|Stages:||3-stage sponge, Final dough|
|Leaven:||Rye sour culture|
|Start to Finish:||24-28 hours|
|Hands-on Time:||35-40 minutes|
|Yield:||One 2¼ lb/1.0 kg loaf|
Lublin Rye, which I found in the Polish bread blog Adam Piekarz (“Adam’s Bakes”) appeals to me on many levels. Firstly, its history: according to Adam, “back in the 1960s, when the content of rye bread was regulated by the [Communist] state, Lubelski was considered a great luxury because it used 100% white rye flour, which was available only at certain times of the year.” Second, it’s the most basic of rye breads, containing only rye flour, water, salt and sour culture. If nothing else, I was expecting a bread that showcased the subtlety of white rye and the balance of a three-stage sponge.
Three-stage sponges are especially interesting from a technical and chemical perspective. The first stage, which generally hydrates at 100-120%, is aimed at strengthening the yeast, i.e., leavening power of the sponge. The second stage, which is much stiffer – in this case, only 57% hydrated – is designed to promote the development of the lactic acid bacteria, with the low hydration favoring the production of acetic, rather than lactic acid. Finally, the third stage, again hydrated to around 100%, brings the microorganisms back onto balance, resulting a a robust culture with well-defined acidity and solid leavening power.
The process, albeit a bit time-challenged, was really enjoyable. The sponges developed beautifully and the dough came out of the mixer moderately firm and easy to handle. Nor did the bread disappoint: my effort was rewarded with a tender, close-crumbed loaf whose subtle, nicely balanced sour played against the subtle sweet nuttiness of the white rye. I at the first slice unadorned, and then with a light coating of sweet butter, which let the flavors come shining through. That evening, we filled it with pastrami and cole slaw, for which the Lubelski proved itself a perfect complement.
Stage 1 sponge (Day 1, Evening):
|White rye flour||40||1.40||100%|
|Warm (105°F/41°C) water||40||1.40||100%|
In the mixer bowl combine the Stage 1 sponge ingredients by hand.
Cover and ferment at room temperature (70°F/21°C) overnight, 8-10 hours. The sponge will have become very bubbly and visibly expanded.
Stage 2 sponge (Day 2, Morning):
|White rye flour||100||3.55||100%|
|Warm (105°F/41°C) water||40||1.40||40%|
Add the water to the Stage 1 sponge and stir until evenly dissolved, then add the flour, kneading by hand into a stiff dough.
Cover and ferment at room temperature until doubled in volume, 6-8 hours.
Stage 3 sponge (Day 2, Afternoon):
|White rye flour||215||7.60||100%|
|Warm (105°F/41°C) water||285||10.05||133%|
Add the water to the Stage 2 sponge and stir until evenly dissolved, then add the flour and mix into a smooth dough.
Cover and ferment at room temperature until the sponge becomes bubbly and expands to at least twice its original volume, 5-7 hours.
Final Dough (Day 2, Evening):
|White rye flour||365||12.85|
|Warm (105°F/41°C) water||100||3.55|
Add the final dough ingredients to the Stage 3 sponge and use the dough hook to mix at low (KA2) speed until the dough comes together and starts climbing the dough hook, 8-10 minutes. Cover and ferment at room temperature until the dough has visibly grown, about 30 minutes.
Turn the dough onto a well-floured work surface.
Use floured hands to shape the dough into a batard or boule and place on a well-floured peel, if using a baking stone, or on a parchment-lined sheet pan.
Cover and proof at room temperature until the loaf has grown to 1½ times its original size and the surface shows cracks or broken bubbles, 60-75 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 480°F/240°C with the baking surface in the middle and a steam pan on a lower shelf. Bake 5 minutes with steam, then remove the steam pan, lower the temperature to 410°F/210°C and bake until the crust is light brown and the internal temperature is at least 198°F/92°C, about 30 minutes. Turn off the oven, spray or brush the loaf with water and bake with residual heat for another 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool thoroughly before slicing.
|White rye flour||720||100.00%|
|Rye sour culture||20||2.78%|