Monday, February 10, 2014

Marbled Rye Bread that is worth the wait

I have always loved the look of marbled rye bread.  I think it is beautiful, but I have also been hesitant to try making my own.  I was afraid that I just wouldn't get the mix right and I would have a hunk of bread that just looked awkward.  What have I learned?  Well, that I am was so wrong!  Not only is this a low fuss bread, but it tastes GREAT and the marbling is easily achieved.

Much like the amazing no knead bread it takes a little planning but it is worth it.  A stand mixer isn't necessary, it can be mixed with a sturdy wooden or metal spoon and takes only a little attention.  Don't let the number of ingredients, the 24 hour ferment (rise and rest) or the need to make two dough colors discourage you.  Your friends and family will be impressed and no one really needs to know how little work is really involved.  Remember the old Rice Krispy treats commercial where the mom spend hours in the kitchen reading a book and relaxing after quickly putting together the treats, then messing up her hair and sprinkling flour all over herself?  You could do this, because this bread looks like it took hours of mixing and kneading when really the hands on is only about 30 minutes. It is mix, cover, mix more, cover, ignore, dump, pull, fold, ignore, slash and bake. If you don't have dutch ovens any oven safe pot or stainless steel flat bottomed bowls with foil as a cover will do (just like the no knead bread linked above).

For those of you that prefer to weigh your ingredients, I have included the weight in parenthesis after each ingredient.

Give it a try.  You won't be sorry!




















Marbled Rye Bread

Light dough:

3 ¼ cups + 2 Tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour (466g)
½ cup rye flour (67g)
1 cup + 2 tsp water (241g)
⅔ cup beer (151g)
2 teaspoons kosher salt (15g)
½ teaspoon instant yeast (1g)
2 Tablespoons Caraway seeds (18g)

Dark dough:

3 ¼ cups + 2 Tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour (466g)
½ cup rye flour (67g)
1 cup + 2 tsp water (241g)
⅔ cup beer (151g)
2 teaspoons kosher salt (15g)
½ teaspoon instant yeast (1g)
2 Tablespoons caramel color
2 Tablespoons Caraway seeds (18g)

Instructions:

Light dough:
Combine all the dry ingredients (all purpose flour, rye flour, salt, yeast, and caraway seeds) for the light dough in a bowl. Pour in the water and beer, mix or stir until thoroughly combined (about 1 minute). This can be done in a stand mixer using the paddle blade or mixed by hand using a sturdy wooden spoon.  If mixing by hand it may take a minute or two longer to thoroughly combine all the ingredients.  Place in a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to ferment at room temperature for 18-24 hours.

Dark Dough:
Combine all the dry ingredients (all purpose flour, rye flour, salt, yeast, caramel color, and caraway seeds) for the dark dough in a bowl.  I have found that the caramel color needs to be sifted because it tends to clump together.  I use a small strainer to sift out and break up the larger chunks.  Be sure to mix with a whisk the caramel color in with the other dry ingredients to be sure they are thoroughly combined before adding the liquids. Pour in the water and beer, mix or stir until thoroughly combined (about 1 minute). Place in a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to ferment at room temperature for 18-24 hours.

Generously flour counter or other work area.  Place the light dough on floured counter, flatten with hands, flour top of dough. Stretch and fold the dough 6-8 times until it becomes firmer. Set aside to rest for 15 minutes.  Re-flour counter top and repeat with dark dough.

Cut each dough in half equally.  Take half of the light dough and half of the dark dough and flatten each, then layer one on top of the other.Stretch and fold both layers together 4-5 times to create marble effect.  Shape into oval loaf.  Repeat with the remaining dough halves.  

Grease two 4-6 quart dutch ovens and place one shaped loaf into each pot.  Cover with lids and allow to rise until double, about 1 hour.  While dough is rising preheat oven to 475 degrees.

Just before baking slash each loaf with a very sharp knife or razor blade (holding blade at about a 45 degree angle and about 1/2 inch deep) down the center.  Bake loaves, with lid on pot, at 475 degrees for 15 minutes. Removed lids, turn down oven to 455 degrees, and continue baking for 30 minutes. If you have an instant read thermometer it should read 200 degrees at the center of the loaf when it is done.

Turn loaves out of the pots, onto a cooling rack immediately. Brush lightly with melted butter if desired.  Allow to cool completely before cutting.


If you prefer not to use caramel color you may use a few drops of black gel food coloring, espresso powder or dark cocoa powder.  Use the same measurement of the espresso powder or cocoa as caramel color listed in the recipe.  Each of these will change the flavor a bit but will all work well to darken the dough.