Monday, November 25, 2013

Sourdough Rye with Walnuts, with two stage build

I have made this bread at least four times in the past but I have yet to be totally pleased with the results. Fifth times a charm....This is the first time that i baked this bread with a three stage rye sourdough build. The 3-stage process really adds quite a bit of hearty sour flavor and allows the baker to do without adding commercial yeast. I actually forgot to feed the build before I left for work, but Kelly was there to save the day! I called her from work and gave here detailed instruction on what needed to be done. Kelly was Great. (And she still is.) She did exactly what had to be done and her efforts ensured that I would be able to bake that evening. 

This bread incorporates 50% of its flour weight from whole rye and 20% of its weight from walnuts, which I roughly chop and toast for the wonderful flavor and color that it contributes. It gives an almost purple/lavender hue to the crumb. It's pretty cool. Most important, the toasting adds a meaty nutty flavor to the bread. I like to use medium to large pieces so that you really get to chew the nuts when you bite into this bread. Another interesting thing about this bread is that when you toast it, the nuts brown and create another layer of flavor when you actually eat the bread. 

I have to be honest, this sourdough is actually only a two stage build, but because I failed to feed it properly during the second feeding, I decided to feed it twice as much as I normally would have and it did still have a nice sourness and tang.

30 percent of the flour (and 60% of the rye flour) is pre-fermented in this bread, which accounts for good acidity and rye flavor. This bread comes together very easily once the sourdough is built. All of the ingredients get added to the bowl except for the nuts. (Speaking of the nuts, most recipes tell you to toast the nuts and let them cool. I prefer using warm nuts in my breads. I think it add to the flavor infusion during the bulk fermentation phase). The nuts are added after the dough has mixed for three minutes on first speed and three minutes on second speed. The bread is then mixed for 30-45 seconds just to ensure that the walnuts are placed evenly throughout the dough. The bread is then given 90 minutes to bulk ferment (if yeast is used only 50 minutes) and then another hour once the breads are shaped.

The bread is then baked at 460 degrees for 15 minutes. Then the temperature is reduced to 440 degrees until the bread is done which is about 30 minutes depending on the size of the boules or batards. I once again proofed these in brotforms for the signature dough rings, but I am going to try to use my couches now that I have some stencils. 

Bake On!
-DW, The Rye King

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