22 March 2012

SOURDOUGH BREAD WITH RYE AND SPELT

SOURDOUGH BREAD WITH RYE AND SPELT
SOURDOUGH BREAD WITH RYE AND SPELT
Our Sourdough adventure began a few weeks ago with the actual Sourdough Starter. The Fabulous Baker Brothers had shown in one of their programs how easy it is to make it from scratch: put flour and water in a pot, stir it, feed it, and wait for the yeasty magic to happen. I was amazed how easy it all looked, but several websites and pages of notes later, had what we needed to get started. The Brussels yeasts happily moved in with us within a couple of days, and after a week we were able to bake our first ever Sourdough bread. It was not perfect, as we did not like the crumbly consistency so much, and there was not enough salt and taste; the second bread we tried had too much molasses that was very overpowering. Apart from that, all breads rose very well, and we ate them to the last crumb. Now we found this recipe, and to me it tastes, smells and has a texture just
like Austrian Bauernbrot (Farmer's bread). It's just amazing how we can go from nothing, to yeast in a pot, to beautiful sourdough bread so quickly. We can only encourage to give it a try.

I will add a page on the Sourdough Starter too, but need to sieve though my notes first...

The original starter we created was with wheat flour but has since been replaced with rye, therefore the darker colour.

The recipe below, the best we've made so far and the most similar to the bread we eat at home in Austria, I found on www.chefkoch.de, posted by ginni1866. 

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Day 1 / Morning
Step 1: Reanimate Starter
This step is for a Starter kept in the fridge. 
(For a Starter already at room temperature, and active, feed as usual and go to Step 2)

You will need:
25g Starter
25g rye flour
25g bottled still water, at room temperature, or enough to make a thick paste

Take the Starter from the fridge in the morning. Move 25g into a different pot (put the rest back into the fridge). Let the starter warm up a bit at room temperature. Then add 25g of rye flour and just enough water to make a thick paste. Stir well, make a level line to see later how much the starter has risen. Cover with paper towel held in place with a rubber band and leave to stand at room temperature (app. 20 C) to rise. Our rye starter rises very fast even when just out of the fridge. It should really double in size before being used for baking. If not, repeat feedings, removing all but 25g every time, and adding 25g flour and sufficient water, as above.
SOURDOUGH BREAD WITH RYE AND SPELT
Day 1 / Evening
Step 2: Prepare Culture proof
In a large enough bowl, add:
200g rye flour, type 1150
(our flour comes from a local Bio shop and does not state the type...)
200g lukewarm water (no warmer than 35C) (I use bottled water, not really sure if necessary, or could also be tap water at this point)
50g active Starter (from Step 1)
Stir well, cover with a paper towel held in place with a rubber band and leave to stand at room temperature (app. 20 C) for app. 12-16 hours (over night) to rise.
The Culture proof at this point is like a thick paste, rather than thick pancake dough but it perfectly rises, so no need to add additional water
SOURDOUGH BREAD WITH RYE AND SPELT
Day 2 / Morning
Step 3: Remove 50g of the Culture proof for the next bread
I added this as a separate step, because it's important not to forget it. By now the proof should have doubled in size with a lot of bubbles visible on the side, and with a spongey consistency when stirred - unfortunately forgot to take a picture... Remove 50g of the Culture proof, put it into a jam jar or any other suitable pot and keep it in the fridge until next time. At this point, even if you used a wheat starter for your Culture proof, you will end up with an additional rye starter. We actually kept both, and it turned out to be a great starter, very active and easy to keep alive it seems - well so far so good. Alternatively add it back to your old Starter kept in the fridge. 
SOURDOUGH BREAD WITH RYE AND SPELT
Day 2 / Morning
Step 4: Prepare Dough Proof
In a large mixing bowl, add: 
400g rye flour, type 1150
200g spelt flour, type 630
320 g water (the original recipe says you can also use buttermilk, but I have not tried it)
the culture proof (minus 50g Starter) prepared on the previous day
20g salt
2 tsp spice mix
additional seeds for the bread surface

Note on ingredients: 
- We used rye and spelt flour from a Bio shop. It does not say the 'type' but works fine for us. 
- Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature. If necessary prepare on the night before. I actually weigh and mix all dry ingredients on the day before as it makes things faster in the morning. 
- Know your salt: we like our bread tasty in its own right. The one that works best for us is sea salt, I use exactly 20g, but grind it first in a pestle an mortar
- Spice mix: I didn't know how much to use of which spice so made up one that consists of 2 tbsp fennel, 3 tsp caraway seeds and 2 tsp coriander. I put it in a coffee grinder and ground it half, leaving some of the seeds half ground. I add 2 tsp of this mixture to the flour. 
- The original recipe also calls for 5g of yeast, but we made our bread without, and it turned out just fine. But we do like a dense texture. 

