Saturday, July 20, 2013

Homemade Rye/Pumpernickel Sourdough

We have discovered recently that my daughter with gluten sensitivity can tolerate sourdough bread!  As long as she doesn't over-indulge, it doesn't seem to bother her the way bread made with commercial yeast does- that's because sourdough works on gluten slowly, breaking it down better than commercial, fast-acting yeasts.  So, there is less gluten in the finished product, making it easier to digest.  Yes, it takes longer to make, BUT here are two delectable recipes to make the extra time well worth it!:
I have experimented with two new sourdough recipes over the past few days, and they are both great- I think my favorite is the rye loaf... my bread-loving-daughter seems to enjoy the pumpernickel.  The loaves follow the same general directions, so I am putting them into the same post.
Rye Sourdough:
1 3/4 c water
1 3/4 c rye flour
1 3/4 c unbleached wheat flour
2 T maple syrup
1 3/4 t salt
zest one orange
Pumpernickel Sourdough:
1 3/4 c water
1/3 c molasses
3 T cocoa
1 3/4 t salt
1 1/2 c unbleached wheat flour
1 c rye flour
1 c whole wheat flour
Directions for BOTH recipes:
Mix all ingredients (the dough will be wet but firm).  Let rest 15 minutes.
Sprinkle dough with flour, then mix again.  Let rest 15 minutes, then repeat.
( I usually mix with a wooden spoon- just scrape and flip the dough into the middle until incorporated.)  Click here for a great website with more detailed instructions for sourdough :)

Here's what your dough should look like at this point.  It should hold its shape pretty well- if it is too wet, just add more flour until it is very stiff.

By the last sprinkle/mix, your dough should be stiff enough to handle.  Move it to a floured surface and clean out your bowl.  You may want to momentarily knead the dough and form into a ball before putting it back into the clean bowl. 
Cover the dough with a thick, wet cloth or plastic wrap to keep the dough from going dry.  Let dough sit overnight (12 to 15 hours).

After the first rise period, you are ready to shape your dough.  I made mine into a boule (French for "round")... you could also make a batarde (an oblong loaf).  Click here to view a great video on how to shape your loaves.
In the picture above, I have used a stainless steel bowl instead of a banneton (proofing basket).  I lined it with a floured towel and placed the dough inside, seam side UP.  Then, let the dough rise (covered with towel or plastic) for another 1- 1 1/2 hours.
Heat your oven to 450 degrees F about half-hour before the rise is finished.  Be sure to heat your baking stone, too!

When the second rise period is up, use your peel (I used a piece of cardboard) to flip the bread out of the proofing "basket".  Be sure to flour the bread so that it won't stick to the peel when you slide it onto your baking stone.  Brush off the excess flour, then cut some shallow slits in the bread skin with a sharp blade.  I used a clean blade from a utility knife/ box cutter.
As you are shutting the oven door, throw about 1/3 cup water onto the oven floor.  If you have a gas oven, place a shallow pan on the lowest rack before you heat the oven and use that to catch the water.  The steam will help set the crust on your loaf!
Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the temp to 400 degrees F for 10 minutes more.

Here is my loaf-almost done!  When you slide the bread off your "peel", be sure to use quick movements and put bread as close to the center of your stone as possible.  ( I bought this stone at a discount store for about $10)
Check the internal temperature of your loaf before removing from the oven.  It should be 200 degrees F- I use an instant-read thermometer.  If the loaf is too cold, lower the oven temperature to 375 and bake for another 10-15 minutes.

The finished loaf!  It could be in a bakery window, right?!

The pumpernickel loaf was amazing- not too heavy, with a crispy crust and lots of flavor!  My rye didn't rise quite as much but was really tasty!  Be sure to eat with plenty of butter :)

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