In Sunday’s post I shared the process of making, my first ever, seed culture and barm to use in this sourdough rye bread recipe. Today I can share with you how that was transformed into a rye sponge starter and then into the final dough for New York deli onion rye bread.
Again the recipe I used comes from Peter Reinhart’s wonderful book titled “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering The Art of Extraordinary Bread”. If you haven’t purchased a copy I highly suggest you do, and that includes if you are a novice baker like I am. By the way I am in no way being compensated for blogging about this book nor the recipes. I just really love both the book and results I’ve had so I wanted to share them with you.
I haven’t the author’s permission to share the recipe, so instead I’ll share the process in photos. The bread took 2 days to prepare and the first step was making the rye sponge starter. This was done by combining the barm, from Sunday’s post, with rye flour and fried onions. First I combined the barm, water and rye flour.
Then the onions were lightly fried in a bit of vegetable oil. While the onions cooled down the starter was left covered to sit at room temperature. Mr. Reinhart notes that the onions are optional but he felt an integral part of true deli taste. I think they are a fantastic addition.
Once cooled the onions were added to the starter mixture — which by the way smelled incredible!
After mixing in the onions the starter was covered and allowed to ferment for a few hours at room temperature. Then it was refrigerated overnight. I was so excited and could hardly wait until the next day to get my bread in the oven.
Day two, the fun part — baking the bread! Today bread and rye flour were combined with a few other ingredients and the starter. (You really need to see the recipe for all the unique and flavour giving ingredients that are included.) One very important ingredient that was included in Mr. Reinhart’s recipe was the caraway seeds. It was a flavour my husband was looking for in this bread so I had to include them. But Mr. Reinhart does state that they are also optional and up to the individual’s taste preference.
Next, and after the dough was kneaded and passed the window pane test, the dough was allowed to ferment at room temperature until it doubled in size.
Then came the shaping of the loaves. I choose to shape them in batards for free-standing loaves, but they can also be shaped into sandwich loaves. Corn meal was used for dusting and beaten egg whites were used for the wash. Now the loaves were left to proof at room temperature.
Finally after 8 days of starting the process, the bread went into the oven. I cannot tell you how wonderful the smell of this bread was. It smelled like warm bread baking, like sourdough bread, like onions and a tad like caraway. The intensely delicious smell wafted throughout the house and eventually hubby showed up at the kitchen asking when the bread would be ready.
The one hour wait before being able to slice into the bread was hard to endure. Finally as I sliced the first piece off my smile grew. The bread was crusty outside and inside was a light-airy bread speckled with tiny bits of onion and caraway seeds. And the taste was out of this world! Honestly I couldn’t believe I had made this bread. It was like one bought from a bakery.
My hubby, who had been nervous about my “science experiment” was delighted with the smell and taste of the bread. It was exactly the bread flavours he had been missing from home. His reaction and enjoyment of the bread made the whole process so very worth it. We each ate a couple of slices the first night, and the next afternoon we had sandwiches on our homemade New York deli onion rye bread.
On Thursday I will share a recipe for another delicious way of eating this bread. See you then, I can’t wait to share it with you…