Weinheim Heath Rye/Weinheimer Heidebrot (Germany)

Heid_slice

Rye %: 80%
Stages: Sponge, Soaker, Final dough
Leaven: Rye sour culture, instant yeast
Start to Finish: 22-23 hours
Hands-on Time: 30-40 minutes
Yield: Two 15-oz./425 g loaves

I found this bread on Lutz Geißler‘s blog (Ploetzblog.de), who in turn got it from the German Baking Academy (Akademie Deutsches Bäckerhandwerk) in Weinheim, in the southwestern German state of Baden-Württemburg. I was intrigued because this loaf, at 80% rye, comes in at a higher percentage than most rye breads from southern Germany. It also uses an old-bread soaker, which moistens and tenderizes the crumb.

Instead of the whole rye flour Lutz recommends, I used medium rye flour, which produces a slightly less dense and more delicately flavored bread.

Considering the relatively low hydration (84%) and long fermentation (18 hours) of the sponge, I was expecting a very sour bread – and indeed, the sponge itself was extremely sour, with a sharply acetic acid smell when it ripened that nearly knocked me off my feet. Instead, I got a beautifully balanced, sweet and nutty loaf and a mild, clean sour finish, largely, I suspect, because of the short (20 minutes) bulk ferment and barely an hour of total proofing time. The crumb is fine and very tender and the crust is crisp.

I had it for lunch yesterday with two kinds of cheese, a zesty aged farmhouse cheddar and a creamy Pont L’Eveque. The bread showed up wonderfully with both. I will say that I agree with Lutz that this formula probably should be doubled, since the loaves are rather small.

Sponge (Day 1, Evening):

Ingredient

Grams

Ounces

Baker’s
Percentage

Medium (T1370) or whole rye flour

170

6.00

100%

Warm (105°F/41°C) water

140

4.95

82%

Rye sour culture

17

0.60

10%

Heid_sponge

 

Combine the sponge ingredients and hand-knead into a stiff dough. Cover and ferment at room temp (70°F/21°C) 18-20 hours. The sponge will have doubled in bulk and have a strong vinegar smell.

 

Soaker (Day 1, Evening):

Ingredient

Grams

Ounces

Baker’s
Percentage

Stale rye bread, broken

35

1.25

100%

Water

70

2.45

200%

Heid_altbrot

 

Combine the stale bread and water, cover and refrigerate for 18-20 hours.

 

 

Final Dough (Day 2, Afternoon):

Ingredient

Grams

Ounces

Sponge

327

11.55

Warm (105°F/41°C) water

230

8.10

Soaker

105

2.70

Medium (T1370) or whole rye flour

270

9.50

First clear or high-gluten flour

110

3.90

Salt

11

0.40

Instant yeast

5

0.20

Heid_dough

In the mixer bowl combine the sponge, water and mashed soaker into an even mixture. Add the flours, salt and yeast and use the dough hook at low (KA2) speed to mix into a firm dough that cleans the sides of the bowl, 8-9 minutes.

 

Heid_ferment

 

Cover and bulk ferment at room temperature for 20 minutes (the dough will have barely expanded).

 

 

Heid_proof

Turn the dough onto a well-floured work surface and shape it into a slightly oblong boule, then place into a well-floured linen couche or tea towel, cover and ferment until well expanded, about 30 minutes.

 

 

Heid_cut

 

Stretch the dough slightly to elongate and use a sharp knife (I use an old straight razor) to cut it into two loaves along the long axis.

 

Heid_spraySpray the loaves with water and place them cut side up (I left the cuts on the side because i like the way they look) on a well-floured peel, if using a baking stone, or a parchment-lined sheet pan. Cover and proof at room temperature until the cut surface shows broken bubbles, 20-30 minutes.

 

Preheat the oven to 500°F/260°C with the baking surface in the middle and a steam pan on a lower shelf. Bake for 2 minutes with steam, then remove the steam pan, reduce the temperature to 370°F/190°C and bake until the crust is a rich brown, the loaves thump when tapped with a finger and the internal temperature is at least 198°F/92°C, 50-60 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool thoroughly before slicing.

Heid_loaf

 

Baker’s Percentages:

Ingredient

Grams

%

TOTAL FLOUR

550

100.00%

   Medium rye flour

440

80.00%

   First clear flour

110

20.00%

Water

370

67.27%

Salt

11

2.00%

Instant yeast

5

0.91%

Rye sour culture

17

3.09%

Soaker water

70

12.73%

Stale bread

35

6.36%

TOTAL FORMULA

1,058

192.36%

% prefermented

170

30.91%


3 Comments

  • Carl cary

    February 27, 2016

    I would like to join yr group.

    Reply
    • Stanley Ginsberg

      February 27, 2016

      You can subscribe to this blog using the Subscription box on the right-hand side.

      Reply
  • Karin Anderson

    February 27, 2016

    Looks like a great bread – definitely like something I’d like to try.
    Congratulations to your upcoming book sale (I will get one, of course!).

    Reply

Leave a Reply