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Rye Loaves with Nuts

posted Sep 9, 2012, 1:52 AM by Jenny Loh
Adapted from Daniel Leader's - Local Breads - Little Blue Cheese Rye Loaves

I don't know why I picked this recipe to try,  as I don't usually like to work with Rye that's over 50%.  I guess I wasn't quite paying attention the whole recipe.  The Little Blue Cheese Rye Loaves - this title was good enough to attract my attention.  

I was waking my rye starter on Saturday morning in preparation to make bread.  I've started to like using starter instead of instant yeast,  somehow,  I'm just fascinated that the bread will expand naturally with a starter.  My starter had always been 100% hydrated, i.e.,  same portion of water as flour.  It takes about 4-5 hours for the starter to double,  that's the peak,  that I usually use the starter.

With the starter at its peak,  I mixed all the ingredients other than nuts together in a mixer.  After couple of minutes of mixing,  all ingredients are well mixed.  But it was just too wet.  Looking at the recipe,  the starter was a dryer starter,  I guess,  again,  I overlooked this.  I added less than 1/2 cup of bread flour.  After another 10-15 mins of high speed,  the flour is still wet and not pulling together. I added the nuts in to mix it together. I decided to take it out and do a stretch and fold.  Now I recall,  it is just difficult to work with rye.

In the next 3 hours, every half hour,  I did a stretch and fold in a container.  The dough still felt sticky, but it was coming together better than before, strengthening at every stretch and fold.  The dough started to rise slightly after the final turn,  still a little sticky, but I decided to let it bulk rise.

After 4 hours,  the dough finally doubled.  When I pour the dough out,  the dough is not like the usual bread dough that I make, it didn't quite come together as well.  But I guess,  I will have to proceed.

Splitting into 4 pieces,  I fold into rectangle to rest for 15 mins.  Then decided to shape it round,  and let it rise on my metal plate.  I should have leave it in a basket to hold the shape.  Again,  another mistake as I didn't read the recipe.  It was suppose to go into a loaf pan.  

Anyway,  I heated up the oven, after 1 hour,  the dough spread out,  quite flat. I loaded the dough into the oven,  brought the temperature down to 200 degrees celsius,  as I recall,  rye needs longer time to bake, I set it at 45 mins.  Poured hot water onto my hot stone,  and sprayed water onto the dough.  The dough rose slightly and not much.

After 45 mins,  the bread browned nicely.  I let it rest overnight, to let the taste settle. In the morning,  I finally slice it thinly and every bite,  there's nuts,  there's no sourness,  but only richness in every bite.

Although the baking process was quite frustrating when I see that the dough was not coming together,  still sticky when I shaped it,  but the eventual result was a surprise.  Next time,  I'll get a pan to make it higher.  At least the boys decided that they like it,  and made Spam Slider with it.  


125g Rye Starter (100% hydration)

275g Bread Flour
225g Rye Flour
8g Kosher Salt
350g Water

25g Pine Nuts
25g Walnut
25g Almond Pieces
25g Sunflower Seeds