Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Vollkornbrot and Vollkornbrot with Flaxseeds


It's payback time. After two great breads, it couldn't last. Another rye. If you have been following this blog, you'll know I'm not enamored with rye breads and that hasn't changed.

Actually, I'd have to describe these two loaves a failures. While the blame may rest squarely on me, I simply didn't see enough in these two breads to make is work the effort to figure out what went wrong.

Rather than make two humongous loaves, I cut each recipe in half and baked the breads in the same pullman pan. The times and temperatures were the same, and there was very little difference between the loaves.

The dough was sticky and wet and difficult to work with. The results were heavy, stodgy; certainly not something that I would want to make again. Both loaves molded quickly and had to be discarded.

While I started out largely indifferent to rye breads, as this challenge go on, I'm liking them less and less. Two abysmal loaves!

1 comment:

  1. Well, if you don't like high-fraction rye breads then perhaps the Hamelman challenge is not ideal for you, given the place these take in his book. I baked the Vollkorn with flaxseeds 2 days ago, with one modification in the recipe: I didn't have access to rye chops so used pinhead oats instead. Also, due to the high ambient temperature where I am (India, about 35 centigrade in my kitchen) I shortened the sourdough rise from the recommended 14-16 hours to 10 hours. After mixing, the dough looked like a mess, I half scooped it in a pullman pan and let it rise for 50 minutes. It didn't rise very much, guessing about 2 or 3 cm. If there was any oven spring i didn't notice it. After baking as per the instructions I was left with a brick that had the density of lead. At this point I more or less resigned myself that it would be one for the dust bin but waited 34 hours after baking to slice/saw (you need a good, serrated bread knife) through it. Huge surprise when I noticed that a) it could (luckily) be sliced really thin and kept its structure well and b) texture and taste were absolutely magnificent. I can recommend the recipe to people who like typical heavy, extremely dense German breads with a pronounced sourdough/sweet/nutty taste profile. A critical point would however be the sourdough fermentation time. Fermentation of the sourdough fraction should imho better be judged visually/by taste as it depends too much on ambient temperature and the strength of your starter to give any hard and fast rules.

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