mild
  • Dough was formed by Beckey; it was pretty wet and unshapely after I removed it from the fridge. So I punched it down and reformed it, then let it rise for 1 hour. So it didn't rise as much as it might have, but is still awesome!!
  • Could use a bit more rye flavor, but it's a toss up; it doesn't overwhelm with rye, but it's there. A bit more rye/sour would be better to balance the slight sweetness of this recpe.
  • There were 2-3 small uneven "parts" in the texture at the bottom of the 2nd loaf, perhaps where a flour "blob" had not been kneaded/incorporated enough, where the texture was tight and did not have bubbles. This was very, very minor however.
Next time:
  • Maybe no punch down/reform? That was accidental, because Beckey shaped 'em ugly. Might need a tiny bit more flour when shaping the loaf; should lead to larger holes.
  • Maybe try slightly higher rye percentage (20%)?

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