Friday, October 5, 2012

Sourdough Rye with Toasted Sunflower and Pumpkin Seeds

If you were to tell me "Dave, I do not like rye bread", I would reply: "Wanna make a bet?" Then you would say "yeah, I'll take that bet". Well, this is the bread that I would use to change your mind. Just thinking about the hearty rye flavor, light, nutty, and wholegrain and the thought of eating it, excites me. I actually baked this bread a few weeks ago, but I never had the chance to post on it. Well, now is the time. Since I have been home, I have been making two loaves at a time rather than a single loaf because my parents' oven is much bigger than what I am used to. Also, I am trying to keep the energy bills down,and have found that my sourdough breads freeze very well. This gives me the opportunity to enjoy the same bread on two different occasions and that is okay by me. It is important to note that before you freeze bread make sure it is completely cool. I usually wait till it feels room temperature and then let it rest for another hour before placing it in a gallon sized ziplock bag and placing it in the freezer.

I have adapted this formula from Hamelman's book Bread. I made a few changes which include the use of whole rye flour in the sourdough and the addition of pumpkin seeds. I also increased the amount of rye chops in the final mix, which increases the percentage of flour that comes from whole grains (fiber is your friend, its a paralegal for your digestive system, keeping you nice and organized). 
This is not to say that I do not love Hamelman's original formula, because I DO! I just wanted to use some pumpkin seeds because I love the flavor that is created when pumpkin seeds are toasted. Generally speaking, I do not usually use salted seeds, but recently I made a 100% Whole Rye Loaf, and was forced to use salted sunflower seeds because I didn't have any unsalted seeds. The flavor of the sunflower seeds in the bread was much more pronounced and I loved it. I did not even toast the salted sunflower seeds in the 100% Rye, but next time I will. So feel free to use some salted seeds. I do not think that it will impact the rising time significantly, but it might add 20-30 minutes tops.

The Sunflower and Pumpkin Seed Rye does require a few steps. It requires a rye chop soaker, which contains equal amounts of water and rye chops by weight. This can be prepared when the sourdough build is prepared. If you are unable to make your own rye chops, or they are unavailable in your area, cracked rye can be used. It is important to use boiling water in the soaker if you are using cracked rye. If you do not use boiling water, the grain will not be softened enough and will disrupt gluten development during the mix process.

Next the sourdough build is prepared from whole rye flour. This build is hydrated at 80%, which is my preferred percentage for rye sourdough. The use of whole rye flour here really contributes to the rye flavor in the finished product. All of the rye flour in this bread is found in the sourdough build, which enables the bread to have significant flavor while still being light in texture. The rest of the flour weight is coming from the aforementioned rye chops and bread flour. From the formula, you would never expect this bread to have as much rye flavor as it does, but to quote one of my favorite songs, Scarlet Begonias, "Every once in a while you get a show of light in the strangest of places when you look at it right". Let the rye sourdough ferment and grow for 12-16 hours, depending on the temperature of the environment.

The third step is toasting the seeds, which I like to do the night before I mix the final dough. This way I do not have to wait for the seeds to cool prior to putting them in the mix. The sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds are placed in a medium to large saute pan and are cooked on medium heat until they are aromatic. You will smell them. Be careful not to burn them, or you will have to start over. When they are done, I strongly suggest that you put your face about an inch away from them and take a deep breath through your nose. The aroma is incredible, especially if they are salted.

One of the cool things about this bread is that all of the ingredients are mixed together, even the seeds and the soaker. Also, because of the sourdough build and the soaker, not much water is needed in the final mix. This makes the final scaling of ingredients a little easier. 

This bread also calls for malt syrup, but I use honey. Finding malt syrup locally is a bit of a hassle and the honey works just fine. A friend of mine is going to King Arthur for a course this weekend, and she is going to pick up some malt syrup for me. I can not wait to make authentic bagels in a boiled malt syrup and water bath. I have been wanting to make bagels with my girlfriend Kelly, since we started dating. Now we will finally be able to.

Once the sourdough is ready, this bread is mixed on first speed for three minutes and then on second speed for another three minutes. There will be significant gluten development due to the amount of bread flour in the final dough. The dough will have noticeable texture from the toasted seeds and the rye chops soaker.

This dough does not require a fold, so it is fermented for one hour. The next step is to shape it, then proof it for fifty to sixty minutes. Since, I gave my baking stone (which was in four pieces) to Caryn Roth, my dear friend and bread apprentice, I am without one. As a result, I have been baking my breads in loaf pans. To compensate for not having a stone, I have been placing a large cast iron skillet in the bottom rack of the oven to help retain the temperature of the oven during the loading and steaming of the oven. It is not quite the same as having a stone, but it has been working pretty well. The major downfall is that I can't make free standing loaves, however, there is a plus because pan loaves are perfect for toasting and for sandwiches.

Tonight, this bread is going to be enjoyed by my whole family including my Uncle Barry and Aunt Jean, who I have not seen since the winter. I am excited about the meal and the opportunity to share my bread with everyone. I have a feeling it is going to go over very well.

Bake On, Eat On, Live On!


1 comment :

  1. Where are the exact measurements?