After more of these, l am trying 50g less water instead of more flour as another poster suggested. And since my starter moves very fast, I will try a cooler bulk fermentation. I will also try using much less starter next time when I refresh it.
This recipe is a keeper!
I mixed two SD starters, one was dark rye and the other APF both at 100% hydration. While I was gifted the APF starter in may 2017 (named May) and created my rye this fall ( named Autumn). I have only been baking bread since May. I really like rye and this was my second time giving it a go. First time it was a 70% hydration! I had substitute a few things, zest of mandarin, fennel and Nigella sativa seed or (black caraway etc.) I also added 1tbls/5g cocoa powder. I just worked with what I had. (The cocoa was something I have read people add, even coffee. So I thought I would toss it in.) I wet my board with water instead of dusting with flour not sure about that… I used my Romertopf lid as proofing basket cause it was the same shape and thats what I have so I only preheated the bottom. Just kind of fliped it in like a overturning hammock. Great crumb and flavor is so good with honey butter or eggs on toast. I did use my Romertopf to bake and lowered the temp to 375° for 50 min. lid off for additional 10. My only/main oven is a Hamilton Beach countertop,convection, rotisserie … The Cadillac of toaster ovens lol but I make do.
I think part of making your own bread is understanding the nature of how the yeast and bacteria behaves, as well as the art of manipulating it. It really is an art, the craft of making artisan bread with just your hands. Each loaf is different and even with the same recipe you get different outcomes and with that you can perfect and learn. Retarding the dough in the refrigerator not only let’s you control how and when you bake but it produces lactic acid which gives sourdough that signature tang. For me it is intimate and the food I make is with love and passion. It is also about being self sufficient and learning to understand all these things in order to create bread the way ancient cultures did. I for one like reading people’s trials, errors and questions or seeing photos. It is a community of people who share a passion to learn about the art of artisan bread baking. Understanding the lost art of baking bread and making it available to anyone who cares. That is what Breadtopia is all about.
I have made this recipe so, so many times! I just love it. The smell is fantastic, anise and orange zest, and the bread tastes wonderful. I’ve made it on a cookie sheet, in a cast iron pan, a dutch oven, and in a clay pot. I’ve made it with honey or molasses or a combo. I’ve made it in very cold and very hot weather (always using a rye sourdough starter and no yeast). Here is what I’ve learned: the clay pot worked best for the crust, but all the cooking methods were good, even the cookie sheet. Flour them well so the dough does not stick. I like to use parchment paper in the clay pot. Don’t skimp on the 12-14 hour rise. I prefer 1/2 honey, 1/2 molasses to all molasses but it also depends on the molasses you use. Wholesome Organic Molasses was too strong for me but Blackstrap Molasses from Trader Joes was milder. Since this was my first foray into baking with a sourdough starter, making the same bread throughout the seasons really showed me how much a part weather and humidity play. It came out best in cooler weather (think: Sweden) and just didn’t work in very hot weather. I don’t have a/c and my kitchen is 80+ degrees in July (in any case, keeping the oven at 475 for over an hour is not appealing then). I love to eat this slathered in goat cheese or unsalted butter, lightly toasted or not, or with melted swiss cheese and sauerkraut.
I just tried this recipe and found it way, way waaaay to wet! I’m used to working at around 60-65% hydration, but thought that, this being the first time, especially with rye, I’d follow the recipe and video to a “T.”
I was very impressed with the taste of the raw dough, as well as how it proved. Next morning I had an easily doubled dough ball, but as soon as I began scraping it out of the bowl, I knew it would be trouble. I put it on my best well floured Booze Board, liberally dusted the top of the dough with flour, but as soon as I touched it, it stuck badly. Same with trying to scrape it from the board. I stuck to the scraper!
In truth, I’ve found this to be the case with most of Eric’s recipes - for whatever reasons, my dough seems much wetter and tackier than his. Back to the drawing board on this one. I’ll try 70% next time. I wonder if altitude (I’m at sea level), and/or humidity have anything to do with this?
I’ve been eyeing this recipe and finally had all to make it although I did use orange extract (1/2 tsp) instead of zest. I also added 2 T vital wheat gluten.
Method variation: started in the morning, used stand mixer and then let it rest covered until bedtime. I did a bit of light folding, then shaped 2 medium small loaves vs 1 large loaf. Refrigerated shaped loaves and baked the next morning (this morning). I cut into the loaf for my lunch and Oh, MY!!! The best rye I’ve ever made. I’m happy with flavor, crumb and crust.
Yes, the dough is wet and sticky but I use a GIT bowl scraper dipped in warm water, warm water on my hands, flour on my counter. I make ciabatta and other very wet doughs so have no issues with this dough. I used Hodgson stone ground rye, WheatMontana white flours … measure by weight.
I will quote Eric: “My favorite rye recipe so far!”
I have a large Bosch mixer and make 6 loaves of whole wheat bread all the time. I’m wondering if I tripled this recipe if I could get maybe 5 or 6 small loaves? Thanks!
I just made this recipe and I made 2 loaves instead of 1. One medium and 1 small. If the mighty Bosch can handle the volume … and it is a heavy mud-like dough, you can divide and get 5 or 6. I have a 5 quart Kenwood Chef and it didn’t bog down at all. I maybe could have done 1.5 of the recipe but not double in the 5 quart. So, FWIW, I think you will be ok with the double in a Bosch large.
