Monday, November 19, 2012

Triple Seed Sourdough Rye: Editors Choice


There is something about the leaves aimlessly falling from the trees and the cool winter air of this time of year that makes me want to bake and eat sourdough rye bread. The tang, the authenticity of the culture, the flavor and aromas that are imparted, just remind me of a cozy fire, a lazy dog, an afghan and a great book. While I do not have a dog or a working fireplace, I do have an afghan, and some whole rye flour. This is the bread that I created, with my Uncle Barry in mind. I initially based this bread on the Flaxseed Bread, found in Hamelman's book, but I made so many changes that this bread deserves to be credited to Hearthbakedtunes, with inspiration from Hamelman and my Uncle.

My uncle love seeds, especially poppy seeds and sesame seeds. The last time my Uncle Barry and Aunt Jean came for dinner, I served the Toasted Sunflower and Pumpkin Seed Sourdough Rye and he exclaimed "Dave, I love anything with seeds and I even put poppy seeds and sesame seeds on my ice cream". I think that actually sounds pretty good. I am also a huge fan of poppy seeds. You very rarely see poppy seeds in bread. Often, they are on top of breads, but are rarely found in the dough. You will find sesame seeds, flax seeds, and sunflower seeds, but not poppy seeds. So I was insired to try something new. I knew that I wanted to bake a sourdough rye bread and I knew that I wanted to add poppy seeds. This is what I came up with.


The bread soaker in the original Flaxseed Bread called for 3.2 ounces of flax seeds and 9.6 ounces of water. This is very typical of a flaxseed soaker because flax seed absorbs a high amount of water and forms an almost gelatinous consistency. This is important so the flax will not disturb the gluten development during the mixing process. In my Triple Seed Rye, I used 0.8 ounces of poppy seeds, 1.2 ounces of unhulled sesame seeds and 1.2 ounces of golden flax seeds.

Since poppy seeds and sesame seeds do not absorb nearly as much water as flaxseeds, there was considerable unabsorbed water in the soaker the following day. My parents keep my house at 58 degrees at night so the soaker was very cold. Because such a high percentage of the water in this bread is contained in the sourdough and in the soaker, I decided to take a rather unorthodox approach. I strained the soaker through a fine mesh strainer. I then weighted out the water that I was able to pull out of the soaker (2.4 ounces). I then added this 2.4 ounces to the final dough measurement. I used hot water, which should compensate for the coldness of the seed soaker, and help to maintain a more productive final dough temperature.

The soaker after a 12 hour rest, as you can tell there was still a considerable amount of water unabsorbed, so I strained it as mentioned above.
Hamelman's bread called for medium rye flour, and since I mill my own, I used whole rye flour. I love the flavor imparted from using whole rye flour, especially in a sourdough build. The depth of flavor is much greater when the germ is not removed. Included is a picture of the sourdough build. It is rather heavy since whole rye is used and it is 80 percent hydrated. It still did well. Since my house is cold I am placing my sourdough builds on the water boiler to keep warm.

The dough prior to the mix
After the mix
As you can see, a lot of changes were made to this bread. In the future, when I make this bread again (assuming it is awesome) I will use 2.4 ounces less water in the soaker and add 2.4 ounces to the water in the final mix. I was also thinking that a very small amount of caraway in this bread might add a lot of flavor, but I need to be careful not to add too much because it might detract from the flavors from the other seeds. I think the addition of 0.05-0.1 ounces of caraway would be excellent in this bread.

I am not able to report yet on the flavor or eating quality of this bread because it is being saved for Thanksgiving at Barry and Jean's house. I want Barry to get the first bite. I can report that it came out of the oven looking great and smelling wonderful, with a good firm crust and what I hope to be a pleasantly moist crumb.

Remember, we have a lot to be thankful for, but what I am most thankful for is the loved ones that I get to share my labor of love with. My friends and my family!

Bake on


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