Mix all ingredients with a kitchen machine, my Kitchenaid with dough hook works perfectly, at lowest speed. Stop every so often and  remove the dough from the sides with a spatula. After a while the dough should not stick anymore to the sides of the bowl. Alternatively knead the dough by hand for app. 20 min. The dough might be sticky, but should still be manageable. The consistency improves the longer it is kneaded. Normally bread dough needs to be kneaded until it's smooth, silky and stretchy. This specific dough does not seem to become so silky and stretchy. It still rises and bakes well.
SOURDOUGH BREAD WITH RYE AND SPELT
Day 2 / Morning
Step 5: Rest the Dough 
Put the dough onto a surface and leave to rest for 30 minutes. The dough should roughly keep it's shape. If it flattens to much, knead in additional flour. 

Day 2 / Morning
Step 6: Form the Loaf
Place the rested dough onto a surface and flatten it out a bit. Pull one side gently to the side and fold it inwards. Turn the dough a little, then pull the next piece gently and fold it inwards. Carry on until you have pulled in all the sides and folded them inwards and you have created a nice round shape. You will now have the nice side of the bread lying on the work surface. This shaping should help to keep the bread nicely in shape during baking. If you wish, add additional seeds on top of the bread: turn the dough over so you have the nice side on top. Moisten a little. Sprinkle the seeds (I use whole Caraway and Fennel seeds) on the work surface then put the bread with the upper, nice, side into the seeds and roll around until all seeds have attached. Press the seeds down gently to make sure they stick then sprinkle with a little flower. 
SOURDOUGH BREAD WITH RYE AND SPELT
Day 2 / Morning
Step 7: Leave to rise/proof
Place the dough, with the nice side down, in a well floured proofing basketOurs is 22cm and is suitable for 750-1500g bread. It leaves a beautiful pattern on the bread. Cover the basket loosely with plastic foil and attach with a rubber band. We have started to collect shower caps from hotels, unused of course :-) they work very well instead. Leave to proof until the dough has doubled in size. This may take up to 4 hours. 

SOURDOUGH BREAD WITH RYE AND SPELT
SOURDOUGH BREAD WITH RYE AND SPELT
Day 2 / Early afternoon
Step 8: Bake the Bread
Start to pre-heat the oven, including the baking tray, to 250°C during the last part of the bread rise. When the oven is hot, place a shallow container with boiling water onto the oven floor to provide steam during baking. Once the bread has doubled in size, tilt it upside-down (nice side up) onto the baking tray, then slash the surface with a sharp knife, or even better a razor blade, and bake as follows:
15 mins at 250°C: during this time, spray inside the oven (not the bread) every 5 mins with cold water
20 mins at 200°C
20 mins at 180°C
The steam from the water container and water sprays make the crust crunchy. To test if the bread is baked through, tap it on the underside, it should sound hollow.
SOURDOUGH BREAD WITH RYE AND SPELT
Day 2 / Early afternoon
Step 9: Rest the Bread
Leave the bread on a cooling rack until completely cooled before cutting it.
SOURDOUGH BREAD WITH RYE AND SPELT
Storing:
Sourdough bread stores very well without going stale. To keep a crunchy crust, simply store wrapped in bread paper. 

Freezing:
When frozen very fresh, the bread retains it's crunch even when frozen and defrosted. We tend to cut our bread into slices with little sheets of bread paper between to prevent them from sticking together. 

