My wife went out of town this weekend, so I took that as an opportunity to cook a couple of things that she normally doesn't like very much, but which I, myself, really love. One of those is a big ol' loaf of Dutch Oven Sourdough Rye Bread, so I can make my infamous braunschweiger and cheese sandwiches. The other is the Dutch Oven Kofta bi Tahini that I cooked up soon after starting up this blog.
While I pretty much followed the original recipes in the links, there were a few things I did differently. As a result, I'm going to rewrite the recipes and processes here in these posts. As always, I recommend reading my Dutch Oven Bread Baking Lens fiirst, for good basic information.
Dutch Oven Sourdough Rye Bread
12" Dutch Oven
10-12 coals below
18-20 coals above
- 1 Cup Sourdough Start
- 2 Cups Dark Rye Flour
- 2 Cups White Bread Flour
- 1 1/2 Cups warm water (just almost hot to the touch)
- 2 Tbsp Vital Gluten
- 1 Tbsp Dough Enhancer (optional, but I always add it)
- 1 Cup plain Yogurt
- 1 Egg
- 2 Tbsp Molasses
- 3 Tbsp Oil
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 2 Tbsp Roasted Drink Powder (like coffee, Postum, Cocoa, or Pero)
- Liberal shakes of caraway seeds
- 1 cup white bread flour
- Up to 1-2 additional cups white bread flour during kneading
It started up the night before, when I took my sourdough start out of the fridge. I poured off the "hooch" and mixed in some more flour and water. I needed to "feed" it to reactivate it. A few hours later, it was frothy and bubbly with yeast bugs. I scooped out about a cup, and put the rest back in the fridge.
I put the frothy start in a bowl and mixed in all of the ingredients in the sponge set. If you check out the original recipe you'll notice one change. I moved the yogurt to the dough phase. I've been hearing/reading that fresh (unscalded) milk and milk products contain enzymes that can inhibit the rise.
I covered it with plastic wrap and set it aside on my kitchen counter for the night.
The next morning (not too early, though), I mixed in all the ingredients of the dough set. I used Pero for the roasted powder. I really like the flavor of it. I like the flavor cocoa brings, as well, but this time I chose Pero. Postum is good, but I think it's not being made any more. Between the rye, the powder and the molasses, it gets a nice, rich, dark color. Not black, just a deep brown.
Then, I kneaded it on a floured tabletop, and kept adding flour until it got to the right stickiness, and until it made a good windowpane. I set it aside to rise, oiled and covered in plastic wrap.
- Let it rise, and watch until it has almost "risen enough". Usually, they say to let it rise until it has doubled in bulk, so just before it gets there, I go to the next step, which is...
- Go outside and light up the coals. Mix them occasionally to make sure they all light pretty evenly.
- While the coals are lighting, I come in and degas the bread dough, and shape it. Now, most of the time I'm making a boule, so there's not much "shaping" going on, but sometimes I'll do rolls or four smaller boules. I used to like doing a braided wreath, but it's been a while since I've done that.
- Oil the inside of the dutch oven and set the bread in to proof.
- Once the coals are ready, I take the dutch oven lid outside and pour a lot of coals on top of it, and set it aside to preheat.
- When the dough is proofed in the dutch oven (meaning it has risen some more), I do any decorating or topping, and slicing of the top.
- Finally, I take the dutch oven out. I take some of the coals off the lid to make the undercircle of coals and I set the dutch oven with the bread on the circle. I put on the lid, and mark the time.
- Every fifteen minutes or so, I rotate the lid and the oven to prevent hot spots. I check the temperature by holding my hand over the top of the oven and use that as a guide to see if the coals need replenishing. I'll check the underside coals to see how they're burning.
- After about a half hour of baking, I'll open the lid and check on it. At that point, I'll usually stick a thermometer into it and close up the lid. I try not to have the lid off for very long. A few seconds really.
- The next time I rotate the lid, I'll lift it for a few seconds and check the bread's internal temperature. 180 is "gettin' close". 190-200 is "done!"
So, I followed the pattern, brought it in, and let it cool on my new cooling racks (I don't know how I did bread before I had those). Delicious stuff! Just check the pictures!
Mark has discovered a love of Dutch Oven Cooking. Mark also has other sites and blogs, including MarkHansenMusic.com and his MoBoy blog.