Whole Wheat Sourdough Rye Bread
Whole Wheat Sourdough Rye Bread
This large hearty loaf has great complex flavor. Lightly sweet and nutty with just enough tang from the sourdough to keep it really interesting. It's also very versatile. We like to start by using as a side at dinner but the next day or two we use it up making toast or sandwiches.
The crust has a nice chewy texture and the crumb is fine and even with a few medium sized wholes making it great for hearty rustic sandwiches.
Mixing the Dough
To start a loaf, add all of the dry ingredients to a mixer and mix on low speed just to combine, then add the molasses and the sourdough start and begin mixing on low speed.
With the mixer running on low speed slowly add the warm water up to one cup until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl as shown below. If the dough has not fully combined add warm water one tablespoon at a time until it does. Be sure to give it time to mix in before each addition. If the dough becomes too wet add a little more all purpose flour until it comes together.
Once your dough has come together, continue to mix for 6-8 more minutes on low. The dough should be fairly sticky.
Below are galleries describing the mixing, rising and forming of the loaf. Click on the pictures for greater detail.
Scrape the dough onto a well floured board and knead with floured hands 4-5 times and form the dough into a ball then place the ball into a bowl with 2 teaspoons of olive oil and swirl it around until all sides are lightly coated with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and leave the dough to rise in a warm place until doubled. (60-90 minutes)
Forming the Loaf
After the dough has risen, move the dough back onto the floured board, knead 4-5 times and reform into a ball.
Place the ball of dough into a well floured banneton or alternatively, into a bowl lined with a thin cotton towel that has been well floured. Cover with the banneton cover or a piece of plastic wrap sprayed with oil and allow the dough to rise once more in a warm place until doubled (45-75 minutes)
Begin heating a Dutch oven with the lid on inside of your oven to 450 degrees.
Below is a gallery illustrating this process. Click on the pictures for more details.
When the dough has risen this last time, gently roll the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper that has been sprinkled with cornmeal or polenta and score as desired.
Scoring the Loaf
After the loaf is formed the surface should be scored with several deep slashes.
You can get artistic or simply make three or four large slashes across the top. Make the cuts quickly and decisively for the best results and be prepared to get the dough into the oven immediately after scoring.
This loaf had quite a bit of oven spring and the pattern I scored broke open in a few unintended places. I think I have a tendency to make scores that bisect each other too close together. That's where my patterns sometimes break when the rise in the oven is strong.
My husband gave me a very nice lame for scoring bread for Christmas and I do like it a lot. Before I had one, I was using a straight edged razor blade and it worked fine but the lame is keeps me from losing the blade which becomes almost invisible laying around by itself and it keeps my hands away from the blade.
Scoring takes some practice but for me, it's one of my favorite parts about making bread.
After scoring the loaf, carefully remove the Dutch oven from the 450 degree oven. Remove the lid and lift the bread using the parchment paper and place it inside the hot dutch oven, paper and all. Replace the lid and place the dutch oven back into the hot oven. Lower the heat to 425 degrees.
Bake for 40 minutes.
Allow the bread to cool completely or at least 45 minutes before slicing. I know the temptation is great to dive in while the bread is hot but the loaf will not slice as well and the moisture lost through steam will greatly change the texture of your bread and not in a good way.
Whole Wheat Rye Sourdough Bread