Baking, Bread
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Sourdough baking tips and tricks learned over the years

An update to 100% whole wheat sourdough breadmaking with Rye flour

Let me start by mentioning where I got my inspiration on for the first time. The perfect loaf. This amazing blog by Maurizio Leo, who is so hands on and knowledgeable about all things baking. Past five years I have followed his blog, methods, and awesome Instagram page for inspiration. If you want technicality of hands-on baking, there is where you find it.

But if you are like me, a mom, homemaker who love to add sourdough to your weekly meals. Want to make one yourself or not a fan of supermarket made sourdough bread, then this post is for you my friend. I bake weekly for my family and we have stopped buying bread from the store for the most part. It has taken me several years to get here and have baked many stone hard loaves while learning my lessons. Thank god now I am in a much better place. Let me share my tips with you too. Let us read on!

First and foremost, I should emphasis that even if you do not have a sourdough starter you can still bake a good loaf. You just would have to do a longer rise. Rye, it needs at least 24 hours bulk fermentation and another 12 hours rise to have enough fermentation to give a soft loaf. Next, let ‘s talk little bit about main ingredient which is flour. It is vital to use freshest flour available to you depending upon where you are. this is hands down best way to ensure flavor. I do mill my own grains because I have found that to be the best way to get best flavor and also keep my flour from going bad. We invested in KoMo XL plus and I have been doing lots of multigrain baking since then. My KoMo mill enables me to buy my grains fresh in bulk suppliers grind my own flour whenever I need to bake. Yes! I have a baking operation going on my household baking that I do not regret.

After flour the next best investment I did was to buy natural rattan bread proofing baskets. Proofing baskets are such a wonderful thing to have when working with grain like rye that needs long time to proof. it helps the loaf to hold its shape and gives a nice rise in proof despite of the fact of lacking gluten.

Rye Bread ready for oven.

Next l will mention a little bit about fiber enrichments. I add wheat bran and flax seed meal to bring up the fiber level even higher and add vital wheat gluten to soften and enhance the crumb structure.  Fiber enriched loves do not rise that much and added gluten helps to get little bit more air into the dough and helps it rise more. The bread We are making today is still going to be denser and hearty because of the wheat bran and I want it that way to have a loaf which will release that energy slower, thus curbing the glycemic peaks. It has helped me curb my not so good habit of snacking between meals completely.

Adding extra fibers to your bread is optional but if you need a good rise from just 100% rye adding extra wheat gluten cannot be skipped. protein content of the bread need to be about 14% for the flour for it to have nicer crumb structure.

Another important tip is how to store your freshly baked bread. Home baked fresh bread does not last on counter longer because they do not have the additives to help extend the shelf life. I do like to make and bake my loaves weekly in one go so I need to store bread to last them long. Once baked I cover them with a clean towel and let it cool down completely. Then and store them in freezer in zip top bag until you are ready to use. Place the bread on the counter on the night before and you are going to use it to thaw out and get to room temperature. If you want to freeze the dough that can be done as well.

Finally, I bake my loaves of bread in cast iron Dutch oven and in extremely hot oven. I mean extremely hot. But for my friends who do not own cast iron Dutch ovens, I do have a work around. Place a metal baking pan or an empty bread pan in the lower rack of the oven while preheating. As soon as you put the bread to bake on the top rack, pour a 1 cup of water carefully to the empty pan and close the oven door. extra moisture from the steam will help the bread rise and expand faster yields deliciously crusty bread.

Now that I have shared all my bread baking tips with you lets move on to the recipe.

100% whole wheat fiber enriched bread my home style

100% Rye sourdough artisan loaf

Yields a 750 gram loaf.

Ingredients

  • 300 grams of Wholegrain dark rye flour
  • 100 grams of rye sourdough starter
  • 1 and half tsp of salt
  • 100 grams of wheat gluten
  • 2 tbsp of wheat bran ( optional)
  • 2 tbsp of flax meal (optional)
  • Enough water to make a wet dough.

Baking process


On the First Day……

Mix dry ingredients and whisk together few times. Add water to make a wet and sticky dough.

knead it for about 10 minutes really well. Rest it for half an hour and knead it again. Rest for another half an hour and knead it again. place it in well oiled bowl and cover with a lid. ferment for 24 hours in refrigerator.

On the Second Day …..

Take out the dough and knead it really well and shape. Be ready for sticky dense dough. How much your rye bread dough will rise really depend upon condition that you have in your kitchen. Do not be alarmed if it does not look doubled. It will feel softer in your hands when properly fermented. use dome flour to dust the surface and hands to control the dough from sticking too much.

Place the cover on bread proofing basket and dust it with flour really well. Place shaped loafs in the proofing basket it rise in the refrigerator lightly covered for another 12 to 24 hours.

when you are ready to bake. take the proofing basket out and allow it to come to room temperature and rise up a little bit. My rye bread actually took another 5 hours on the counter to be ready for baking.

Preheat the oven to 450 degree with Dutch ovens in side. Turn the loafs in to a parchment paper and scorch on the top.

Bake for 25 minutes until bread is golden and crispy. open the lid of Dutch oven and allow it to bake for another 5 to 10 minutes .

Take the loaf out of the oven and allow it to completely cool before cutting in to it. For best results leave the loaf for 24 hours on counter before cutting.

Enjoy with your favorite topping or curry on side.  

Rye sourdough bread wit curried dandelion greens