I’ve always maintained that I’m not a big Rye Bread fan, but it seems I need to reconsider that statement. The more I make rye bread, the more I like it. This Sourdough Rye with Walnuts is no exception.
Sourdough Rye with Walnuts
Makes: 2 large loaves
The formula for this Sourdough Rye bread can be found on page 208 of Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes by Jeffrey Hamelman.
You can find a modified version on Living in the Kitchen with Puppies.
The formula included raisins, but I omitted them because I wanted to use this bread in a savory dish. I also only added a handful of walnuts rather than a full cup as the recipe suggests. I was very pleased with the results. This sourdough rye has a slightly nutty flavor and chewy crust. It tastes great warm with butter and goes really well with cheese. We served it for dinner with a salad and pasta and homemade roasted vegetable pasta sauce. The flavors went together very nicely.
Preparing the Sourdough
The night before I planned to make the bread (Friday night), I mixed up the sourdough using my fed starter, medium rye flour and water. Then I let it ripen for 16 hours. I used the starter we created in the Bread Bakers Apprentice Challenge.
Mixing the Dough
The next day, after 16 hours, I mixed all of the ingredients (except the walnuts) in my spiral mixer.
I kneaded in the walnuts by hand.
Fermenting the Dough
Then placed the dough in the bowl and let it ferment for 1 hour.
After the dough had doubled in size, I placed it on the counter sprinkled with flour.
Then divided it into two pieces using my bench scraper.
Shaping the Loaves
I thought about proofing the loaves in my bannetons, but opted to do freeform loaves instead. I decided to shape the loaves into my favorite shape – the torpedo. I took photos of the process but they turned out fuzzy. For directions on shaping a torpedo loaf, refer to my New York Deli Rye post.
I placed the loaves on parchment paper sprinkled with cornmeal and let them ferment for an hour.
After the loaves had fermented for an hour, I scored them using a serrated knife. I made 3 slashes in one loaf and one slash down the middle on the other loaf. I wanted to see the difference when they were baked.
After the oven had preheated to 475 degrees, I placed the loaves in the oven on my rectangular baking stone with a steam pan underneath. I spritzed the walls of the oven three times with water during the first 15 minutes of baking. Then turned the oven down to 450 degrees.
I baked the loaves for about 15 more minutes at 450, but the bottom was beginning to darken so I turned the oven down to 425 degrees and let the loaves finish baking.
This rye bread was really easy to make. I am pleased with the way the scoring turned out.
As I mentioned, we enjoyed a few slices of one of the loaves for dinner with pasta.
I saved the rest for Sourdough Strata with Tomatoes and Greens. It was delicious!
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