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SCChris 09-11-2012 10:00 AM

Sourdough Boules with Rye
I haven’t been particularly active with regards to posting my bread experiences, I’ve had way too much other stuff going on. But I wanted to pass on some info about what adding fresh milled grains to my breads.

I’m really enjoying my new grain mill, it allows me to take the more exotic grains like Rye or Spelt or whatever and mill just what I want for a batch of bread. I’m not milling my own Whole Wheat or All Purpose flours, I’ll use King Arthur for now. I decided that King Arthur is my known ingredient. Because of the amount of AP and WW in the dough, consistency is critical at this phase of my baking experimentations.

Lately, I’ve been focusing on a recipe that has 79% AP, 14% WW and 7% Fresh ground Rye and the Sourdough Levain is 30% at 60% hydration. Water is added at 77% of the flour weight not including the levain and salt is added at 1% of the total dough weight. So the recipe looks like this.

300g Levain
70g Rye Flour
140g Whole Wheat Flour
790g All Purpose Flour
770g Water
21g Sea Salt (calculated at 1% from totaling the above ingredients, 2070g)

I preheat the oven to 500F, drop the temp to 440F, and bake in a cloche for the first 20 minutes. I remove the cover
for the next 25 or so minutes.

The flavor of the above is nice mildly complex, mildly sour bread. The crust is where I want it, it has some blistering and I’m getting a nice range in colors from deep chestnut to light tan at the gringe. The oven spring could improve, but it’s acceptable. The crumb needs improvement. It’s acceptable but not open enough for my liking. I’m proofing 3.5 hours at 80F and adding 30 more minutes will help, but I’m very close to going past my ideal. I’m not getting any crust ripping so I don’t think adding time is all of the answer.

I’ve been working with 80% hydration for about 2 years and I’m pretty comfortable with what it feels like and how to deal with it in my old friend, 80/20 AP/WW sourdough. I’m even fine swapping spelt flour for the WW, but adding the fresh milled rye and the 77% hydration make for a very sticky dough, and developing the gluten to get to a nice open crumb has been challenging. I’ll know get it, but it’s time in the trenches that will get it there.

My next batch I will increase the Stretch and Folds earlier in the cycle and absolutely minimize any degassing in the shaping. If I find that I’m still not getting the crumb I want, I’ll adjust the AP up to 85% and WW down to 8%. Sorry I don’t have pictures to share..
Next batch for sure.


texassourdough 09-11-2012 01:25 PM

Re: Sourdough Boules with Rye
Sounds great, Chris! YOu are smart (I think) to keep your base flour "known" for it avoids a lot of headaches. I would encourage you to try milling the whole wheat as well or at least a portion of it. In my experience it will give you more wheat flavor than KA. Everything you say makes sense - though some may not recognize that whole wheat increases the water absorption of the dough so that you can make higher hydration doughs that remain manageable. I like spelt as an additive but it is hardly ideal from a dough handling/crumb perspective.

Over time I have grown increasingly fond of adding 5% range rye to loaves in addition to my normal 10% or so WW. Interesting how close our formulas are. When I do spelt I usually use only spelt (no WW or rye).

Wish I had a slice!

WJW 09-11-2012 05:42 PM

Re: Sourdough Boules with Rye
Love it.

I've been to wine tastings, champagne testings, single malt scotch tastings, vodka tastings....(the common thread here is obviously yeast)...

With that in mind, does anyone ever do bread tastings where you can sit down with an all AP loaf of sourdough at one hydration, with another at a different hydration, with yet another having X percent of WW, or Rye, at a given hydration...and then compare them...side by side?

It seems like that's the way to really learn how different ingredients impact flavors. So is it done? If so, where?

texassourdough 09-11-2012 06:18 PM

Re: Sourdough Boules with Rye
Good question Bill! I don't know of anything like that other than self administered by freezing different breads and then having a tasting. But that clearly wouldn't be the same. There is probably a tasting of sorts at some of the bread conclaves but... that still invited problems that challenge meaningful comparisons.

What would be REALLY great would be to have enough Breadheads in an area to have periodic get togethers to do what you suggest. Great idea! The variation between bakers would be enough to challenge quick definitive learning but over time the wrinkles would iron out and the differences would become distinct.

