Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Adventures with Rye Part 3: Levy's Real Jewish Rye

It's be a long night. For some reason, I haven't been able to sleep well these past few nights. It might be either the heat or that I just have a lot of heavy thoughts weighing on my mind, but I can tell you that it's extremely frustrating. Consequently, I find myself trying to compensate during the day with naps which only makes this a vicious, vicious cycle. I'm willing to look past that just for today because I'm going to Jerusalem tonight to meet my best friend and her new husband (!!) for dinner and I know I'm going to come back delightfully wiped. In other news, the nine days of mourning that culminate with the fast over the destruction of the Temple has started which means no music, no laundry, and no meat. You know what that means: lots of pasta, pizza, and even more pasta. But if you're me, it also means freshly baked bread that's suitable with cream cheese. Fresh bread such as this magnificent loaf that I made from Rose's Bread Bible. In the spirit of trying my hand at rye, I made Levy's Real Jewish Rye, a loaf that for Rose is reminiscent of the ryes that she used to enjoy. As a youngin', I grew up far after that era of well made, flavorful loaves and I can't even remember liking the bread that they used to call rye as it was dry, floppy, flavorless and uninteresting. But this- this was amazing. It is really not difficult to prepare at all, the dough kneaded and handled well, and results in a delightful crust, crusty and chewy and nutty with a really nice sweetness to it. The excellent flavors was a result of my very wise decision to allow the sponge to rise at room temperature for a bit and then develop itself overnight in the fridge. The crumb had a really nice texture, dry-ish, in the way of hearth breads, which is much different from the sandwich bread, which was soft and squishy. My slashing technique has also improved some, and the slashes opened up really nicely and the loaf caramelized well also, which may or may not have to do with my use of malt powder. If I didn't have so many other recipes to try, including her pumpernickel, I would definitely make this again. I'm sure eventually though, I will. This post goes to this week's Yeastpotting.. check it out!

"Levy's" Real Jewish Rye
from Rose Levy Beranbaum's The Bread Bible

Flour Blanket:
351 grams bread or all purpose flour
2 grams instant yeast
14 grams whole caraway seeds
10.5 grams salt
6.7 grams vegetable oil

117 grams bread or all purpose flour
95 grams rye flour
1.6 grams instant yeast
18.7 grams sugar
4.6 grams malt powder
354 grams water
The evening before baking, place the dry flour blanket ingredients into a bowl or container. (If you're kneading by hand, reserve 1/4 cup of the flour for kneading.)Whisk to combine and set aside.In another bowl, place all of the dry sponge ingredients, whisk to combine.

Add the water,and whisk to form a smooth batter.Scoop the flour mixture evenly over the sponge. Set aside to rise for an hour at room temperature. At this point the sponge should be breaking through the blanket of flour. Place in the refrigerator to develop overnight.This is my overnight sponge. Although this isnt so accurate because it got knocked around in the fridge. So this is the saved sponge.When you're ready to make the dough, add the oil to the mixture and stir to make a shaggy dough.Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and need until a smooth dough forms. If you have resistance, allow to rest briefly before continuing. Place the dough into a greased bowl and allow to rise until doubled in size.My dough rose beautifully. When it has finished rising,give it a stretch and fold and allow it to rise again.Once again the dough rose beautifully. This heat does wonders for my yeast!Dust a baking sheet with cornmeal and form your dough into a boule. Set it on the baking sheet and allow to proof. While it is proofing, preheat your oven to 450. Insert a baking stone and another sheet pan for steam purposes to heat as well. Here is the proofed loaf.Slash the loaf as you wish and place it in the oven to bake. Toss in some ice cubes or boiling hot water to create steam. Bake for 15 minutes and then lower the temperature to 400 degrees. Continue baking for 30-40 minutes until the bread is golden brown and a thermometer registers about 190. (Halfway through the bake, you may remove the loaf from the pan and set it directly on the stone.) Remove from the oven and place on wire rack to cool. Enjoy in any number of ways!


Leah said...

another beautiful looking loaf!!
do you know where I might be able to find malt powder around here?
out of all the ryes you tried, which one did you like the best?

Susan said...

This is one I've been wanting to make. It came out beautifully! I hope you sleep better soon.

vbdb said...

Enjoyed both the rye bread and peek at life in Israel. The observance of Jewish holidays is so different here in Austin, Texas, and it always startles me to think of a whole country on the same calendar. Thank you for both.

Anonymous said...

I love homemade Rye. Yours looks perfect!