Saturday, September 19, 2009

Marbled Rye Bread

Today in the Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge, we made the 19th bread in the book: Marbled Rye Bread. I wasn't really a big fan of rye bread until I started making it myself. I still prefer breads made with wheat, but I do enjoy a good rye loaf every now and then. Chris at eating is the hard part had mentioned on Twitter that the BBA Rye Loaves were different and would convert me so I was looking forward to trying them. I agree with his assessment. These marbled loaves are beautiful and taste great!

I particularly enjoyed making this rye bread. I thought it might be tricky working with the different colored pieces of dough, but it wasn’t. It was actually very easy! Peter Reinhart simplifies the process of shaping the pieces into batards, then into loaves so it turned out to be a very creative and relaxing process. In addition, this version uses the direct dough method, as opposed to the sourdough method that is generally used for onion rye and deli rye so you can make the bread in an evening if you plan it right.


Some interesting facts about Rye:

Rye is hardier than wheat, resistant to cold, and is the only grain other than wheat that can be used to make leavened bread. It can be made into a sweet or sour loaf. Rye is high in B vitamins, expecially niacin. It contains iron, zinc, and magnesium as well as vitamin E, rutin, antioxidants, and insoluble fiber. It has a bitter-strong, earthy flavor with a pleasant aftertaste. It can be used alone in a loaf or mixed with cornmeal, potato, white flour or whole wheat. Without the addition of wheat flour for body, rye makes a flat, crumbly, and coarse-grained loaf.
You might also enjoy one of these Rye Bread Recipes.


Marbled Rye Bread
Makes: 2 loaves
Adapted from: The Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart 

Marbled Rye Bread is made with a combination of light and dark rye doughs. The formula suggested using white rye flour; however, I didn't have any. I used stone-ground whole grain rye flour instead. Whole grain rye flour makes a more rustic-looking bread rather than the creamy-colored version you get when using white rye flour. However, the whole grain version has more nutrients because it retains the bran and germ; whereas white rye flour has been sifted twice to remove the bran and germ.

I prepared the doughs simultaneously (like an assembly line almost) so that both doughs would rise at about the same time.

Ingredients:

Whole Grain Rye
  • 1 1/2 cups stone-ground whole grain rye flour (or white rye flour)
  • 3 cups unbleached bread flour or clear flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • About 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons water, at room temperature
 
Dark Rye:
  • 1 1/2 cups stone-ground whole grain rye flour (or white rye flour)
  • 3 cups unbleached bread flour or clear flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • About 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons water, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon liquid caramel coloring or
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa, carob, or coffee powder dissolved in 2 tablespoons (1 ounce water) (I used cocoa powder)
 
Egg Wash:
  • 1 egg, whisked with 1 teaspoon water until frothy.

Directions:

Preparing the Light Rye Dough:
Stir together the dry ingredients, including the caraway seeds.  Add the molasses, shortening, and the water.  Mix until the dough until it forms a ball. Add additional water if needed. I decided to make this dough by hand, but you can use a mixer if you like.

 
I started out mixing with a spoon but switched to the Danish dough whisk once the dough was too thick to stir with the spoon.

I was able to mix the dough into a ball without adding any extra water. Transfer the dough to a counter sprinkled with a little flour. Knead for 4 minutes by hand. Add sprinkles of flour if necessary.

The dough should feel supple and pliable, a little tacky but not sticky. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and roll it around in it to coat it with oil and cover the dough with plastic wrap.

 

Preparing the Dark Rye Dough:

Stir together the dry ingredients, including the caraway seeds. Add the molasses, shortening, water, and liquid caramel coloring. I used a mixture of cocoa and water for the caramel coloring. When I make this again, I think I'll try coffee granules to make it a little bit darker.  Mix until the dough forms a ball. Add additional water if needed.


Transfer the dough to a counter sprinkled with a little flour. Knead for 4 minutes by hand. Add sprinkles of flour if necessary.


The dough should feel supple and pliable, a little tacky but not sticky. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and roll it around in it to coat it with oil.

 

Fermenting the Doughs:

Ferment both of the doughs at room temperature for about 90 minutes, or until each dough doubles in size. I let my doughs rise for about 2 hours while I was doing other things.

Light rye dough doubled in size.


Dark rye dough doubled in size.


Shaping the Doughs:

Turn the doughs out onto a lightly floured counter and divide and shape them as shown below. (Refer to p. 186 for additional methods of shaping the doughs.)



Divide each dough into 4 even-sized pieces using a dough scraper.
 



Roll out each piece with a rolling pin into an oblong about 5 inches wide and 8 inches long.

 

To make a spiral loaf, which is what I chose to do, take a light rye piece and lay a dark rye piece on top, then add a light rye piece, then one more dark rye piece.


Roll this stack up into a batard and seal the bottom.

 

Repeat with the remaining dough to make 2 loaves. Then, place the doughs in 2 oiled 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pans. You can also bake these loaves freeform on a baking sheet but I wanted a beautiful sandwich loaf so I used loaf pans.


Here is a side view of the spirals. I like the way they look so far.


Proofing the Loaves:

Mist the loaves with spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Proof at room temperature for 60 to 90 minutes, or until the loaves double in size. It didn't even take an hour before these loaves were double in size. Thank goodness because I was getting tired and ready for bed.


Baking the Loaves:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with the oven rack on the middle shelf. Prepare the egg wash by whisking together the egg and water until frothy. Brush the loaves evenly, but gently with the egg wash.

 

Bake the loaves for approximately 45 minutes. Rotate the loaves after 20 minutes if necessary for even baking. The loaves should make a hollow sound when thumped on the bottom.

 

 
The loaves are done when they register 190 degrees on a thermometer.

Remove the loaves immediately from the pan when they have finished baking and let them cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour, preferably 2 hours, before serving or slicing.


I thumped the loaf on the bottom to see if it sounded hollow. It did! This is another sign that it is done.  I let mine cool for an hour then placed it in a plastic bag until the morning.


 
The bread was ready for toast in the morning. By the way, it tastes great with the citrus marmalade I made this weekend. I'll be posting about that soon.




Thanks for joining us this week in the Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge. See you next time...


Happy Baking!
Cathy

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