Use old loaves of rye bread to create this flavorful flax seed rye bread. Customers will be attracted to its rich flavor and excellent keeping quality.
The origin of flax seed rye bread is due entirely to the lamentable presence of old bread. Sales of organic 100 percent sourdough rye pullman bread were good with a shelf life of seven days. However, at the end of the week, some of the pumpernickel was unsold. Not wanting to discard this bread, I created a formula that would use some of the old bread. While it may sound unusual to recycle old bread into a new batch of dough, it has been a time-honored technique in parts of Europe. German bakers even have machines whose sole function is to render old bread into slurry that is added to new dough batches.
In the current formula, the old bread is soaked in water overnight, which makes it combine easily once added to the final dough. The old bread also provides a good amount of moisture retention to the loaves, which helps increase the bread's keeping quality and adds a deep, rich flavor note to the finished loaves. None of the ingredients are expensive or difficult to procure. Any type of mixer can be used, though I use a spiral mixer. It is best to use a steam-injected deck oven; however, as long as you can bake on a hot hearth, a wood burning oven or even a pizza oven will work. This is a wonderful bread to add to your repertoire, and your customers will agree. The bread goes very well with cheeses, charcuterie and smoked fish.
|Sir Galahad flour||13||3.6||6 kg||60|
|(artisan bread flour, 11.7% protein)|
|Whole rye flour*||8||13.1||4 kg||40|
|Flax seed||2||3.3||1 kg||10|
|Old bread||1||12.2||800 g||8|
|Total appr. wt.||44||7.1||20.161 kg||201.6|
*Medium rye can be substituted. Reduce water in the sourdough to 80 percent hydration.
|Whole rye flour||8||13.1||4 kg||100|
|Water, cool||7||5.1||3.32 kg||83|
|Mature culture*||1||1||480 g||12|
|Total appr. wt.||17||3.2||7.8 kg||195|
Method: About 16 hours before the final mix, disperse the mature sourdough culture into the cool water. Add the whole or medium rye flour, and mix until it is incorporated. Sprinkle a layer of rye on top, and cover the bowl with plastic to prevent dehydration. Ripen the sourdough at about 70°F. This step can be done in a mixing bowl or by hand.
|Flax seed||2||3.2||1 kg||100|
|Old bread||1||12.2||800 g||80|
|Water, cool||6||9.8||3 kg||300|
|Total appr. wt.||10||9.2||4.8 kg||480|
Method: Make the soaker at the same time you make the sourdough. Cut the old bread into cubes, and put it into a bowl along with the flax seed. Add the water and cover overnight.
|Sir Galahad flour||13||3.6||6 kg|
|Total appr. wt.||44||7||20.161 kg|
Method: Calculate the water temperature necessary to achieve a 78°F final dough temperature.* Remove a portion of the ripe sourdough in order to perpetuate the culture, and then add the remaining sourdough and the soaker to the mixing bowl. Add the remaining dough ingredients. Mix on first speed for three minutes to incorporate the ingredients. The dough should be moderately loose. Add a small amount of water or flour if necessary to adjust the consistency. Avoid adding an excess of flour. On second speed, mix for another four minutes to develop the gluten. The combination of 40 percent rye flour, old bread and flax will yield dough that is tacky and has only a moderate degree of gluten development. Transfer the dough to a tub, cover it, and let it bulk ferment for 45 to 60 minutes.
Divide the dough into appropriately sized pieces. The loaves in the photos were scaled at 1.5 lbs. (680 grams). Rolls can be scaled at 3 ozs. to 3.5 ozs. (85 g to 110 g). Pre-shape the loaves, and let them rest on the workbench for five minutes. Give a strong final shaping. For seeded loaves, press the top of the loaf into a damp cloth, then press it into a tray of seeds, such as 45 percent sesame, 45 percent flax and 10 percent caraway. Place the loaves into floured bannetons. If they are seeded, place the seeded side up. Proof the breads at 80°F for 45 to 60 minutes. Transfer the proofed loaves to a loading conveyor or peel. Score them with a serrated knife or baker's lame. Pre-steam the oven, load the bread, and steam again. Bake at 440°F for about 38 minutes, until well baked. Open the vents about one-third of the way through the bake.
*For information on making a sourdough rye culture from scratch or information on calculating water temperature to achieve the required desired final dough temperature, email Jeffrey.Hamelman@kingarthurflour.com
Sprinkle rye flour on top of the sourdough mixture, and cover with plastic. Ripen at 70°F.
Divide the dough into the desired size and shape. Dampen the top of the loaves with water, and dip the top in seeds.
Proof the breads at 80°F for about an hour, and score the loaves with a serrated knife or baker's lame.
Bake the loaves at 440°F for about 40 minutes. Serving suggestions include cheese, charcuterie and smoked fish.
Jeffrey Hamelman is an employee-owner of the King Arthur Flour Co. in Norwich, Vt. He runs the production bakery and instructs professional classes at King Arthur's Baking Education Center. For more information on the classes, call 800/652-3334.