Wholegrain Apple Rye in a Frame/Apfel Vollkornbrot (Austria)

Rye %: 90%
Stages: Sponge, Final Dough (2 bulk fermentations, proof)
Leaven: Rye sour culture, Instant yeast
Start to Finish: 23-24 hours
Hands-on Time: 45-50 minutes
Yield: Two 2½ lb/1.2 kg loaves

Rye and apples – what could be better for an autumn bread – but in a wooden frame?

I first learned about baking in wood from Norm Berg, my co-author on Inside the Jewish Bakery. The old-school bakers, he told me, used to bake sponge cakes, wonder cakes and other cakes that were sold by the pound in wood in order to form the thinnest possible side crust. Most customers only wanted to buy soft inside pieces and the wooden frame kept waste to a minimum.

I next came across baking in wood in a German blog – I forget which one now – but I was fascinated that the practice was still alive and well. The blog, which was in German, helpfully gave me the German translation – Backrahmen (literally, “baking frame”).

 

Several Google searches later, I had enough information not only to bake in one, but also to build my own, which I did using ½” thick clear maple from my local hardwoods dealer. Internally, it measures 10 inches x 8½ inches x 4 inches deep. I also cut another piece that I can use as a removable divider, so that I can bake either two loaves, as in this recipe, or four side-by-side loaves, without benefit of divider.

There are a few classic German and Austrian ryes – notably Paderborner Landbrot – that typically bake in a frame, whether for aesthetic or practical reasons, I’m not sure. However, when I came across this recipe in Dietmar Kappl’s wonderful blog, Home Baking, I couldn’t resist.

Not surprisingly, the top and bottom crusts are thick and chewy, while the side crusts are soft. The double bulk ferment – first with sour culture alone, the second with an instant yeast booser, produce a tender, open crumb and a clean, edgy sour flavor profile that carries with it hints of the grated apple and the subtle sting of the bread spice. This is a great table bread that goes equally well with sweet and savory foods.

Sponge (Day 1, Evening):

Ingredient

Grams

Ounces

Baker’s
Percentage

Wholegrain rye flour

600

21.15

100%

Warm (105°F/41°C) water

600

21.15

100%

Rye sour

30

1.05

5%

In the mixer bowl, combine the sponge ingredients by hand into a stiff dough, cover and ferment at room temperature (70°F/21°C) for 18 hours.

 

 

The sponge will show broken bubbles on the surface, have more than tripled in volume and begun to fall back on itself.

 

 

Final Dough – Bulk Ferment 1 (Day 2, Midday):

Ingredient

Grams

Ounces

Sponge

1,230

43.35

Wholegrain rye flour

750

26.45

Whole wheat flour

150

5.30

Warm (105°F/41°C) water

600

21.15

Apple, peeled and grated

120

4.25

Salt

30

1.05

Bread spice

8

0.25

Add the final dough ingredients to the sponge and use the dough hook at low (KA2) speed to mix for 20 minutes. The dough will gather around the hook and show threads of gluten formation.

 

 

Cover and ferment at room temperature for 30 minutes. The dough will show slight expansion and small broken bubbles on the surface.

 

 

Final Dough – Bulk Ferment 2 (Day 2, Midday):

Ingredient

Grams

Ounces

Final dough

2,888

101.80

Instant yeast, 1 tsp

3

0.10

Warm (105°F/41°C) water, 2 Tbs.

30

1.05

As soon as the final dough has finished mixing, combine the yeast and water and set aside for 30 minutes at room temperature to fully dissolve the yeast.

 

 

Add the yeast water to the dough and use the dough hook at low (KA2) speed to mix until the dough is evenly blended, 6-7 minutes. Cover and ferment at room temperature 30 minutes. The dough will have visibly expanded and show small broken bubbles on the surface.

Turn the dough, which will be soft and very sticky, onto a well-floured work surface. Use floured hands to divide the dough into two pieces, each weighing approximately 34 oz/960 g. Shape each into a cylinder. Grease the baking frame generously and place it on a parchment-lined sheet pan or well-floured peel.

 

 

Set each of the dough pieces, seam side down, into its own compartment.

 

 

 

Cover and proof at room temperature until doubled in volume, 45-60 minutes.

 

 

 

 

Preheat the oven to 480°F/250°C with the baking surface in the middle and a steam pan on a lower shelf. Bake the loaves with steam for 3 minutes, then continue baking at 480°F/250°C for another 12 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 375°F/190°C and bake until the internal temperature is at least 198°F/92°C, about 60 minutes. Let the loaves cool in the frame for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a rack and cool thoroughly before slicing.

Baker’s Percentages:

Ingredient

g

%

TOTAL FLOUR

1,500

100.00%

   Wholegrain rye flour

1,350

90.00%

   Whole wheat flour

150

10.00%

Water

1,230

82.00%

Salt

30

2.00%

Instant yeast

3

0.20%

Rye sour culture

30

2.00%

Apple

120

8.00%

Bread spice

8

0.50%

TOTAL FORMULA

2,921

194.70%

Flour prefermented

600

40.00%

 


22 Comments

  • Keith Kornelis

    November 23, 2017

    Bread spice?

