Light Rye Bread

Introduction

I bake bread in a Panasonic SD-YD250 bread machine. Panasonic’s manual asserts rye flour leads to dense bread when used to replace other flour, and warns that mixing rye flour might  overload the motor.   This takes product warning too far. Authentic pumpernickel is outside the capabilities of bread machines. There are retail/craft/home formulas for a rustic style with rye flour, e.g.  King Arthur Classic Pumpernickel baked in an oven.  A bread machine can make a light rye.

Light rye breads are soft  breads made with wheat flour, with rye flour or rye meal for flavour and texture, or light rye flour. Also, there are (retail/craft/home) rustic rye and rye sourdough styles. Light rye bread may be made in pans, but also baked in a torpedo shape.

Rye bread has been baked with caraway seeds so often that consumers associate the flavour of caraway with the flavour of rye. Caraway is related to cumin, fennel, anise, carrots, celery and parsley. Some varieties are known as Persian cumin. It has been used as a cooking herb or spice since the time of the Roman Empire. It is a major spice in Central European cooking and in the nations beside the Baltic and was adopted in Germany, the Nordic countries and England. Cumin and caraway are the spice in Kamijnekaas – the spiced Dutch cheeses Leiden Kaas and spiced Gouda. Caraway is a strong flavouring, and may overwhelm other flavours in rye bread. Other flavouring agents: fennel and anise seeds, dried orange peel, orange zest and orange oil for flavour in varying amounts and combinations. There are dark or sour light rye styles (retail/craft/home/bread machine) with wheat flour, rye flour and cocoa or ground coffee for dark colour,vinegar or sour cream for acidity corn meal, oatmeal or sunflower seeds for texture.

Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook has at least 9 recipes for light rye breads (at pp. 133-143, 313) with 25% – 35% rye flour by weight. This is manageable.  The BLBMC recipes scale to smaller loaves. BLBMC suggests baking light rye bread on the basic bake cycle for most recipes. The BLBMC assumes that a whole wheat bake cycle involves a longer kneading time and a longer rise. This is not the case for the SD-YD250. The whole wheat cycle has a shorter kneading time and longer rise. The dough seems to relax in last minutes of mix/knead on basic or whole wheat but it holds up and rises either way. It produces a better result on whole wheat

Rye flour has less of the proteins that build gluten than wheat flour.  It has pentosans which absorb water early in mixing but release it after periods of intensive mixing. The dough seems dry and elastic – it holds it shape and is slow to relax. According to Daniel DiMuzio’s Bread Baking, An Arisan’s Perspective (p. 51), bakers with control of speed and time would use a short period of slow mixing for dough with significant amounts of rye flour, and little faster intensive mixing DiMuzio notes (p. 216) that dough for deli-style light rye (80% white/20% rye) would be hydrated at 68% and mixed slowly: in a stand mixer, 3 minutes slow to blend ingredients and 3 minutes on second speed. The way to match this would be a custom cycle in a bread machine with that feature. With my less fancy machine, I could turn off the machine after slow mix and a few minutes of knead/mix and let it rise and finish it on the counter and int the oven; or in the machine:

  • let it sit, knock it down once with a spatula, let it “bench” rise and
  • plug it in and set to bake “cake”.

Rogers Foods mills Dark Rye Flour is available locally, and priced as a staple instead of a luxury good.  Rogers does not directly publish a volume to mass conversion. The food facts label indicates 1 cup = 120 grams = 4.2 oz.  Food Facts for Dark Rye flours from other mills are consistent.  120 grams is in the range of published values, which is confusing and wide.  Online Conversion’s converter and Aqua-Calc converter dark rye flour said 1 cup of dark rye flour = 4.5 oz. = 128 g.   The rest of the range:

  • BLBMC; Reinhardt’s Bread Bakers Apprentice – no factor stated
  • The Bakery Network conversion chart – 1 cup “rye flour” = 4 oz. = 113.4
  • Aqua-Calc converter light rye flour (or medium rye flour) – 1 cup = 102 g = 3.6 oz.
  • The Traditional Oven’s  converter – 1 cup = 102 g. = 3.6 oz.  light rye?
  • King Arthur Flour’s Ingredient Conversion chart – 1 cup = 3.625 oz.  light rye?

I put the recipes in tables. Where I made a change, I leave the source recipe amount or ingredient in strikeout. The salt measurement is a normal low sodium adjustment  – reduce salt and yeast by equal proportions.  The yeast measurement is customized for the Panasonic SD-YD250;  it may work in a machine with similiar features and cycle but may not work in many other machines.

Bread with Caraway and Onions – a recipe in the Panasonic manual with almost no rye flour. It evokes rye bread with caraway seeds. Caraway seeds were used to make flavoured breads with white flour in Central European recipes.

[table “25” not found /]

Scandinavian Light Rye – a BLBMC recipe (p. 134).

 MediumMedium LoafMediumMed.Small @ 75%
BLBMC50% salt;
Panasonic
WeightB%
White Flour1.875 cups261 g.66196
Dark Rye Flour1.125 cups13534101
TFW396100
Brown Sugar2 tbsp1.5 tbsp
Caraway Seed1.5 tbsp1 + 1/8 tbsp =
1 tbsp + 3/8 tsp
Salt *1.5 tsp.75 tsp
4.3 g.3.2 g.
Gluten0
Instant Yeast *2.5 tsp.625 tsp1.8 g.1.3 g.
Oil1.5 tbsp1 + 1/8 tbsp =
1 tbsp + 3/8 tsp
Water1.125 cups266 g.67200 g

Swedish Rye Bread – a BLBMC recipe (p. 136).

 Medium LoafMedium Loaf
Medium LoafMedium Loaf@ 75%
BLBMC50% Sodium
Panasonic
WeightB %
White Flour2 cups278 g.65209 g.
Dark Rye FlourMedium Rye1.25 cups150 g.35113 g.
TFW428 g.100
Fennel Seed2 tsp1.5 tsp
Dried Orange Peel1.5 tsp1 + 1/8 tsp
Salt1.25 tsp.625 tsp3.6 g.2.7 g.
Gluten
Instant Yeast
@ 50% salt *
2 tsp.5 tsp
1.4 g.1.1 g.
Oil1.5 tbsp1 + 1/8 tbsp =
1 tbsp + 3/8 tsp
Honey3 tbsp2.25 tbsp =
2 tbsp + 3/4 tsp
Water1.25 cups295 g.69221 g.

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