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SOURDOUGH BREAD WITH RYE AND SPELT

SOURDOUGH BREAD WITH RYE AND SPELTSOURDOUGH BREAD WITH RYE AND SPELTSOURDOUGH BREAD WITH RYE AND SPELT

Day 1 / Evening
Step 2: Prepare Culture proof
In a large enough bowl, add:
200g rye flour, type 1150
(our flour comes from a local Bio shop and does not state the type...)
200g lukewarm water (no warmer than 35C) (I use bottled water, not really sure if necessary, or could also be tap water at this point)
50g active Starter (from Step 1)
Stir well, cover with a paper towel held in place with a rubber band and leave to stand at room temperature (app. 20 C) for app. 12-16 hours (over night) to rise.
The Culture proof at this point is like a thick paste, rather than thick pancake dough but it perfectly rises, so no need to add additional water

Day 2 / Morning
Step 3: Remove 50g of the Culture proof for the next bread

Day 2 / Morning
Step 4: Prepare Dough Proof
In a large mixing bowl, add: 
400g rye flour, type 1150
200g spelt flour, type 630
320 g water (the original recipe says you can also use buttermilk, but I have not tried it)
the culture proof (minus 50g Starter) prepared on the previous day
20g salt
2 tsp spice mix
additional seeds for the bread surface

(Spice mix: 2 tbsp fennel, 3 tsp caraway seeds and 2 tsp coriander. Put it in a coffee grinder and grind it half, leaving some of the seeds half ground.) 

Mix all ingredients with a kitchen machine, with the dough hook, at lowest speed. Stop every so often and  remove the dough from the sides with a spatula. After a while the dough should not stick anymore to the sides of the bowl. Alternatively knead the dough by hand for app. 20 min. The dough might be sticky, but should still be manageable. The consistency improves the longer it is kneaded. Normally bread dough needs to be kneaded until it's smooth, silky and stretchy. This specific dough does not seem to become so silky and stretchy. It still rises and bakes well.

Day 2 / Morning
Step 5: Rest the Dough 
Put the dough onto a surface and leave to rest for 30 minutes. The dough should roughly keep it's shape. If it flattens to much, knead in additional flour. 

Day 2 / Morning
Step 6: Form the Loaf
Place the rested dough onto a surface and flatten it out a bit. Pull one side gently to the side and fold it inwards. Turn the dough a little, then pull the next piece gently and fold it inwards. Carry on until you have pulled in all the sides and folded them inwards and you have created a nice round shape. You will now have the nice side of the bread lying on the work surface. This shaping should help to keep the bread nicely in shape during baking. If you wish, add additional seeds on top of the bread: turn the dough over so you have the nice side on top. Moisten a little. Sprinkle the seeds (I use whole Caraway and Fennel seeds) on the work surface then put the bread with the upper, nice, side into the seeds and roll around until all seeds have attached. Press the seeds down gently to make sure they stick then sprinkle with a little flower. 

Day 2 / Morning
Step 7: Leave to rise/proof
Place the dough, with the nice side down, in a well floured proofing basketCover the basket loosely with plastic foil and attach with a rubber band. Leave to proof until the dough has doubled in size. This may take up to 4 hours. 

Day 2 / Early afternoon
Step 8: Bake the Bread
Start to pre-heat the oven, including the baking tray, to 250°C during the last part of the bread rise. When the oven is hot, place a shallow container with boiling water onto the oven floor to provide steam during baking. Once the bread has doubled in size, tilt it upside-down (nice side up) onto the baking tray, then slash the surface with a sharp knife, or even better a razor blade, and bake as follows:
15 mins at 250°C: during this time, spray inside the oven (not the bread) every 5 mins with cold water
20 mins at 200°C
20 mins at 180°C
The steam from the water container and water sprays make the crust crunchy. To test if the bread is baked through, tap it on the underside, it should sound hollow.

Day 2 / Early afternoon
Step 9: Rest the Bread
Leave the bread on a cooling rack until completely cooled before cutting it.
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SOURDOUGH BREAD WITH WHOLE WHEAT, RYE AND SPELT

I made the same recipe with a special 'Bouquet' flour mix from our Bio shop that contains mainly whole wheat, rye, spelt, but also a mixture of kernels and seeds. Unfortunately the exact quantities of each are not stated, but I followed the recipe using just this flour for all stages. The bread was lighter in texture and colour, but rose and baked just as well so I think it's really not so important to use exactly the flour as stated, as long as the quantities are followed according to the recipe and I will definitely experiment more. 
SOURDOUGH BREAD WITH WHOLE WHEAT, RYE AND SPELT
SOURDOUGH BREAD WITH WHOLE WHEAT, RYE AND SPELT

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