Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sunflower Seed Bread with Rye Sourdough


This is definitely one of my new favorites. Yes, I remember I'm the guy who doesn't really like rye breads. But I really like sunflower seed breads and the rye, while definitely understated, does seem to add something to the bread.

The bread includes rye chops. I have made these in the past by running rye berries through the food processor. While working with this bread, I've found it better to get out a chef's knife and have at the rye berries. You usually don't need that many, it seems to go just as fast, isn't as noisy, and actually produces a better product. You don't get the rye flour that the food processor seems to produce while bouncing the berries around.

For me, this is a bread that benefits from a slightly longer rise that Hamelman suggests and from the use of a cloche. (I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that most breads benefit form a cloche, but that's a topic for another post.)

As I said, the bread benefits from the rye---at least for a few day.
I know this sounds a bit cryptic. Let me explain.
The rock-hard chops are soaked before making the bread and are reasonably tender after soaking.
But as the bread ages, they seem to loose moisture back to the bread.
After a couple of days the chops seem to go back to their original, rock-hard state. The good news: the bread is so tasty, there isn't likely to be much of it left after a couple of days, so this isn't much a problem. Just be warned, this is a great loaf but you should eat it quickly. Life can be demanding at times!

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