80 Percent Sourdough Rye with a Rye-Flour Soaker

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Dough Yield: About

    24

    loaves at 1.5 lb each

Appears in

Bread

By Jeffrey Hamelman

Published 2004

  • About

Particularly Notable in this Bread is the hot rye-flour soaker. This initial heating gelatinizes the rye starch and gives the bread an unusually smooth eating quality; the soaker also brings a subtle sweet note to the bread due to the activation of amylase enzymes in the hot soaker; finally, the soaker contributes to the bread’s excellent keeping quality. Beautiful large round loaves weighing 4 pounds or more can be made with this dough. It also makes a delicious pullman loaf, using about 4.5 pounds of dough for a 13 by 3¾ by 3¾ inch pan.

Pre-Fermented Flour: 35%

Ingredients

Overall Formula

U.S. Metric Home Baker’s %
Whole-Rye Flour 16 lb 8 kg 1 lb, 9.6 oz 80 %
High-Gluten Flour 4 lb 2 kg 6.4 oz 20 %
Water 15.6 lb 7.8 kg 1 lb, 9 oz 78 %
Salt .36 lb .18 kg .6 oz 1.8 %
Yeast .3 lb, fresh .15 kg, fresh .16 oz, instant dry 1.5 %
Total Yield 36.26 lb 18.13 kg 3 lb, 9.8 oz 181.3 %

Sourdough

Whole-Rye Flour 7 lb 3.5 kg 11.2 oz (3 cups) 100 %
Water 5.8 lb 2.9 kg 9.3 oz (1⅛ cups) 83 %
Mature Sourdough Culture .35 lb .175 kg .6 oz (2 T) 5 %
Total 13.15 lb 6.575 kg 1 lb, 5.1 oz

Soaker

Whole-Rye Flour 4 lb 2 kg 6.4 oz ( cups) 100 %
Water, Boiling 4 lb 2 kg 6.4 oz (¾ cup) 100 %
Total 8 lb 4 kg 12.8 oz

Final Dough

Whole-Rye Flour 5 lb 2.5 kg 8 oz (2⅛ cups)
High-Gluten Flour 4 lb 2 kg 6.4 oz ( cups)
Water 5.8 lb 2.9 kg 9.3 oz (1⅛ cups)
Salt .36 lb .18 kg .6 oz (1 T)
Yeast .3 lb, fresh .15 kg, fresh .16 oz, instant dry ( tsp)
Soaker 8 lb 4 kg 12.8 oz (all of above)
Sourdough 12.8 lb 6.4 kg 1 lb, 4.5 oz (all of above minus T)
Total 36.26 lb 18.13 kg 3 lb, 9.8 oz

Method

  1. SOURDOUGH: Prepare the sourdough and ripen for 14 to 16 hours at 70°F.
  2. SOAKER: Make the soaker by pouring the boiling water over the rye. Cover with plastic right away to prevent evaporation. The soaker can be made at the same time as the sourdough and kept at room temperature until mixing the final dough.
  3. MIXING: Add all the ingredients to the mixing bowl (including the soaker, which will have absorbed all the water and be quite thick). In a spiral mixer, mix on first speed for 3 minutes. The dough should be moderately loose textured, and sticky. Turn the mixer to second speed and mix for approximately 2 minutes. With only 20 percent white flour, there will be little in the way of gluten development. Desired dough temperature: 82°F.
  4. BULK FERMENTATION: 30 minutes.
  5. DIVIDING AND SHAPING: Divide the dough into 1.5- or 2.5-pound pieces; shape round or oblong.
  6. FINAL FERMENTATION: 50 to 60 minutes at 82°F.
  7. BAKING: With normal steam, 470°F for 15 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 430°F and bake for 35 to 40 minutes for a 1.5-pound loaf, 45 to 50 minutes for a loaf scaled at 2.5 pounds. After the bake, cool the loaves and then wrap in baker’s linen and let stand for 24 hours before slicing, in order to stabilize the texture of the crumb.