Thursday, September 27, 2007

Kevin: Sandwich Rye Bread Recipe

Sandwich Rye

A few years ago I made a sourdough rye bread using wild yeast that I captured and cultured. I made a decent bread from it, albeit rather tough and coarse, but I already had a sourdough culture I was caring for and decided I didn't need twins in my life. Nevertheless, I do love a good sour rye bread for sandwiches and so I eventually got around to coming up with a good sandwich rye.

The trick with rye bread is that rye is low in glutenin. Gluten is a combination of two primary protein molecules, glutenin and gliadin. Glutenin provides stretchability and gliadin provides plasticity. In the presence of water, glutenin in particular can bind to other glutenin molecules at each end (forming even longer chains) and to other molecules in the center. By kneading dough you encourage the glutenin molecules to make these links and thus you get bread dough's ability to rise. Gliadin molecules, in turn, enable the glutenin to maintain it's shape. This combination of glutenin and gliadin is what we usually mean by the single word "gluten."

A couple of other key factors affect the way bread rises. Acid weakens the gluten bonds, which is why sourdoughs are often denser breads than yeast breads. On the other hand, salt strengthens the bonds.

Because rye flour is low in glutenin it doesn't stretch well and so pure rye bread tends to be dense and heavy — and sourdough rye particularly so. This means that to make a good sandwich-type bread with an open, generous crumb using rye the rye needs to be an ingredient rather than the primary flour.

I did some research and found a bread machine recipe that I decided to adapt. Based on what I knew and what I desired I came up with the following recipe.

This is the least pure recipe I've made, by which I mean that I include a couple of additives in the bread: sour salt and wheat gluten. Both of these are natural products — or at least occur naturally.

Click to enlarge.

Sour salt is actually citric acid, which is the acid found in lemons, limes, and other citrus fruits. I like a slightly acid flavor in rye because it complements both the rye flavor and the caraway seeds that, to me, are essential in a good sandwich rye. You could simply add lemon or lime juice but I didn't want the flavors associated with the juice, instead I wanted the pure taste of acid on the tongue. Wheat gluten is what it says, gluten extracted from wheat (ideally without any melamine, so stay away from Chinese wheat gluten). The wheat gluten would enable me to bump the proportion of rye flour and still get a good sandwich loaf.

Sandwich Rye
Makes 1 loaf.

Ingredient US volume Metric Volume US weight Metric weight
rye flour 1 c 235 ml 5 1/8 oz 146 g
bread flour 2 1/4 c 530 ml 11 1/2 oz 330
instant yeast 1 tsp 5 ml -- --
wheat gluten 1 1/2 tbsp 22 ml -- --
citric acid (sour salt) 1/4 tsp 1 ml -- --
caraway seeds 2 tbsp 30 ml -- --
molasses 1 1/2 tbsp 22 ml -- --
butter melted 1 tbsp 15 ml -- --
table salt 3/4 tsp 4 ml -- --
water 1 c + 2 tbsp 2.6 dl 9 oz 256 g
Egg Wash:
egg 1 -- -- --
water 1 tbsp 15 ml -- --

In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, mix together the yeast, gluten, citric acid, caraway seeds, rye flour, and 2 cups (530 ml) of bread flour. Add salt and mix in. (Note, the salt is added after mixing the original ingredients to minimize it's direct contact with the yeast, which it can kill).

In a measuring cup, mix together water, molasses, and butter using a small whisk. With the motor running at low speed, pour liquid into dry ingredients. Once moistened, switch to the dough hook and finish blending. The dough should be moist and sticky, add just enough additional flour, a tablespoon at a time, to have dough clear the sides of the bowl. Increase speed to medium and knead for eight minutes. (Note, dough will clear sides but stick to bottom, scrape it up with a rubber spatula every couple of minutes.)

Scoop dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly a few times then form into a ball. Place the dough in a bowl sprayed with cooking oil, spritz top with oil, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk — about 1 1/2 hours.

Gently deflate dough, scoop onto a lightly floured surface, fold a few times, and allow to relax for about five minutes. Shape dough into a loaf and place on a piece of parchment on your peel or on a baking sheet. Lightly spritz tops with oil and cover with plastic. Allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. In the meantime, heat oven to 400F (200C) and place rack in center position. (Note: it's important to give the oven a long preheat before baking, particularly if you're using a baking stone.)

