I always try to eat delicious food. Unfortunately I don't have that much money, so I have to cook a lot of it at home. But thats OK because I love cooking and I love eating at home with my wife. This is a website with my favorite recipes and a little bit of commentary.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Whole Grain Sourdough Rye Bread

I refreshed my sourdough starter over the weekend. This morning when I got up it was going crazy in the pot. It usually takes a couple weeks of refreshing to get the culture to perform like it should. Mine was right on time. I started it about 2 weeks ago. So far it hasn't gotten too stinky and it has been well tolerated by my wife. I've been keeping it in the fridge between refreshes and every time I refresh it I thoroughly clean out my starter keeper.

I decided I couldn't let the active starter go to waste. I decided to try another whole grain bread from Peter Reinhart's new book Whole Grain Breads.

I am a huge fan of rye bread and of Rueben Sandwiches in particular. Contrary to popular belief, the Rueben was invented in Omaha Nebraska, not in NYC. I decided to try one of the ryes in the book.

It will take a day or so for me to finish this bread. I'll put photos up when its all done.

Peter Reinhart's 100% Rye Hearth Bread

1 3/4 cup (227 grams) whole rye flour
1/2 t (4 grams) salt
1 cup (227 grams) water

1. Mix all the ingredients together real well. Cover and let sit at room temp overnight to 24 hours.

1/3 cup (71 grams) starter
1 2/3 cups (213 grams) whole rye flour
3/4 cups (170 grams) water

1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl to form a ball. Kneed with wet hands for 2 minutes. Let the dough rest 5 minutes and then kneed again for another 2 minutes with wet hands.
2. Form dough into a ball and place in a nice clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit on the counter until doubled in size. This may take 4 to 8 hours or longer depending on how active your starter is.
3. When the starter has doubled in size kneed it for a few seconds to degas the dough. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Final Dough
All of the soaker
All of the Starter
3/4 cup plus 2 T (113 grams) whole rye flour
5/8 t (5 grams) salt
2 1/4 t (7 grams) instant yeast
2 t caraway seeds

1. Chop up the starter ball and the soaker into 12 smaller pieces. Let the starter warm up to room temperature for 2 hours.
2. Dump everything into the mixer. Kneed using the dough hook for about 2 minutes. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky. If not add more flour or water as needed.
3. Mix using the dough hook for 4 minutes on medium speed.
4. Dust a work surface with flour. Roll the dough in the flour to coat. Kneed dough by hand for 3 to 4 minutes until the dough feels very sticky yet lively, like modeling clay. Form dough into a ball and let it rest on the counter for 5 minutes.
5. Kneed the dough for 1 minute longer. It will be slightly sticky. Place into an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature for 45 to 60 minutes, until it is 1 1/2 times it's original size.
6. Reshape the dough into a ball and place it into your rising basket or a bowl. Cover the top of the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise for about 30 minutes, or until 1 1/2 times its original size.

Preheat oven to 500 with the stone on the bottom rack and a cookie sheet on the top rack to act as a steam pan. Prepare the dough to be baked by inverting the bowl onto a peel with a piece of parchment paper on it. Slash the dough on top. Slide the dough (still on the parchment paper) onto the stone. Dump 1 cup water into the steam pan. Lower the temp to 425 degrees and bake for 20 minutes. Rotate the dough 180 degrees and bake another 20 to 30 minutes until the dough is a rich brown on all sides and registers 200 degrees in the center. When the bread appears to be fully baked, turn off the oven and leave it in for another 5 to ten minutes.

Transfer the bread to a wire cooling rack and cool for at least 2 hours. For best flavor wrap the cooled loaf in aluminum foil and serve the next day.

While I've been making the dough I've been listening to that old Stevie Wonder album Innervisions. There is one song on there that I particularly like. You can listen to it by clicking the play button below. If you want the playback to stop you will have to push the pause button, otherwise you are very likely to get annoyed.