That Bread Baking Is So Hot Right Now!
Have you ever noticed that every loaf of Artisan Rye Bread is like an individual work of art? There’s something very special about them. Each as individual as a snowflake but far tastier! The early morning hours are occupied with two things: bakers making bread and eaters sleeping while the bakers bake bread! To many people, mystery surrounds the magical art of baking bread.
Some people are happy to have others make the bread. We were curious to know how to do it and decided to learn. Now we’re really excited about the results, we want to share them with you!
Our Artisan Rye Bread Making Secrets
We will share what we’ve learned from making bread every day for a few months. One thing we learned early in the process was to relax and everything will turn out fine! Flour is cheap, water is cheap. Time is your most valuable commodity, and we’ll show you how to save yours!
Start With Quality Ingredients!
The idea of using quality ingredients doesn’t mean it needs to be expensive. It is possible to get results similar to bakery bread at a fraction of the cost. Well, if you don’t count your time in that! We wil show you how to save money by baking bread in your home kitchen.
We’ve used all-purpose flour, baker’s flour, bleached, unbleached, whole wheat and the list goes on. There are a few simple points to understand about flour:
- Make sure the flour is fresh.
You can’t make fresh-tasting bread with stale flour.
- Different flours have different properties. For example; All-purpose flour contains less gluten in comparison with bread flour. And, whole wheat flour is very absorbent and needs more water than highly processed flours. Confusing?
To keep it simple, our guide will focus on the flour we need for making our Artisan Rye Bread.
We will use two kinds of flour; all purpose flour and rye.
All-purpose flour is cheap flour. This flour has a protein content of between 8 to 11%. All-purpose flour is a blend of high gluten content hard flour and softer flour. For the record, all-purpose flour is the US equivalent to Australia’s “plain flour”.
Rye flour is a slightly sour tasting flour often used in sourdough and rye loaves. carbohydrates in rye flour affects the gluten’s ability to bind and form effectively. The end result is a lower loaf volume.
Why Do you Use a Blend of Different Flour?
There are two simple reasons: taste and texture. Using just plain flour tastes boring. To improve the taste you might need to add some kind of flavors. And the texture can be a little monotonous. We have used a mixture of plain and rye flours. This results in a delicious loaf with good texture and an adequate rise.
Adequate rise? Let’s not get technical here. Remember we mentioned that rye flour makes a lower loaf volume. We added plain flour to help the bread rise. Just like making bread with only plain flour would be boring, you can’t use only rye flour either. Rye flour alone would make a brick. You wouldn’t eat a brick and you wouldn’t eat a 100% rye loaf either.
After some experimentation, we have used 20% rye flour in this loaf and we find this to be a nice mixture of taste and texture.
Enough Talk, Let’s Make Some Artisan Rye Bread!
Combine all ingredients into the mixer. Mix the dough for 5 minutes. The dough will slowly come into form and you shouldn’t need to add any more water or flour. Simply follow the measurements we have provided.
Form the dough into a ball and leave it in a warm place for a few hours. The dough needs to double in size. It ould be more or less time. Be flexible! This will depend on the temperature of your room.
We cover the bowl using a posh shower cap. We obtained it from a fancy three-star hotel during a recent visit to China. You can always use cling wrap, we know not everyone is lucky enough to stay in a three-star hotel. Finally, putting a tea towel over the top will keep it warm.
We have let it rise overnight in the fridge and produced great results. Artisan Rye Bread is all about the way you do it and it can be deeply personal!
Here’s how it looked after it has risen for the first time. Note that the dough is plump and rounded. It will separate from the bowl cleanly at this stage.
Let’s say you did leave it in the fridge, or let it rise for a lot longer. There would be some visible differences:
- The dough would not be as plump.
- It would be less firm.
- It becomes very stretchy, almost like a thin and tacky slime.
If this happens, DON’T PANIC. The dough is ok, it’s just different. If it gets like this, make sure you use a good amount of flour to stop it from sticking to things. By things, we mean you. Sticking to you. It will do that. And it’s relentless. Your day will become a misery and you’ll question why you even got out of bed. Remember to keep calm as things will work out fine.