Whisk together egg and 1 tablespoon of water in a small bowl. Brush loaf with egg wash and bake for 15 minutes. Rotate rack front to back and continue baking 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. The interior should read 190F on an instant read thermometer.
The bread makes a great ham sandwich. And I've made buns for bratwursts using it — a perfect flavor match for the brats with a dollop of mustard and some onions and peppers.


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Blogger Lyra said...

Where can I find wheat gluten? Is this something that will be at my local Whole Foods? I love rye bread and a rye sandwich loaf sounds like heaven to me!

9/27/2007 9:23 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

I would expect Whole Foods to have it next to the flour. It's a common additive.

9/27/2007 10:04 PM  
Blogger Joanna said...

What a great loaf - as you say, most ryebreads are pretty solid, and I like the idea of one that is soft enough to make into buns.

I had a vivid mental picture of you capturing and cultivating wild yeasts ;) .... please could you consider explaining this in detail - I've done this in the past, but not with total success, and would like some guidance

In the mean time, HOORAY for a rye sandwich loaf

Thanks sharing

9/28/2007 3:37 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

We're going to explore sourdoughs, including capturing wild yeasts, in our next series.

9/28/2007 10:42 AM  
Anonymous Artemis said...

I excited to get to the rye breads as every recipe that I've tried so far has been a disappointment.

Years ago I was fortunate enough to have the most describable rye loaf at a Danish Christmas family party. But not fortunate to get the recipe for posterity. :(

9/30/2007 9:05 PM  
Anonymous Artemis said...

{blush} I'm obviously so excited to get to the rye breads that I can't proof read.

9/30/2007 9:07 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

{g} Have fun with it.

9/30/2007 10:08 PM  
Blogger Joanna said...

I've nominated A Year in Bread for a nice award - you can find the details on my blog


10/02/2007 5:41 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Thar's very, um, nice of you.{g}

10/02/2007 9:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Kevin --

Made this loaf today and it was fantastic -- by far the best textured rye bread I've ever made, and even had oven spring, which other rye breads I've made have lacked! I baked mine in a pyrex loaf pan and it should make great sandwiches for tomorrow!

Thanks so much for developing and sharing the recipe!


10/11/2007 7:39 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Thanks much for the feedback. This was one of the most thought-about breads I've ever developed so I glad the thinking worked for you too.

10/11/2007 8:16 PM  
Anonymous cinderella said...

Thanks for the recipe. My Dad's favorite rye bread is Swedish rye, and the last few times I have made it I can't get it to rise good. It takes FOREVER! My yeast is good, I am using bread flour, etc. Should I just let it keep going for hours and hours until doubled? It really is a great recipe and I hate to stop making it, but haven't for quite a while now.

10/16/2007 7:21 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

I'd just give it more time, though you might try adding a bit of wheat gluten as I did.

10/16/2007 9:30 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

I found your blog through Living In the Kitchen with Puppies - and since Rye Bread is my husband's absolute favorite, I would like to give this recipe a try.

It's also on my learn to do list.


9/12/2008 12:31 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

This really is an excellent rye with corned beef, pastrami, or ham.

9/12/2008 1:48 PM  
Anonymous MissaK said...

Hi Kevin,

I'm new to more serious baking, but since trying Susan's Farmhouse White I try to make one batch of something every weekend. I have a couple of days off, culminating in a 4 day camping trip with friends, and I would like to bring bread along. The Farmhouse White will definitely make an appearance, but I've been looking for a rye as well. How close is this to a Seeded Jewish Rye?

10/13/2008 10:11 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Add some caraway seeds and it's a seeded rye. It has very nice rye flavor. Although it's not as pungent as a bread made from rye sourdough it's a great sandwich bread.

10/15/2008 1:28 PM  
Blogger Rita said...

I *love* your recipe and have made it several times now. I think the loaves have come out as you intended them to; I know for sure that this is exactly the flavor and texture that I had been looking for. I was wondering if you, or anyone else, had tried doubling the recipe so as to be able to bake two at a time? I know I could just go ahead and try on my own, but thought I'd ask first as I am a fairly novice baker. Thank You so much for developing and sharing your recipe with us!

10/22/2008 4:25 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

I haven't tried doubling it, but there should be no problems doing so.

10/22/2008 10:09 AM  

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