15% Rye Sourdough
I've seriously fallen in love with bread making. My dad was (once upon a time...) a baker. I think that love for gluten was passed on in my genes. It's so damn simple, and so damn complex, all at once. Flour, water and salt: three ingredients.
In the real world I'm a graduate student. The formulaic necessity of bread making appeals to the scientist in me. This also seems a good time to mention that weighing ingredients is really essential for bread making. Volumetric (cups, tablespoons, etc.) is too prone to error and changes based on a variety of variables. So dust off that scale - you'll be glad you did. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the required 'tweaking' and 'feel' of bread making appeals to the second half of my brain I almost never get to use. That's a win-win situation - and win-wins are rare, revel in them.
I've glanced over (the very important topic) of beginning and maintaining a starter for sourdough. There is about one trillion different methods for doing this, but I personally followed the advice given by Peter Reinhart (and you can consider this topic a future post here on this blog). As intimidating as it sounds, it's really just mixing water and flour and waiting for yeast to grow. No biggie (you can do this). And when you show up with fresh baked bread at your friends you'll be a god damn hero. I love being a hero. So here it is... my recipe for 15% Rye sourdough. Eat on!
18 oz starter
24 oz bread flour
1.5 oz all purpose flour
4.5 oz rye flour
23 oz water
0.75 oz salt
In large bowl, autolyse the flour by combining bread, all-purpose and rye flour in bowl with water and let rest 30 minutes.
Add starter and salt to mixture and mix by hand until incorporated.
Next up: kneading. There is about a million and one ways for doing this. I like the advice given by Richard Bertinet (plus his accent is addictive). Find his advice here. Place dough in bowl, cover with saran.
Let the dough rise for half hour and then fold the dough. This technique can be found here. Repeat every half hour for next 2 hours until the dough has doubled in size.
After the initial rise, dump dough onto counter top and divide into two. Shape each half (technique here) and place in bowl or banneton. Place in refrigerator and let rise overnight.
In the morning, remove dough from the refrigerator 2 hours before baking. Pre-heat oven to 550 F with stone placed on the centre rack and cookie sheet placed on lower rack. Invert banneton onto stone in pre-heated oven. Add 1 cup of water to cookie sheet to create steam. Cook for 10 minutes. Subsequently lower temperature to 400 F and cook for additional 15 minutes.
Remove loaf from oven and cool for 2 hours. Then... eat. Eat it all.