Swiss Rye Ring/Brasciadela/Kantonsbrot Graubünden

Brasc_slice

Rye %: 69%
Stages: Rye sponge, Wheat poolish, Final dough
Leaven: Rye sour culture, Instant yeast
Start to Finish: 13-15 hours
Hands-on Time: 30-35 minutes
Yield: Two 1¼ lb. (575 g.) loaves

Graubünden is Switzerland’s largest canton, extending eastward between Austria to the north and Italy to the south. It’s also Switzerland’s most mountainous canton, home to several glaciers, as well as the 11,853-foot Tödi and 13,284 foot Piz Bernina. Not surprising, then, that its bread culture is based on rye. Like the circular breads of Scandinavia, Brasciadela’s ring shape made it easy to store the breads on poles hung from the ceiling during the long Alpine winter.

I adapted this bread from a recipe I found in the wonderful blog Bernd’s Bakery, which is written by a Bavarian baker who lives in northern Switzerland and who generously has shared his collection of traditional Swiss breads. The original recipe calls for Type 1150 rye, a medium-light grade that’s unavailable in the US; instead, I used a blend of white and medium rye that produces a virtually identical composition.

Like many Alpine breads, this one is built on two sponges – a low-hydration sour rye sponge that favors acetic acid formation and a high-extraction wheat flour poolish that’s refrigerated overnight to bring out the wheat’s nutty sweetness. The preparation and baking are straightforward and the result is a smooth, tight crumbed loaf that combines the tang of its sour, the spiciness of rye, and the mellowness of a well-matured wheat sponge. This is a tasty and basic all-around rye-wheat mischbrot, as good with butter and fruit preserves as with strong-flavored cured meats and fish.

Rye Sponge:

Ingredient

Grams

Ounces

Baker’s
Percentage

Medium rye flour

300

10.60

100%

Warm (105°F/41°C) water

200

7.05

67%

Rye sour culture

20

0.70

7%

Brasc_sponge

 

Combine the sponge ingredients by hand into a stiff dough, cover and ferment at room temperature (70°F/21°C) until doubled in volume 10-12 hours or overnight.

 

Wheat Poolish:

Ingredient

Grams

Ounces

Baker’s
Percentage

First clear flour

200

7.05

100%

Cold water

200

7.05

100%

Instant yeast

8

0.30

4%

Brasc_poolish

 

Mix the poolish ingredients by hand, cover and refrigerate 10-12 hours or overnight.

 

 

Final Dough:

Ingredient

Grams

Ounces

Rye sponge

520

18.35

Wheat poolish

408

14.40

Medium rye flour

110

3.88

White rye flour

210

7.41

First clear flour

82

2.89

Warm (105°F/41°C) water

170

6.00

Salt

20

0.71

Brasc_mix

In the mixer, combine the final dough ingredients and use the dough hook at low (KA2) speed to mix into a stiff, slightly sticky dough that leaves the sides of the bowl and gathers around the hook, 6-8 minutes. Cover the dough and bulk ferment at room temperature until doubled in volume, 60-75 minutes.

Brasc_benchTurn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it into two pieces weighing about 26 oz./750 g each. Form each piece into an oblong about 18 inches/45 cm long and 2 inches/5 cm in diameter. Shape each into a ring, wetting the ends to seal, and place on a well-floured peel, if using a baking stone, or parchment-lined sheet pan.

Cover and proof at room temperature until the breads have visibly expanded and surface shows cracks or broken bubbles.

Brasc_dock

Preheat the oven to 480°F/250°C with the baking surface in the middle and a steam pan on a lower shelf. Dock the surface of each loaf thoroughly and evenly to a depth of at least ¼”/0.6 cm. with a fork, chopstick or docking wheel.

 

Bake with steam 15 minutes, then remove the steam pan, reduce the temperature to 410°F/210°C and bake until the loaves thump when tapped with a finger and the internal temperature is at least 198°F/92°C, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool thoroughly before slicing.

Brasc_Loaf

Baker’s Percentages:

Ingredient

g

%

TOTAL FLOUR

902

100.00%

   Medium rye flour

410

45.45%

   First clear flour

282

31.26%

   White rye flour

210

23.28%

Water

570

63.19%

Salt

20

2.22%

Instant yeast

8

0.89%

Rye sour culture

20

2.22%

TOTAL FORMULA

1,520

168.51%

% total flour prefermented

500

55.43%

% rye flour prefermented

300

33.26%

% wheat flour prefermented

200

22.17%


4 Comments

  • Karin Anderson

    April 12, 2016

    I love that shape! Interesting that it is not just to look fancy, but made it easier to store the bread. Knowing more facts about the history of a bread is more satisfying than just a formula by itself.

    Reply
  • Rod

    April 14, 2016

    Not sure about your terms! What is clear flour? White flour?

    And your sour rye culture, is that a sour dough process or a quick souring of the rye by leaving it to ferment for a couple of days.?

    Reply
    • Stanley Ginsberg

      April 14, 2016

      Thanks for your comments. For an explanation of clear flour, see my earlier post “In Defense of First Clear Flour.” Rye sour culture is a rye based sourdough starter consisting of whole rye flour and hydrated at 100%.

      Reply

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