Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Granola Bar Bread with Rye Sourdough

massive amount of three stage rye sourdough build
I am sitting here sipping a Hot Toddy, getting over my seasonal bronchitis, so I thought I would share one of my recent creations: Three-Stage Sourdough Rye Granola Bar Bread, which I baked with Thanksgiving in mind. Every year I go to my Uncle Barry and Aunt Jean's for Turkey Day and recently I have been bringing bread. This bread is going to b

Toasted sunflower seeds and oats

e a hit.  

I had a bunch of left over three-stage sourdough build that I was saving for a special bake of Vollkornbrot for a new client of mine, one of the pharmacists at work. So I decided to do some experimenting. For quite some time, I have been toying with the idea of combining a light to medium sourdough rye bread with a deconstructed granola bar. I decided to put my ideas to the test and and this is what I came up with. 

This bread combines flour with my favorite auxiliary bread ingredients, cranberries, raisins, sunflower seeds and oats. I have made a walnut, pecan and cranberry rye bread in the past and it happens to be one of my favorite original recipes.  I have a feeling this one will top that bread, mainly because of the addition of toasted oats and salted toasted sunflower seeds. 

Soaked Raisins and Cranberries

This bread is 35% whole rye and 65% bread flour, which should provide a bread with a good chew, a great crust, and a medium rye flavor without adding too much heaviness. You can get away with a smaller percentage of rye flour and still get a rich sour rye flavor when you use a three-stage build. The finer attributes in this bread do not come from the ingredients themselves, but rather how they are handled. 2 oz of raisins and 2 oz of cranberries are placed in a small bowl and are then covered with warm water for 15 minutes. This allows the berries to absorb water without releasing too much of their natural flavor and sweetness. This added moisture will prevent these high sugar ingredients from burning during the 45 minute bake. The other technique is to toast the sunflower seeds and the oats. Even if the sunflower seeds are already toasted, I always re-toast them.  This heats the oils within and extracts their nuttiness and infuses the dough with some great flavors. The oats are also toasted. I love the taste of toasted grains, no matter what grains I use.  I think that one of my next projects will be a toasted rye bread.  I have also been anxious to make a sprouted grain bread, especially with some organic home-sprouted rye flour. I will wait on that one until next year while I bake through my Bread Mentor, Richard Miscovich's new book, which I am very excited about. 

The fruit and seed filled dough
This new bread is really rather simple to make once the three-stage sour is built and the auxiliary ingredients are handled. The sour and water are added to the mixing bowl and stirred with a spatula to help break up the starter. Then the remaining ingredients are added. (If a three-stage stage build is not used, I would recommend adding 1/3 tsp dry yeast if you have the time, but this is not essential). The bread is mixed for three minutes on first speed and then two minutes on second speed. The dough is then sprinkled with the oats, seeds, and dried fruit and is mixed on first speed for about 1 minute until the auxiliary ingredients are dispersed evenly throughout the dough. The bread is then placed in a sprayed bowl and is allowed to sit for about 90 minutes at room temperature. (You may need more time depending on the ambient temperature of your baking environment). The bread is then shaped into boules and placed into brotforms that are floured with course rye or whole wheat flour.  I do this for effect rather than purpose. I then let these babies rise for another 60-70 minutes. They are then baked at 460 for 20 minutes and then finished at 430 for 20-30 minutes. 

The loaves are then allowed to cool and are kept in brown paper bags and are then dispensed to friends and family for Thanksgiving! 

Bake On! Eat On! Enjoy On!

-DW, The Rye King

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