On a floured surface, knead the bread for about a minute to take he air out of it. This is called de-gassing. There’s no requirement to know the term “de-gas”, unless you want to show off using fancy jargon as you take credit for the magnificent loaf.
Roll it, knead it, and form it into the rough shape you want it to end up like.
Place the dough on a baking tray on top of a slice of baking paper, cover with a tea towel and let it rise again. It will take around an hour to rise again. there’s a lot of talk about over proving the dough. For us, it was simple. The dough rises for a certain amount of time only. The rise is continual. Then just like this sentence, it stops. without warning. You want to catch the bread at the peak of the rise, not after it’s finished. The dough should rise again by about one third in size.
Start preheating the oven now. Turn it up to around 210ºC / 410ºF
Here is the dough after the econd rise. It’s a bit bigger, plump, and almost ready to bake.
Now you’re ready to dress it for the oven. All you need to do is this:
- Spray with a light mist of water. This will give the bread a good crust. Some people pour water into a baking tray below the bread to fill the oven with steam. Others have fancy ovens with steam functions. We’re being basic to make it simple.
- Sprinkle some additional caraway seeds on top.
- Use a sharp knife or razor to make some slits in the bread. As the bread cooks, the slits will cause the bread to split.
You are almost done now!
The final step is to get this loaf into the oven. Cook for about 40 minutes at 210ºC / 410ºF.
Tap on the loaf to test it’s done. If it sounds hollow, it’s cooked.
The oven tray is very hot. Lift the cooked loaf from the baking tray using the baking paper. Place it on a wire rack to cool.
Pretend you’re a magician pulling a table cloth out from under the dinner plates: Rip the baking paper out from under the loaf in the same way.
Artisan Rye Bread Tips and Tricks
Use caution If the dough has risen for too long on the second rise. Don’t slit it with a knife. It will just deflate. If you have caught it at the top of the rise, it will be fine.
Some artisan bakers let the first rise go for a long time. This results in a very pliable dough. If yours is like that, don’t knead the bread between rises. Simply lie it on your bench, slowly stretch it out. Gently fold it into a rectangle. Finally roll the dough to form a loaf. Use a thin smear of olive oil over the bench to prevent it from sticking. Using flour at this stage is not advisable as it will not give the gutter in the extra flour time to develop. You will get a brick instead of a loaf, if kneaded from ,
Thinking of Making Our Artisan Rye Bread Yourself?
Don’t let the amount of ingredients intimidate you. First, print out the recipe and tick off all the things you already have. Then you will have a small and convenient list to take to the store. Preparation saves time. It’s difficult to resist marching ahead quickly, but getting all your ducks in order helps a lot. Even if it’s chicken you’re cooking.
Make it Now With This Simple Cooking At Home Is Fun Recipe:
Artisan Rye Bread
- Stand Mixer
- Dough Hook
- Baking Tray
- 450 g All-purpose flour
- 150 g rye flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 Tsp dried instant yeast
- 3 Tbsp caraway seeds
- 390 ml warm water
- Using a stand mixer bowl, add all dry ingredients and mix while dry to combine into a consistent mixture.
- Warm water to 35ºC / 95ºF. The most simple way is to add one cup of boiling water to two cups of room temperature water. That’s more water than you need, it’s just a simple way to do it. Measure 390ml of water and pour into stand mixer bowl.
- Mix using a dough hook for between 5 to 10 minutes. Resist the urge to add water or flour if you think it’s heading in the wrong direction. Trust the recipe first. Once the dough is smooth, it’s ready.
- Form the dough into a ball by hand. Return it to the stand mixer bowl, cover with a shower cap or cling wrap, followed by a tea towel on top to keep it warm,. Place in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size. About 2 hours.
- Once it has risen, knead it for 30 seconds on a floured bench to de-gas.
- Preheat oven to 210ºC / 410ºF.
- Form it into the shape you want it to be when cooked and put onto baking paper on a baking tray. Cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place to rise again by about 30 to 50%. About one hour but up to 2.5 hours.
- Cook for about 40 minutes at 210ºC / 410ºF. The bread will sound hollow when you tap it.