|Stages:||Sponge, Soaker, Final dough|
|Leaven:||Rye sour culture, Instant yeast|
|Start to Finish:||22-28 hours|
|Hands-on Time:||30-40 minutes|
|Yield:||One 3 lb./1.36 kg loaf|
For a bread that many Germans consider to be a best of breed Lower Saxony rye, recipes for Oldenburg Rye are surprisingly scarce; in fact, it took me several months, plus the help of a German baking friend, to locate this recipe on the website of a large north German baking ingredients company.
The search was worth the hassle: this is a bread that combines the robust flavors and mouth-feel of coarse rye meal with the moist crumb of a stale-bread soaker and the intense sour of an 18-24 hour sponge.
The sponge ripens at 85°F/30°C – the sweet spot for yeast and lactobacillus activity. And although the coarse rye meal sponge shows little expansion, its powerful acid aroma attests to the microbial activity. Fine rye meal in the final dough, plus a 20-minute mix, produce the starchy gel that gives the bread its structure and a small addition of instant yeast boosts the leavening opower of the sponge to create an open crumb that’s unusual in a 100% rye bread.
If you like food with strong flavors, as I do, this is a bread that will stand up to them, from robust veined cheeses to smoked and cured meat and fish, as well as savory soups and stews. I’ll be baking this Oldenburg Rye again … and again.
|Coarse rye meal||415||14.65||100%|
|Warm (105°F/41°C) water||415||14.65||100%|
|Rye sour culture||40||1.40||10%|
The sponge will have absorbed all the water and have a strongly acidic smell, but will not have significantly expanded. To reach the specified ripening temperature, set the sponge in a cold oven with the light on or preheat the oven to 100°F/38°C and then turn it off, repeating every few hours.
|Stale rye bread||85||3.00||100%|
|Warm (105°F/41°C) water||170||6.00||200%|
|Fine rye meal||289||10.25|
|Warm (105°F/41°C) water||165||5.85|
|Sugar beet molasses, light cane molasses or dark corn syrup||8||0.30|
Mash the soaker and combine it with the final dough ingredients. Use the paddle at low (KA2) speed to mix, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until the coarse rye meal has broken down, 20-25 minutes.
Use a plastic scraper and wet hands to transfer the dough into a well-greased 9″x4″x4″/23x10x10 cm. Pullman loaf pan or 9″x5″x3″/23x13x8 cm standard loaf pan. Use hands and scraper to pack the dough, which will be soft and very sticky, evenly in the pan and smooth the top. Cover and proof at room temperature (70°F/21°C) until the dough reaches the lip of the pan, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 480°F/250°C with the baking surface in the middle and a steam pan on a lower shelf. Brush the loaf with water and use a docking wheel, fork or chopstick to dock the surface thoroughly and evenly to a depth of at least ¼”/0.6 cm. Bake with steam 10 minutes, then remove the steam pan, reduce the temperature to 390°F/200°C and bake until the internal temperature is at least 198°F/92°C, 40-50 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let rest 24-48 hours before slicing.
|Coarse rye meal||415||58.95%|
|Fine rye meal||289||41.05%|
|Rye sour culture||40||5.68%|