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Light rye bread using a wild yeast starter

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Day 1: last thing at night

Place 100g of starter with 250g of flour, this can be a blend of strong white and rye flour, mix with sufficient water (around 200ml) to make a very soft dough. Leave to rise overnight.

Day 2: first thing in the morning

Add a further 250g of flour, again a mix of strong white and rye and enough water to make a very soft dough. Leave to rise all day.

Light Rye Sourdough BattardDay 2: last thing at night

Add 750g of flour, predominantly strong white. Add only enough water to make a soft but manageable dough, mix thoroughly enough to amalgamate all ingredients but not to develop gluten. Leave to autolyze overnight.

Day 3: first thing in the morning

Add 20g of salt and mix well in but again not long enough to develop gluten. Set aside to rise (bulk fermentation).

When the dough appears to have doubled in size, this will depend on the ambient temperature (I avoid heating my house as much as I can so during the winter this can take3 hours rather than 1-2 during the summer, I just keep an eye on it) I tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface being careful to de-gas as little as possible, I stretch and fold the dough a couple of times, then return the dough to rise again.

I repeat this process at hourly intervals another 2 times then divide into loaves.

I form 3 roughly round shapes and leave for 15 minutes before shaping into battard shapes. I leave them to rise, seam side up on a piece of linen that has been well floured with rice flour.

The loaves should be ready to bake in around 2 hours, again the ambient temperature will affect this. I bake the loaves at a temperature of 220 degrees on a heavy iron flat griddle (Welsh griddle iron) which I pre-heat in the oven, I spray the oven every 10 minutes during baking to create steam. The loaves are ready after 30 minutes.

During the summer I find I need to place the dough in the fridge for the autolyze period.

I would say the most recent and significant aspect of baking which I have learned is the importance of shaping the final loaf. It is only when the skin has been stretched sufficiently that the loaf will “bloom” during the baking process and produce that attractive “ear”. Historically baking apprentices in France would be expected to hold up their loaves by the “ear” to show the master baker, if the “ear” was not created then the apprentice would clearly need more training and practice.

Added by: Tobs

Tags: Rye

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Superb Recipe

Just baked a batch of 3 x 660g light rye - two boules and a batard. Followed the recipe to the letter and it produced the best (of many) rye loaves I have baked. This is now going to be my go-to light rye.

MartinB 04 May 2015

RE: Superb Recipe

Thank you for this comment Martin, if you like using wild yeast do check out my blog The Vicar Died Laughing, happy baking Tôbi.

Tobs 04 May 2015

Thanks for your contributions
I should just like to thank Tobs for his contribution made at our request in an effeort to keep the site and the baking community as rich and varied as possible. For those not sure what a "Starter" is then there is a very quick and good search facility to the top right, which will take you to a recipe and explanation for a Starter. As for "ears", I believe they are also sometimes referred to as Grignes. The strength of these is sometimes used a qulaity indicator fo the bread - especially if these are hard and the bread is soft and delicious.

Tom Russell - tom@shipton-mill.com 29 February 2012

Inadequate Instruction
Whilst I appreciate people posting their recipes here, it would help those who are novice bakers if a ingredient list with quantities was included. This recipe mentions a starter - what is a starter? And how would a novice realise when a dough is 'soft but manageable'? Please be conscious of the level of experience your audience may have when posting recipes. And what is meant by autolyse? The recipe mentions "blend of strong white and rye flour" but I know as a baker that if this blend errs more on the rye side then the loaf will not rise as much and the oven spring will be poor. The texture of the final bread will also be closer and denser.

ROMAN HARABURDA - rharaburda@tiscali.co.uk 27 January 2012

RE: Inadequate Instruction
I was sitting here wondering about the starter also. It's not a proper recipe if it does not include everything, and I have made a lot of bread and bake a lot. Don't even get me started on the pretentious "ears"!

Julie Carpenter - juliec44 27 January 2012

Hi Tobs, Thanks for the detailed recipe. I wholly support your last paragraph, but never knew that it was known as 'ears'. Googled it and found the link below: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/10121/bread-scoring-tutorial-updated-122009 If you would to peruse my 'ears' see my FB bread pics.

Patrick Singmin - psingmin@gmail.com 14 December 2011

RE: 'Ears'
Crikey! Great 'Ear' link. Thanks for putting it on - this bread making lark gets more scientific every time I read something!!

Bridget Palmer - bridgetpalmer@rocketmail.com 06 January 2012

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