That said, the SFBI week long classes does a pretty good job of that. Artisanal III should be a really good class that explores other flours (I is basically baguettes - great class, II is sourdough but all wheat, III gets into other flours. They tend to focus on single recipes but also do variations. I don't know anyone who has taken III but it would certainly be good!

SCChris 09-11-2012 07:18 PM

Re: Sourdough Boules with Rye
A breadhead get together sounds good. I live in San Clemente and work in downtown LA. I have a sister in Thousand Oaks. We have options.


WJW 09-11-2012 11:48 PM

Re: Sourdough Boules with Rye
I'll gladly host the first annual FB Hearthbread Conclave at my place.

I have a guest house and a guest there's room for two couples. Pool and Bocce ball court. Stella on tap. If Jay feels like a visit to the central california wine country to combine with a bread head conclave...mi casa su casa. (Camarillo really isn't wine country but real wine country is only ninety minutes north...Santa ynez...and saying "wine country" is a better sell than just plain old "camarillo"). And if Chris feels like a visit with his sister in T.O....we are golden...and I just happen to have a wood fired oven. Plus one electric convection oven and one gas oven. Two kitchens. We could really get something going.

Any and all hearthbread forum regulars are welcome. Reasonably priced lodging within a mile or two once we get past two couples as house guests. I'd be happy to host a long weekend of bread baking.

Let's make it happen.


texassourdough 09-12-2012 03:23 AM

Re: Sourdough Boules with Rye
Fabulous offer Bill! I would be glad to try to make it happen next year. Have been tentatively planning a trip out west around mid year.

Great idea!

SCChris 09-12-2012 07:39 AM

Re: Sourdough Boules with Rye
Camarillo it is. I know your area gets about four times the rain that we do in San Clemente. Is there a time of year that makes better sense than another, and this doesn’t preclude meeting earlier at some great bakery to pass loaves..

Regarding tasting different grain flours, I got to thinking that a start might be to make small loaves of that grain specific bread. I don’t know quite how to keep these loaves a single grain without including other flavors. I.E. If I use my levain in these breads then the base feedstock is 50/50 AP/WW not say Rye and this will change things, to what degree, I don’t know. That the bread might be dense or dry or whatever wouldn’t take away the base taste of the grain. But, hey, it’s all about exploring. Does this sound like a plan for grain taste understanding?

Additionally, I noted that Williams Sonoma was hosting a 1 hour grain class. They are selling fancy labeled organic grains and a burr mill that attaches to the Kitchen Aid. The mill attachment is not cheap and it’s not getting high marks as far as customer satisfaction, but I don’t think that most people would ever understand how to use the tool. My bet is that the mill will show up shortly at a deep clearance discount.


texassourdough 09-12-2012 08:52 AM

Re: Sourdough Boules with Rye
Hi Chris!

WRT the KA mill I would have to agree.

I never worry about contamination from my starter unless I am making something for a gluten intolerant. (such as spelt) My normal beginning point is 100 grams of starter which is 50 grams of flour (either AP, WW, or rye). That gets another 200 grams of flour and water to make the preferment and then that gets about 1000 grams of flour (actually less) so I end up with 50 grams of original flour in 1250 total or about 4 %. So a "spelt" loaf with all the added flour being spelt might have 4% AP in it. If contamination is important simply feeding the original starter a couple of times will quickly drop the contamination to less than 1%. I don't think you are likely to recognize 4% contamination by AP. It just isn't enough to provide a marked difference in any bread I have made. The differences are, I think subtle. So I wouldn't worry about it too much. The biggest factor is spelt and rye are low in gluten and make really weak loaves so they tend to be pretty dense. But you can also try barley flour and there are lots of other grains you can mill and play with! I suspect most of them are pretty low in gluten also!

Have FUN!

SCChris 09-12-2012 09:06 AM

Re: Sourdough Boules with Rye
Thanks Again Jay!..

I'm working through the whole grain forum at TheFreshLoaf as research. Interesting nugget, Chad Robertson of Tartine is or was working on a 100% Spelt / Emmer bread.. That's worth a try..

Regarding fresh milled, some folks with limited needs are using burr coffee grinders and have for several years without issue.

I have noticed that the flour is noticeably warm, not overly, just after milling and I'm going to try freezing the grain before milling and see what this does. I have more space in the freezer than the cabinets anyway.


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