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Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Enriched Artisan Sourdough Rye Bread

I came up with this recipe by fusing a rye bread recipe from a friend with my original artisan sourdough rye bread. My friend's recipe uses instant dry yeast instead of a sourdough starter. I replaced the yeast with my sourdough starter. I maintain my starter at 100% hydration using rye flour only. I reduced the amount of water and flour in my friend's recipe to offset the flour and water in my sourdough starter. These adjustments resulted in a dough hydration of 76% with a weight of just over 1 kilogram.  Enriching the dough with egg and shortening resulted in a softer crumb that I don't get with my original recipe. 

  • 250 grams Water
  • 150 grams Sourdough Starter
  • 43 grams Molasses (I use Miel de Caña (Sugar  Cane Syrup))
  • 1 large Egg
  • 22 grams Shortening
  • 5 grams Fennel Seed:  1 Tbs. (or 1 tsp if using ground fennel seed)
  • 2.5 grams Anise Seed (not Star of Anise):  1 tsp. 
  • 4.5 grams Caraway Seed:  2 tsp.
  • 8 grams salt
  • Zest of 1 Orange (Optional)
  • 150 grams Rye Flour
  • 350 grams Bread Flour
  • 20 grams Vital Wheat Gluten
  • Mix the sourdough starter and water into a large mixing bowl. I find a large plastic container with a tight-fitting lid works best for me.  Add the egg, shortening, and molasses. Mix to combine and then add all the seeds and the optional orange zest.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the flours, vital wheat gluten, and salt. Run a fork through the mix to make sure the flours are evenly distributed.
  • Gradually add the dry ingredients into the wet using a dough whisk or spoon until the flour is well blended. Coat your hands with flour and knead the dough for a couple of minutes. It will be sticky but that is the nature of rye flour. Cover the bowl with a tight lid or plastic wrap and let rest it for 30 minutes.  Do 3 sets of stretch and folds with wet fingertips 30 minutes apart. Let the dough sit at room temperature for roughly 10-12 hours.
  • After the long 10-12 hour proof, lightly flour a large board or counter. This is a high hydration dough, so gently scrape the dough out of the bowl. 
  • Flour your hands and gently stretch the dough into a rectangle. Try not to deflate the gases trapped in the dough. Now fold the dough in thirds and then in half. Gently shape the dough into a boule, or batard (round or oblong) for baking. 
  • Gently place the dough in a proofing basket dusted with rice flour for the final rise. If you don’t have a proofing basket, you can line a bowl with a well-floured kitchen towel and put the dough in there for the final rise. The final rise should take about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until the dough doubles in size. Make sure you cover the dough with a damp cloth, plastic wrap, or an inverted bowl to keep it from drying out.
  •  My oven preheats within 10 minutes, so I usually don't bother to preheat. If your oven takes longer, place your baking vessel and lid in the oven and preheat it to 450°F about 30 minutes before baking.
  • I bake in an oval enameled roaster, but you can use any vessel you like. A slow cooker’s ceramic pot with an oven-proof lid is also a great choice.
  • Gently transfer the dough into the hot baking container. Score the dough with a razor or sharp serrated knife and bake until the internal temp is about 200°F. Bake at 450°F for 25 minutes, remove the lid, drop the temperature to 400°F and continue baking for another 20-25 more minutes.

  • Let cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
You can prepare the dough for the long proofing time in the evening. Then, in the morning, give it the final shaping and second proof. If you want to prepare the dough earlier in the day, you can place the dough in the refrigerator for a few hours, and then pull it out for the 10-12 hour proof before you go to bed, and leave it at room temperature overnight.

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