Friday, July 16, 2010

80 per cent with Soaker

This is one of Hamelman's Bread recipes that calls for a soaker.  

Rye flour is covered with boiling water, giving it a chance to become gelatinous and sweet.  This bread was (is) a big experiment for me.

First, the chance to use my newly inherited la cloche.

Here's my starter Gladass worming her way into the picture. 

This is a sourdough, after all...

The clay was filled to about 2 cm or 3/4 inch from the top.  Even after reading about how little oven spring there was with a sourdough rye, caution was still used.  Good thing, too.

The lid was soaking upside down in the sink, full of water.

After oiling and filling the la cloche, the dough was patted smooth with a small spatula dipped in water every few strokes.  This was some seriously sticky dough.

There was plenty of dough left over for a boule.  We had seen a lady baking on an old Julia Child show, and she kneaded the dough with a vengeance.  Time to try it the old fashioned way.  After working up a good sweat, the dough was hung in a dish towel from a cupboard.  It made for a really nice shape, but the whole old fashioned kneading is not gonna happen again very soon.

Anyway, after the final rise, both loaves were sent to the oven for some intense heat.

After 15 minutes, the lid was supposed to be removed from the cloche.  It was firmly stuck on the side, but eventually it gave way.
So much for no 'oven spring' with Rye bread.

Those little edges were really tasty.  Oh, yes I did!

After the rest of the bake, the loaves came out.

You can see how much oven spring was there in this picture:

Here you can see the edges missing.
 And here, the special design on the bottom of the loaf:

 (no, not a special design)

Anyway, you are not supposed to cut the loaf for at least a day.  I cut the boule, and regret it.  Here is a shot of it before cutting, though.

Once it has cooled for a day we will see if there is any crumb.

 For now, I am off to Mellow Bakers to post this.

OK, this is the reason why you should not cut too early:

It just gums up and rolls the crumb, which is sticky enough on this bread anyway.  See how the dough rolls?

Here is is the next day.


  1. Looks great, Steve! I am impressed by the oven spring, and after hearing the success stories about this loaf, I am a little sad that I opted for the 70% instead! Great job!

  2. Loads of spring, brilliant! that Gladass is a frisky beastie! Lovely post, I'm like Abby, thinking maybe I should have tried this one too!