|Sure, there are three
steps, but the first step is
easy and the last two
steps don't require any
work at all!
|March 7, 2012
One Step 100% Rye Bread Made with Commercial Yeast
One of the holy grails of artisan bread baking is the production of 100% rye
bread from commercial yeast. A well-established, but time and labor
intensive method of making 100% rye bread is called the Detmolder
method. As outlined by Hamelman, it consists of three phases over a 24-30
hour process that is meant to develop the yeast (first phase, at 76-79 F),
acetic acid (second phase, at 73-80 F), and lactic acid (third phase, 85-
89F). Since I don’t have an environment capable to precise temperature
control and since I have a general aversion to complicated procedures, I
have never made 100% rye via the Detmolder method. I did, however, try
a bunch of different techniques for producing a 100% rye loaf. Most were
absolute failures, but I did eventually come up with a winner.
My method involves using the Lahey method of mixing a very small amount
of commercial yeast with the other dough ingredients and letting the dough
ferment at room temperature for a prolonged period. The overall hydration
level is around 100% once you add the vinegar and molasses to the water.
This procedure seems provide a good environment for yeast growth and
acid production. I merely add vinegar when mixing up the dough initially to
help provide the acetic acid needed for good rye dough development.
The result is a dense but well developed and eye-catching rye loaf that really
lets the flavor or rye shine and keeps well week or more. As with any rye
bread, for the best crumb, let it cool several hours, or even a day before
slicing into it. Given the historical importance of rye in Eastern Europe,
there must be some easy old Old World 100% rye recipes out there; if you
happen to have one, let me know and I’ll share it.
One Step 100% Rye Bread
In a large bowl stir together the rye flour, yeast and salt. Stir in the
molasses, oil, vinegar and water until smooth, then stir vigorously another
15-30 seconds. Cover and allow to rise at room temperature for 16-20
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and divide in half (if making two
loaves). Using wet hands, shape the dough into a boule or batard,
smoothing out any seams or irregular spots with your wet hands.
Do not try to roll the dough into a rectangle as with wheat dough, but shape
the clump of pasty dough directly into a boule or batard. Place on a
parchment covered baking sheet or peel and cover lightly with plastic
wrap. Allow to rise at room temperature for about 30 minutes while the
oven warms up.
Preheat the oven, baking stone and steam pan to 450 degrees. Slash the loav
(es) then slide onto the baking stone. Turn the oven down to 400 degrees
and pour a cup of water into the steam pan. Bake for 45 minutes then
remove to a wire rack to cool.