    Reply
    • Stanley Ginsberg

      November 23, 2017

      Caraway, anise, fennel, coriander in the proportion of 10-4-4-2

      Reply
      • LT

        November 23, 2017

        As seeds or ground into powder?

        Reply
      • MIke

        November 23, 2017

        Whole spices or ground?

        Reply
      • Keith

        November 23, 2017

        Ok, thanks, thats great. Whole or ground?

        Reply
  • Ian Sandman

    November 23, 2017

    Wow! This looks fantastic and I love the frame method. Thanks for sharing this.
    Regards,
    Ian

    Reply
  • Sabine FriedrichWalter

    November 23, 2017

    Stanley, The Ketex Baker in Germany baked in wooden frame bread.

    Reply
  • Roxana

    November 25, 2017

    Looks great! Did you take a photo of the crumb?

    Reply
  • Steve

    November 27, 2017

    It will be a while before I get a wood frame, but i want to make this bread right away. Any suggestion about whether to use regular bread pans, or clay bakers, or even my Pullman Pans without the lids (I’ve done this before with a 100% Rye/Orange/Caraway bread)?

    Reply
  • Dana

    November 27, 2017

    Is the best surface for below the open frame Metal? Or wood? Do you recommend parchment paper between the bottom of the loaf and the cooking surface?

    Reply
    • Stanley Ginsberg

      November 29, 2017

      I generally just slide it onto my baking stone. If you don’t have a stone, use a parchment-lined sheet pan.

      Reply
  • Mark Woodward

    November 29, 2017

    Stan, is that 3g or 8g of instant yeast? Given that google tells me that 1 tsp of instant yeast is 3g, I presume the 8g under preferment 2 is the typo, but I would like to confirm. Thanks. : )

    Reply
    • Stanley Ginsberg

      December 4, 2017

      My mistake. It’s 3 grams. Musta been a typo. Fixed now. Thanks for the heads-up.

      Reply
  • Bob Niemi

    December 4, 2017

    Thanks for the information on the wooden box — is there any other preparation the wood requires prior to baking — I.E., does it need to be oiled with canola oil or another food grade oil so is doesn’t dry out and crack. The apple rye looks like a great bread.

    Reply
    • Stanley Ginsberg

      December 4, 2017

      I coat the inside with vegetable shortening; I’ve seen recipes that call for oil. Other than that, nothing.

      Reply
    • Mark Woodward

      December 5, 2017

      The websites I found in German (using the translate feature in Chrome) call for coating the frame in rapeseed (canola) oil and baking it at 400°F before using it the first time.

      Reply
      • Stanley Ginsberg

        December 5, 2017

        Then by all means do that. I think I may have done that as well: frankly, I’ve had the frame for a couple of years and don’t remember how I treated it initially, but that sounds right.

        Reply
  • Mark Woodward

    December 13, 2017

    I thought I’d report on my somewhat mixed experience with this delicious bread.

    First of all, I wanted to make a frame. Looking on the web I found that I needed a cedar or beech board 9cm x 2cm, which is pretty close to 3.5″ x 3/4″; in other words, a standard 1″x4″ works fine. I needed 3 pieces 31cm long, 3 x 25cm, and 2 x 12cm (but these latter two should be cut to fit, not to length). I found a 6′ cedar 1″x4″ at my local store for $8. This made a frame with one screwed in cross piece (as in the pictures here) plus two small removable pieces to be able to make 4 quadrants in the frame. I rubbed these with vegetable oil and baked them in the oven at 400F for one hour.

    Then, on to the bread. I grind my own flour. In this case I found that the dough was far too hydrated to shape (something that often, but not consistently, happens with the recipes here). I suppose this has to do with the rye and wheat berries that I am milling. So I just plopped the dough into the frame, which I had resting on a sheet of parchment paper on a peel. When the bread was fully baked I removed it from the oven and let it rest 10 minutes as called for in the recipe. And then I ran into problems. Not only had the dough stuck to the frame but moisture had run out the bottom creating a hard thin crust all along the bottom surface of the frame. I had to cut the loaves out of the frame, after which they appeared to slump a bit. So this was not one of my more successful bakes. I presume this was because the dough was too wet.

    Nonetheless, the bread tastes fabulous. Indeed, my wife, who generally never likes rye bread, announced with a smile and surprise that she loves this. The crumb is relatively soft and open and the flavor is exceptional. I will definitely do this again but will significantly reduce the hydration. : )

    Reply
    • Steve

      December 13, 2017

      I had the same problem with the hydration and my first attempt I couldn’t do anything other than add more flour and pour/spoon the batter (it was more like a batter than a dough) into Pullman pans. It was delicious and the next time I just added more flour until I could shape something. I’m not sure if I got what’s intended but everyone who had this bread, which I made into cheddar and apple butter sandwiches, loved it.

      Reply
  • Karin Anderson

    December 13, 2017

    The bread sounds and looks very nice! What kind of apple did you use?
    A wooden baking frame is high on my wish list, and I would have ordered one from Ketex if this was an item easily fitting in a carry-on.
    I’ll tell my husband that other guys are resourceful enough to build one 🙂

    Reply

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