Sunday, 31 March 2013

Le Pain de Seigle de Thiézac (French Rye Bread from the Thiézac region)

You will need a sourdough starter for this recipe. If you are looking to make your own rye starter see here to find out how I did it. I actually enjoy rye bread more than wheat bread just because I love the taste. The fact that rye is more nutritionally better is just an added bonus. For more info read here. If you have been following the whole sourdough fiasco in this blog, you will know that I have been planning to make rye bread for a good few weeks now. One thing to note is that pure rye bread will not raise as much as wheat bread. So please do not be disappointed to see that the bread does not look all puffed up in volume. If you prefer a lighter bread you can mix rye flour or use rye starter with wheat flour to bake your bread. See here for a wheat bread recipe with rye starter.

Finally, I have had a chance to make pure rye bread with my rye sourdough starter. Although, I had initially planned on making German rye bread, I changed my mind once I came across the recipe for this French rye bread from the Thiézac region from Fresh loaf website. The pictures looked very inviting that I had to try it myself. For the original recipe look here. The only difference between the recipe given in the Fresh loaf and mine is that I skipped adding any commercial yeast. That is because I have regularly used and was sure of my starter. So I did not think I needed any extra help from the commercial yeast. However, if you are trying this out for the first time with your starter I suggest that you add the commercial yeast as well just in case. For this French bread it takes 3 or 4 days to slowly build the "levain" which is the yeast/leavening agent for the final bread. I started with 10 g of my rye sourdough starter and by the time it was 4 days I had nearly 700 g of the "levain" ready for my bread. This is a great example of how a little bit of sourdough starter can help with baking large quantity of bread. I ended baking 3 small loaves. If I am going to work on it for 4 days I thought I might as well make enough :) Also they can be frozen and keep very well for a good while.

Day 1:

10 g of any ripe starter at any hydration (mine is 100% hydration)
35 g medium rye flour
35 g water

Mix and leave it in room temperature until doubled, then move it into the refrigerator. Remember to replenish the starter :)

Day 2:

80 g starter (all from Day 1)
80 g medium rye flour
80 g water

 Same as day 1.

Day 3-4:

230 g starter (all but 10 gfrom day 3; store the 10 g of starter for the future)
230 g medium flour
230 g water

The original recipe said to "Mix and leave in room temperature for 6 hours or until it doubles".  But I left it in the fridge for 36 hrs to let it get really sour. Also I was very busy yesterday.

690 g starter (all from above)
345 g whole rye flour
345 g medium rye flour
400 g water (vary from 380 to 440 g)
20 g salt
1 tsp cooking oil

Mix and knead well for 15 mins. It is a very sticky dough with 76% hydration and very hard to handle. But try not to use too much flour/too little water while kneading, otherwise, the dough will get dense. You can use food processor/electric mixer or bread machine to do this part. Once the dough is elastic and smooth. Coat the dough with oil. Cover and leave to raise for 2 to 2.5 hrs or until doubled.

I divided the dough next into 3 equal parts and shaped 2 of them into loaves without punching out too much of the dough. Cover and leave them for a final proofing for 1 hr.

The next one I made into a twist and let it proof for the final 1 hr. Unfortunately, I do not have any proofing basket. So the twist did not keep it's shape for long as it expanded :(

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (fan assisted).

Bake each loaf in the middle rack for 35-40 mins.

The trick to enjoying rye bread is to slice them thinly, toast them and enjoy them warm. Although, Anjalie & I finished half of a loaf just warm after taking it our of the oven. Yum...excuse me while I listen to my own advice. Hope you enjoy yours soon!   

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