65% Whole Grain Rye Bread

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This bread is a variation of 65% Whole Wheat Sourdough Boule replacing the Red Fife and bread bread flour with a mixture of bread, high gluten, pumpernickel (rye), and einkorn flours.  Since rye has less gluten than wheat, I swapped out some of the bread flour for high gluten flour to compensate.  The resulting loaf was still denser than the Red Fife loaf, but it had a good flavor and crumb, i.e., it was a success.  The loaf was baked in a Lodge 3.2 Quart Cast Iron Combo Cooker . 

The basic process is to build up a quantity of active starter, mix the dough with a long final rise in the refrigerator, and then bake the dough in the combo cooker, first with the lid on (to create a moist environment for good expansion and a crispy crust, and then with the lid off (to dry and brown the crust).

I proofed the dough in a banneton (reed basket) with a cloth liner.  Following a suggestion in Karyn Lynn Newman’s book Sourdough by Science, I dusted the liner with rice flour vs. wheat flour to reduce the tendency of the dough to stick to the proofing container.

Initial Levain (Morning day 1)

50-60 g. (50/50 by weight) sourdough starter

100 g. bread flour

100 g. warmish water

First Feeding (Evening day 1)

Initial Levain

100 g. bread flour

100 g. warmish water

Second Feeding (Morning day 2)

50-60 g. from first feeding

100 g. whole grain Einkorn flour (or Emmer, Spelt, or Red Fife flour)

100 g. warmish water

Final dough (Make Evening day 2 – Bake Morning day 3)

200 g. starter (there will be a little extra to discard)

310 g. warmish water

150 g. high gluten flour

150 g. King Arthur Flour pumpernickel flour

100 g. Whole grain Einkorn flour

11 g. fine sea salt

The morning of the first day mix together the sourdough starter, bread flour and water.  Cover and allow to sit on the counter.

The evening of the first day (8-12 hours after the initial mixing) add the additional bread flour and water to the levain.  Mix well, cover and allow to sit on the counter.

The morning of the second day, take 50-60 g. of the refreshed starter and mix it with the Einkorn flour and water.  Cover and allow to sit on the counter.  Discard the rest of the of the starter from the first feeding.

The evening of the second day (7-8 hours later) put 200 g. of the starter into a 6-quart doubling container along with the 310 g. of water.  Mix with a dough whisk to dissolve the starter.  Add high gluten, einkorn, and pumpernickel flours and mix with a dough whisk until well incorporated.  Sprinkle the sea salt on top of the dough and allow to rest for 20-30 minutes covered.

After it rests, wet your hand.  Grab some dough from the bottom of the tub and stretch and fold it over the top of the dough.  Repeat a couple more times.  Then make several pincer cuts in the dough and stretch and fold the dough over itself.  Repeat cutting and folding the dough until the ingredients are well mixed.  Let it rest for about 2 minutes and then repeat the process.  Within about 5 minutes, the dough should be mixed.  Cover and let it rest for 10 minutes.

After the 10-minute rest, with a wet hand, grab some dough from the bottom, stretch it and fold it over the top of the dough.  Do this a few times and then recover the dough for another rest.

After the dough has spread over the bottom of the tub (at least 20 minutes after the first fold), again stretch and fold the dough a few times using a wet hand.  Allow to rest until the dough has again spread over the bottom of the tub (at least 20 minutes after the second fold), again stretch and fold the dough a few times using a wet hand.  There are 3 folds in total.

Cover and allow to the dough to ferment until it has expanded to about ½ inch below the 2-quart mark on the tub. This will likely take about 4-5 hours depending on the temperature in the kitchen.

After the dough has proofed, flour a work surface and a banneton with a cloth liner.  Ease the dough out of the doubling container and with floured hands form it into a ball.  Put it in the banneton seam side up and put the entire container in a clean plastic bag, such as a supermarket produce bag.  Tie the bag closed and put the banneton and bag into the refrigerator for an overnight rise.

The next morning, put a heavy oven-proof pot and lid (~5 quart in size) separately into the oven and heat to 450 degrees.  After about 30 minutes when everything is preheated, carefully remove the pot from the oven and turn the banneton upside down over the empty pot.  (If using the combo cooker, score the top with a lamé or sharp knife in a hashtag pattern.)  After the dough falls into the pot, put the lid on and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove the lid and bake for another 15-20 minutes until the crust is nicely browned but not burned.  Remove the pot from the oven and with a spatula, remove the bread from the pot and allow to cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before cutting it.  (I have been speeding up the process by having the bread cool on a rack under a ceiling fan.)


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