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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

(Not -So-)Transitional Rye Bread

I wanted to make a sandwich bread and use up some rye flour and buttermilk I had. Naturally Peter Reinhart's Rye Meteil bread came to mind. I made it in January with a mother starter. I don't have a mother starter now and I couldn't find any useful information about the much talked about biga method to make this bread. The Transitional Rye Sandwich Bread (TRSB) described in this book uses a biga with buttermilk. I have made it a couple times in the past (before I started blogging) with decent success. I thought I was proficient enough to adapt that recipe to make it whole grain (turns out, I'm not).

Soaker and biga
The TSRB soaker uses rye, buttermilk and salt. I didn't have enough rye, so I used whole wheat flour for the rest. My soaker looked like this:
150 g: Rye flour
  77 g: Whole wheat flour
    4 g: Salt
176 g: Buttermilk (extra 6 g by mistake)

My biga looked thus:
227 g: Whole wheat flour
   6 g: (1½ t) Vital wheat gluten
  ¼  t: Instant yeast
160 g: Water

The final dough
I decided to use the onions and caraway seeds as suggested in the Rye Meteil recipe. From the notes from my previous attempt, I decided to use the molasses and skip the honey.

The added ingredients:
128 g: Onion, chopped
    1 t: Caraway seeds (That's all I had, I could have used 2 t like the book said)
    6 g: Instant yeast
    5 g: Salt
  28 g: Whole wheat flour
Additional about 1 T whole wheat flour during kneading.

Ingredients on baking day

Added together epoxy-style

 Kneading and rising
This is one sticky dough, breads with rye flour usually are. I would add a small quantity of flour to help but 15 seconds later the dough would be just as sticky again. The poor rounding below is the result of that.

Sticky dough ready for first rise

For having added a little less yeast than specified, the dough rose really well. (Yes, it is very warm in the house these days)

Rose very well, fairly quickly

I didn't want to risk rounding and resting, so I shaped right away...

Shaped and ready for proofing

The dough rose like there was no tomorrow. I was baking another bread (next post) at the same time and the super fast rise of this bread threw off my timing projections. I had to then bake both breads 10 minutes apart.

Proofed well... too much?

The bread
I did get a tiny bit of oven spring. The loaf stuck to the sides of the pan. After letting it sit for 5-10 minutes, I had to use the silicone spatula (more firmly than I would have liked) to free the sides. I was quite afraid that the bread would come out in chunks...

Out of the oven (and stuck to the pan)

. .. but it behaved, and came out in one piece. The loaf pan was not as clean as usual, but I'll allow that.

Burnt bits of onion

I had to slice this bread before it had completely cooled, so I could take some slices over to my in-laws' place to share at dinner. I had to make fairly thick slices to keep them from falling apart. So much for wanting a good sandwich bread!

Thick slices

Loose crumb that fell apart easily

Date: May 29, 2011
Recipe: Adapted from Transitional Rye Sandwich Bread and Rye Sandwich Meteil recipes from Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads

Flours: Whole wheat flour, rye flour
Bread specific ingredients: Chopped onions, caraway seeds, vital wheat gluten
Sweetener used: Molasses
Liquid: Buttermilk and water

First rise time: 70 minutes
Proofing time: Just under 40 minutes
Comments: See composition in the description above.This was edible, actually nothing was wrong with the taste at all, just that it made lousy slices and I consider good slicing an important measure of success. So much for a few good sandwich lunches. I need to either understand the chemistry of dough better or simply stick to following recipes obediently. Sigh!


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