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.
Sandwich RyeThe 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. Click here to continue reading the post and comments...
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 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.