I’m new at sourdough and even newer at rye. When I made the Artisan Rye, it seemed too wet and goopy, but I persevered, since I lacked experience in rye. I uncovered at 30 minutes and inserted my thermometer probe. The temp was around 205 after only five minutes. I pulled it out of the oven and the probe was wet with dough. So I put it back in, covered. I checked every ten minutes and wound up cooking about 30 minutes more. A beautiful loaf, but with a very burnt bottom. And the taste was really good, after sawing off the bottom of each slice.
I will definitely do it again, but I think I’ll start with 350 grams water and go by feel. I used a whole wheat starter but I don’t think that matters. Or does it?
I had same issue, goopy dough. And the loaf took about 30 minutes longer, with burnt bottom. Great crumb and taste. I’m gonna try it at 350 grams water and add if needed.
I’ve settled on a 68-69% hydration. It’s a much more workable dough for me, and turns out great. I cook it in a La Cloche at 485ºF for 40 minutes, never removing the top.
Today I cooked one using yeast rather than starter. What a difference. Stay with the starter if you have it.
Thanks. That would be about 338 g. water. I will start there and adjust by feel. Another thought, I didn’t add anise seed but the fennel was strong enough.
I agree… the fennel adds plenty of “licorice” flavor. But I’ve been using the anise and caraway as well. But the last two times I have forgotten the orange zest.
I followed your advice on water on a new loaf. I used 340 gr and everything worked so much better. Dough still very sticky. I did the final knead with wet hands, reminding me of the biga in Rinehart’s book. I removed the clay cloche cover at 30 minutes and inserted a thermo probe. In 5 minutes the temp went to 206. I removed from the oven and saw wet dough on the probe. I put it back into the oven, uncovered, and reduced the oven temp to 350 for 12 minutes.
I sliced in the middle of the loaf and found a little too much moisture in the center. Edible, but I’ll probably just toast the slices on this one. Great taste, pretty loaf.
I’ll keep trying. It’s a rye bread like no other rye bread I have ever tasted.
For what ever reason, Eric is able to use/handle a much wetter dough than I am. I have adjusted this recipe to 500g total flour (250 bread flour/250 rye), 69% hydration, all other ingredients remain as originally posted by Eric. I preheat to 500ºF, then reduce to 480-485ºF when putting dough in oven. Cook for 40 min with the lid on the entire time in deference to my wife, who doesn’t like the resulting “burnt/hard” crust when removing lid. I should also mention that my starter is probably about 75% hydrated - kind of like a thick pancake batter. I know that it makes a difference in total hydration, too.
It has become our daily bread! Love this recipe. I’m glad it’s working for you!
I will tweak some more. Like Edison, I’m learning many ways not to make bread. I’ll also find some anise seed.
Made this bread this weekend, it turned out amazing. I followed the recipe as written. I mixed my starter on Thursday morning by adding one tablespoon of rye flower to about 1/2 cup of my white Breadutopa sourdough starter. I then feed it each morning with Honeyville Best bread flour (not rye) and added a little water, covered it and placed it in our warm kitchen. By Saturday it was happy and growing, Saturday afternoon I began the process. My bread dough was VERY dry (using the amounts in recipe). It felt like a brick. During the 3,15 minute rest periods as I mixed the Dough I added some warm water to soften the Dough with the goal of getting the dough sticky not hard as a brick. It still didn’t feel “right”. Did the 14 hour proofing and baked in a Lodge Cast Iron pot 475 30 minutes, 10 @450 lid off. WOW! Got a nice high loaf with a tremendous oven spring. I was going to take a picture but by the time I cut the first piece it magically disappeared! The dough was still VERY stiff when I put it in the hot pot, I was worried it would not rise, I didn’t want flat bread. Going to make another loaf and give it to some friends who also bake bread. Didn’t like the feel but it worked out just fine.
Hi My rye bread is on it’s long proof right now as I finished it exactly at midnight last night. It’s now almost 9 am. I added a cup of flour to my mix…half bread and half rye…it’s still sticky. NOT tacky right down sticky. My house is quite chilly and it has rained a lot…to the point of areas of this city is flooding…So, I’m worried am i still too wet? I am very timid about adding even more flour. So for next time, should I have added even a bit more flour? Thanks! The dough is rising very nicely! Hoping i can get this sticky stuff into the proofing basket hehe. Thanks so much and i’ve taken what I learned from your bread baking series. Just timid here!
Rye flour makes sticky dough.
If you just want to be able to make a particular recipe with minimum hassle, then it’s always fine to just add more flour than called for in the original recipe until you get to a consistency that you can comfortably work with. You won’t get exactly the same results, but it will still be good.
But if you want to dive deeper into the craft of artisanal bread, at some point you are going to have to bite the bullet and learn how to handle sticky wet dough. There are several techniques to experiment with.
First, before you transfer into the basket, make sure that you liberally flour the basket (or basket liner which is a good idea with sticky, wet dough).
In terms of shaping and getting the dough ready to transfer to the basket, I’ve used three different techniques at different times:
- wet the work area, my bench knife, and my hands with water
- liberally powder the work area and my hands with dry flour
- wipe the work area, my bench knife, and my hands with oil
Ty for the quick reply on my very wet dough. My wet bread came out very nice. It came almost to the top of my breadtopia bread baker. Yes, I made one and a half recipe. But I got no ears! Well I dropped the thing into the breadtopia by accident.It landed side ways all the over the outside edge. I had to scoop it up and lay it down in the hot baker! I scored it but must not have been deep enough because the marks almost closed the entire way! It’s beautifully brown. Has wonderful interior. And it’s wonderful tasting! Whew!