Field Blend #2 from Flour Water Salt Yeast by Ken Forkish

Another bread experiment! This one I have already tried twice. You can find the recipe on page 159 of the book.

This was the first time I had used rye flour. The recipe notes say that rye flour makes dough more sticky, but I was definitely NOT prepared. I thought I was, but when it was time to divide and shape the dough I probably lost half a loaf from stickiness. Part of this was probably because I’m still not sure if I am doing my stretching and folding correctly, part was because I did not flour my work surface enough, and part was probably because bread is alive until you bake it and this one had an attitude.

I managed to get the dough shaped and proofed and into the oven. The first time around I had to reshape my dough last minute (it just completely turned into a blob. Maybe I let the bulk fermentation run too long? Still working on that issue.) and toss it in the pan. Again, I didn’t have high hopes. Surprisingly, I got decent oven spring, though the tops looked a bit weird. Ken Forkish recommends baking seam side up, and the last minute reshape made things very strange. This bread smells so good when it’s baking! The crust was crisp and chewy without being TOO chewy, the texture was nice, and the rye flour added in an exra bit of flavor.

A few days after this bread was finished, my three year old asked me for more “sourdough rye.” She wanted the bread (weird but yay? Rye is better for you anyway I’m pretty sure) and I wanted more practice, so I figured why not. The second time around I felt like the dough was getting more development with the stretching and folding. It was easier to get out of the tub when it was time to divide, and I felt like shaping went a LITTLE bit better, though I am still having trouble with the sticky high hydration doughs.

Unfortunately, when I went to bake it I did not get very much oven spring. One loaf was almost normal, but the other one was pretty flat and very ugly. I’m still not sure exactly what happened, but luckily both loaves tasted delicious! I am hoping that with practice I’ll get better, and I have my fingers crossed that I’m not practicing bad habits.

 

The crust was still pretty good on these loaves, and though I didn’t take pictures the crumb was not completely squashed. There were weird bubbles around the side of the flattish loaf. Like some weird, spiky dinosaur. The flatter loaf didn’t really open up while baking either.

I still love this book, and I will be making this bread again. The flavor is really good and I’m hoping I can get the loaves to look nice eventually.

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