Saturday, September 16, 2017

BBB makes a Swiss Rye Ring

This month our host kitchen has shared with us a nice rye bread.  I do like rye, though I usually make it as a blend, not a 100% rye loaf.  And I could have sworn I had dark rye somewhere, but I didn't feel like unloading the freezer, where it was most likely to be, so used only light rye for this bread.  It's pretty cool that our host, Bread Experience, got to take a rye baking workshop with the author of this recipe.  The rye ring involves a three stage process, but don't get scared, it's mostly hands off.  There is a rye sponge, a wheat poolish, and the final dough.  It takes about 13-15 hours from start to finish but most of that time is spent on the overnight sponge and poolish.  I actually chose to use the day time to rest my sponge and poolish and was going to bake that night.  Well, I forgot to start at 7pm and when I remembered at 10pm I didn't want to stay up.  So I made the final dough and retarded it in the fridge overnight.  Then I set it out in the morning to bake after I got the kids to school.  I really like how the bread turned out, even though I suspect I should have given it at least another half hour to proof.  It did almost double in the 85 minutes I gave it but there was not much in the way of oven spring for the ring.  The dough had definitely doubled overnight but was also cold.  Regardless, it baked up with a nice crackly top and a tight and chewy crumb, reminiscent of a sourdough.  I thought I could detect just the slightest hint of tang in the bread.  We all liked it very much, first with butter, then with butter and jam.  Delicious.  The kids have been snacking on it all next day too.

Now, if you don’t have a rye sourdough starter, you have a few options: 1) you can use the regular wheat starter you have (although it won’t be totally authentic); 2) take some of your regular starter and feed it with rye flour for a few days to create a rye starter from your regular sourdough starter, (this is what I did); or 3) develop a new rye sourdough from scratch, (some of the babes tried this with, umm, mixed results.)  I keep my starters at less than 100% hydration, I like to do this because it slows it down and I don't have to feed it quite as often.  It's more forgiving that way in my opinion.  You have to be careful not to fold so much that the gluten starts to tear.  Just so it feels a bit more bouncy and firm.  Once it got to that stage, I rolled my pieces under my loosely cupped hand on the counter, dinner roll style.  My shape was not the traditional one piece ring that way.  I'd love to try it in a clay baker to see if I can get better rise out of it.  Letting it warm up more would help too!

We had many different versions of the loaf between the babes, depending on starters and what flours were readily available.  I had intended on mixing my dark and light rye flours to make the medium, but couldn't find the dark, so went with all light.  I did order the first clear flour though.  Some babes used high extraction flour instead, I think a bread flour or strong all purpose would work fine too.  Rye is low gluten so anything to help the structure!  I folded my pieces four times before shaping so they would have good gluten strands around the outside.

So if you're feeling adventuresome and ready for fall baking, (at least it's fall here), we'd love for you to try it out and share your results with us!  You don't have to have a blog to participate, a picture will do.  Just send a picture or your post of your finished bread to the host kitchen by the 29th of this month.  You will receive a Bread Baking Buddy graphic to keep or add to your post, and be included in our Buddy round up at the end of the month.  New recipes are posted every month on the 16th.  Check out our Facebook group to see most of the Babes' baking results during that time.

Swiss Rye Ring/Brasciadela/Kantonsbrot Graubünden
Makes 2 rings

Rye Sponge:
Medium rye flour 300 g 10.60 oz  (I used white rye)
Warm (105°F/41°C) water 200 g 7.05 oz
Rye sour culture 20g 0.70oz

Wheat Poolish:
First clear flour 200g 7.05oz
Cold water 200g 7.05oz
Instant yeast 8g 0.30oz

Final Dough:
Rye sponge 520g 18.3oz
Wheat poolish 408g 14.40oz
Medium rye flour 110g 3.88oz (I used all white rye)
White rye flour 210g 7.41g
First clear flour 82g 2.89oz
Warm (105°F/41°C) water 170g 6.00oz
Salt 20g 0.71oz

The night or morning before you plan to bake, combine the rye sponge ingredients by hand into a stiff dough.  Cover and ferment at room temperature (70°F/21°C) until doubled in volume 10-12 hours. Then mix the poolish ingredients by hand, cover and refrigerate 10-12 hours.

In the mixer, combine the sponge, poolish, and remaining ingredients and use the dough hook at low speed to mix into a stiff, slightly sticky dough that leaves the sides of the bowl and gathers around the hook, 6-8 minutes. (I brought the dough together, then let it rest for 10 minutes to hydrate before kneading for another few minutes.  Then I set it to proof overnight in the fridge.)  Cover the dough and ferment at room temperature until doubled in volume, 60-75 minutes.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it into two pieces weighing about 26 oz./750 g each. Form each piece into an oblong about 18 inches/45 cm long and 2 inches/5 cm in diameter. (I recommend adding some folds before shaping to align and strengthen the gluten structure.)  Shape each into a ring, wetting the ends to seal, and place on a well-floured peel, if using a baking stone, or parchment-lined sheet pan. 
(I made my ring out of smaller rolls instead of one large ring.)
Cover and proof at room temperature until the breads have visibly expanded and surface shows cracks or broken bubbles.  (Mine were almost doubled but no cracks or bubbles.)

Preheat the oven to 480°F/250°C with the baking rack/stone in the middle and a steam pan on a lower shelf.  Dock the surface of each loaf thoroughly and evenly to a depth of at least ¼”/0.6 cm. with a fork, chopstick or docking wheel.  (I used the tip of my thermapen because it is ½" long, perfect for docking.)

Bake with steam 15 minutes, then remove the steam pan, reduce the temperature to 410°F/210°C and bake until the loaves thump when tapped with a finger and the internal temperature is at least 198°F/92°C, about 30 minutes.  (For my oven and shape, this loaf was done in 22 minutes.)  Transfer to a rack and cool thoroughly before slicing.


The rest of the Bread Baking Babes:

Nutrition for one half of a bun if you shape it the way I did:


  1. I love the way you shaped this Kelly! Your crumb looks fabulous. I know what you mean about hunting through the freezer to find that ingredient you just know you have but it means emptying everything out! Ha ha!

  2. I simply couldn't go away your web site before suggesting that I extremely enjoyed the usual info
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  3. What a fun way to do a ring! I can totally relate to not wanting to start something at 10pm - but for me that's better than early am lol

  4. I do so recognise that you're sure it's somewhere there... but either too much work to look for it, or it just happens to be elsewhere without knowing. When it eventually turns op (when you're not looking for it) I never can't remember what I needed it for in the first place.

    Love the ring shape this way, easier for individual servings. the white rye looks good too!

  5. I loved the way you shaped your ring and the crumb is fabulous! I see that you used all white rye. I used all whole grain rye. I need to try it with all white rye.

  6. Incredible! Love the shape! and I love that even though you forgot your intended time plan you came up with alternate work around. We all seem to have gained so much experience and confidence.
    Lovely loaf!

  7. I love the ring of rye buns you made! How brilliant. The crumb looks beautiful and the crust looks spectacular!

  8. I really like reading an article that can make people think.
    Also, thanks for allowing for me to comment!


Thanks for commenting, I love hearing from you! If you have any questions I will do my level best to answer them for you.