|Stages:||Stage 1 sponge, Stage 2 sponge, Final dough|
|Leaven:||Rye sour culture|
|Start to Finish:||14-16 hours|
|Hands-on Time:||25-30 minutes|
|Yield:||Two 1¾ lb/800 g loaves|
A couple of months ago, I posted a recipe for this Auvergne classic that used both a rye sour sponge and a yeasted rye sponge. Then I came across a video from the École internationale de boulangerie for this same bread, but built on a sour sponge only. Of course, me being me, I had to bake it as well – both for my own curiosity and also because I was teaching a rye baking workshop for the Bread Bakers Guild of America and needed about 2 lb/900g of stale rye bread, which I didn’t have on hand. This bread, being 100% rye and devoid of flavoring agents outside of salt, was the perfect candidate for staling (with enough left over for comparison tasting with my earlier loaf).
Except for the use of yeast in the first recipe, both breads are strikingly similar. Both breads contain 100% rye and both preferment 42% of total flour. Two points of difference are that the yeast version is hydrated at about 80% and contains 2% salt, while this version is hydrated at 91% and contains just over 1% salt.
Despite their similarities, the finished loaves were very different. For one thing, the crumb on this bread was far more open, owing, I think, to the higher hydration, and making for a much more pleasant chew. And while both loaves showcased the sweet-nutty flavor of the rye, I found this version’s more assertive sour finish – understandable, considering the two-stage sour sponge – much more to my taste.
I think if there’s a lesson to be learned, it’s that each of the world’s rye breads isn’t a single, carved-in-stone entity, but a constantly evolving embodiment of the culture and conditions of its birthplace. I’ve seen hundreds of rye bread recipes from all across Europe and America, each different, each with its own unique characteristics, and all worthy of baking and enjoying.
Stage 1 sponge (Day 1, Evening):
|Wholegrain rye flour||118||4.15||100%|
|Warm (105°F/41°C) water||118||4.15||100%|
|Rye sour culture||14||0.50||12%|
Stage 2 sponge (Day 2, Morning):
|Stage 1 sponge||250||8.80||100%|
|Wholegrain rye flour||250||8.80||100%|
|Warm (105°F/41°C) water||250||8.80||100%|
Final Dough (Day 2, Midday):
|Stage 2 sponge||750||26.40|
|Wholegrain rye flour||500||17.65|
|Warm (105°F/41°C) water||425||15.00|
In the mixer bowl, combine the final dough ingredients and use the dough hook at low (KA2) speed to mix until fully blended into a soft, sticky dough that gathers around the hook but doesn’t leave the sides of the bowl, 5-6 minutes.
Turn the dough onto a well-floured work surface and divide into two pieces, each weighing about 1 ¾ lb/800g. Use floured hands to gently shape each into a boule, then place each boule seam side up in a floured linen-lined banneton or cloth-lined proofing basket. Cover and proof at room temperature until the dough has visibly expanded and shows cracks or broken bubbles, 20-30 minutes.
Bake without steam for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 430°F/220°C and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature again to 390°F/200°C and bake until the loaves thump when tapped with a finger and the internal temperature is at least 200°F/93°C, 30-40 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool thoroughly before slicing.
|Whole rye flour||868||100.00%|
|Rye sour culture||14||1.61%|