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Rye Bread Improver


lizztwozee
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Greetings, baking experts! Here's a mix which King Arthur Flour sells to "improve" rye breads:

A blend of rye flavors and sours, diastatic malt, vital wheat gluten (for a good, strong rise) and potato flour (to help combat the "dry crumblies"

Does this mean one can add some of these things to a rye bread recipe to lighten it up? I have a tasty recipe from a class I took years ago at The French Pastry School in Chicago -- great place, BTW. Anyhooo, when I make this bread at home, it rises a fraction of an inch in several hours' time, and bakes up like a brick! Waaa? It has great flavor, but you need the jaws of life to get a bite. Any suggestions?

Lizz

---

"you miss 100% of the shots you don't take"

-Wayne Gretzky

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Hey --

Yes, there are key ingredients that help with Rye bread texture, and both an acid of some type and vital wheat gluten help. I use this wonderful recipe from a blog called A Year in Bread - it produces a wonderfully textured sandwich loaf that bears no resemblance to a brick!

Sandwich Rye Recipe

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Emily

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Well, all-righty then! I'll get some sour salt, and gluten, and go to town. Where I WISH I could buy a #50 bag of rye flour . . . since I bake for Farmer's Markets, and peeps have been crying for rye, I need to find a good source of it in large amounts. I use SAF instant yeast with great success, so I know that's not the problem. I'll try the "Year in Bread" recipe, sounds delish. Thanks, all!

Lizz

---

"you miss 100% of the shots you don't take"

-Wayne Gretzky

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Take a look inside a loaf of 'ordinary' bread.

Full of holes, right? And the holes were once full of fermentation gas from the yeast, right?

Thing is, the 'crumb' of the bread is actually the stuff round the holes, that holds in the gas until the dough 'sets' during cooking.

But the bubble skin has to be elastic to stretch (without bursting easily) as the bubbles expand and the loaf 'rises' during fermentation and oven spring.

Gluten gives the dough that elastic strength.

But Rye has essentially no gluten.

So a pure Rye loaf is necessarily a very different thing to a wheat flour loaf.

And adding gluten as an additive doesn't make a Rye loaf.

You can make a very pleasant loaf (but not a rye loaf), by adding about 1% rye flour to your wheat flour.

Even at that low concentration, you should be able to notice the very different nature of the dough - its much stickier! And the Rye's enzymes will actually work against the gluten - so don't use an unusually long (or retarded) rise/fermentation, or you'll be heading back towards brick territory.

Right now, I don't recollect the mechanism, but an acid ferment does help Rye. Anyway, that's one reason for the synergy between Rye and 'Sourdough' acidic preferments and starters.

Dan Lepard suggests that Rye loaves should be tightly wrapped (for example in greaseproof paper) for a couple of days before slicing.

Baking a pure Rye loaf is a different skill using different methods (and does produce a 'denser-than-wheat' loaf), but fakery with additives really should not be going into a loaf for sale at a "Farmers' Market", should it?

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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Why not, if its not labeled "pure rye"? I've never in my life eaten a rye bread that is pure rye flour.

And why is the 'fakery' so over-the-top cool if it comes from one huge recent very expensive cookbook, but 'fakery' when from any other source?

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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... I've never in my life eaten a rye bread that is pure rye flour.

Well, if you mean that you've never eaten a rye bread whose flour was pure rye, then you have missed out.

And why is the 'fakery' so over-the-top cool if it comes from one huge recent very expensive cookbook, but 'fakery' when from any other source?

I too have asked that, but its slightly off-topic here.

{ADDED} A UK "Farmers' Market" crowd wouldn't want a baker to be adding a commercial additive including "rye flavouring" to a "rye bread", even if supermarket customers couldn't care less.

Its the sort of motivation that (over here at least) sends people to Farmers' Markets.

Edited by dougal (log)

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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Memory! One thing that came back to me overnight was the magic word 'pentosan' (the name of some of the rye gum).

Some of the story is explained simply here: http://www.joepastry.com/2009/rye_flour/

Excerpt:

All is not lost in the dicey world of rye, however, for rye grain does contain one unique ace-in-the-hole: a gummy cell wall goo called pentosan gum. And while one of pentosan gum’s effects is to even further undermine gluten formation, the gum itself traps and holds gas bubbles, contributing to rise. Pentosan gum also traps and holds water molecules, creating a bread that is at once moist and less inclined to staling.

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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Great info, all! Here's my recipe, for kicks and giggles:

1000gr water

1000gr hi gluten white flour

500gr rye flour

35gr salt

35gr fresh yeast

1250gr "fermented dough" -- made from 650gr water, 1000gr hi gluten flour, 22gr salt, 15gr fresh yeast, risen in cooler overnight

110gr potato flakes, mixed with 390gr water

As you can see, this recipe has some of the potato elements the KAF mix talked about . . . I wonder if that counteracts the lack of elasticity in the rye.

I don't consider adding wheat gluten, or citric acid, which is lemon juice, as unnatural products, BTW.

Lizz

---

"you miss 100% of the shots you don't take"

-Wayne Gretzky

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Emily,

Thanks ever so much for posting the Sandwich Rye recipe. I followed the recipe to the letter and it came out absolutly perfect. Wonderful flavor and texture.

Linda

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Emily,

Thanks ever so much for posting the Sandwich Rye recipe. I followed the recipe to the letter and it came out absolutly perfect. Wonderful flavor and texture.

Linda

Me too! I have made quite a number of loaves of this bread after converting the recipe to use in my Thermomix. I think it's a great rye bread.

Edited for punctuation error.

Edited by Anna N (log)

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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Late to the discussion, the rye I make is close to the "sandwich"recipe posted above,and I think the bulk of the flavor in it is from the caraway seeds. mine also has a small %of actual rye flour,,,

Bud

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