Sharon O’Leary Joined the King Arthur Flour Bakery in 2001, just over one year after we opened. She arrived with years of baking experience and an enthusiasm for all things bread, and has been a mainstay of the Bakery since she arrived. Our Vollkornbrot with 100 percent rye and sunflower seeds has always been one of her favorite breads. A couple of years ago she decided to experiment with some variations, and the Vollkornbrot with Currants presented here is a result of her trials.
Pre-Fermented Flour: 42%
.19oz, instant dry
Mature Sourdough Culture
.7oz (2T + 1tsp)
.19oz, instant dry (1⅞tsp)
1lb, 3.2oz (all of above)
1lb, 10.8oz (all less 2T + 1tsp)
RYE SOURDOUGH: Prepare the sourdough and ripen for 14 to 16 hours at 70°F.
SOAKER: Prepare the soaker when making the sourdough, by pouring cold water over the rye chops. Cover with plastic to prevent evaporation. Some or all of the dough’s overall salt can be added during hot weather.
MIXING: Add all the ingredients to the mixing bowl except the currants. In a spiral mixer, mix on first speed only, for 10 minutes. Add the currants and mix only until they are evenly incorporated. Desired dough temperature: 84° to 85°F.
BULK FERMENTATION: 10 to 20 minutes.
DIVIDING AND SHAPING: Divide the dough into 4.5-pound pieces. Shape the pieces into logs, and place in pullman pans that have been lightly oiled and then coated with rye meal or whole-rye flour. Sprinkle a thin layer of whole-rye flour or rye meal on over the tops of the loaves. They do not need a lid. Cover the loaves to prevent a crust from forming.
FINAL FERMENTATION: 50 to 60 minutes at 82°F.
BAKING: With normal steam, 470°F for 15 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 380°F and bake for an additional 1¼ hours. Fifteen minutes before the end of the bake, remove the bread from the pans, and finish the bake on sheet pans in order to firm up the side walls. Because of the high water-retention properties of breads such as this one, a full bake is imperative. The bread should be wrapped in baker’s linen after it cools and left to stand for 24 to 48 hours before slicing.