Saturday, August 29, 2015

L'Otto di Merano - an Italian Rye Bread with the BBB

I truly love a nice piece of buttered rye toast with jam for breakfast.  That's what I enjoyed this morning.  That firm chew of the rye, with just enough caraway for good flavor but not overpowering.  I probably could have used even a little more to no detriment.  I ended up with a lighter rye bread because light rye was the only flour I had, no dark.  Named for the figure eight form of the loaf, this was a nice little bread to make.

Now I don't know if I measured wrong at some point for the starter, but for the final dough I needed three times as much water as called for to get a workable dough.  And it was a nice firm dough.  Not too dry, but definitely more than 60g worth of water needed.  My starter hung out in the fridge for two days and then had fun perking on the counter all day before making the dough.  I think I am the only person in the house that loves rye so I will have to freeze it just for me or take some of it down to my folks in a while to share.  I think next time I will just make one round or a batard out of the dough, it looked very nice rising in the bowl, though the smaller loaves fit in the toaster better.  Here is the recipe with my changes in blue.  Check out the original post at blog from OUR kitchen!  Oh, looks like I won't have to freeze it, right now my girls are really enjoying this bread sliced with butter and with butter and jam. 

L'Otto di Merano

300g water at 100º F
1/8 tsp active dry or instant yeast
1 Tbsp (21g) barley malt syrup (Or 25g crushed malted rye berries)
75g dark rye flour (light rye)
100g unbleached all purpose flour

Final Dough
All of the starter
60g water, plus more if the dough is too dry (180g)
½ tsp active dry or instant yeast
27g (2 Tbsp) olive oil or lard
400g unbleached all purpose flour (100g all purpose, 100g sprouted spelt, 200g white spelt)
10g sea salt (12 g)
2.5g (1¼ tsp) caraway seeds (or fennel)

The night before baking the bread:
 In a medium bowl, mix the yeast and barley malt into the water, and let sit for about 5 minutes. Add the rest of the starter ingredients and mix with a spoon until incorporated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature over night. 

The next day
 Dissolve the yeast into the rest of the water.  If you are using instant yeast, this step isn't necessary (just add it and the extra water to the starter without mixing).  Add the mixture to the starter and scrape the whole lot into the bowl of a stand mixer.  Add the lard or olive oil to the bowl.  Mix with the paddle attachment until blended.  Switch to the dough hook and add the rest of the ingredients and mix until the dough is smooth, about 4 minutes.  Add more water if necessary.  The dough should be soft and supple, but not sticky. 

Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover and let rise until doubled, about 2 to 3 hours.  Line a baking sheet with parchment.  Divide dough in half and shape each half into a ball.  Place the shaped balls snugly next to each other on the parchment paper, and cover with a tea towel.  Let rise until doubled again, about 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 400º F.  Remove the tea towel and spray the dough lightly with water.  Place the baking sheet in the oven on the middle rack (use a baking stone if you have one) and bake the loaf for about 40 minutes.  Cool completely on a wire rack.