If you read my weekend article about the Peace Country Rye flour blend that set the stage for my sourdough effort, you may recall how much I was anticipating baking a great-tasting rye bread from my sourdough process.
By Sunday evening I had two hot loaves, fresh from the oven.
Then one of these sourdough loaves took a two hour drive southbound shortly after it came out of said oven. It somehow snuck into the arms of my mother-in-law who, having driven up for a Sunday visit, couldn’t escape without some bread from her favourite son-in-law, lucky-for-her timed to come out of the oven just in time for her departure.
Timing is everything with this process, after all.
The split dough proofed on the counter, shaped directly in my pair of loaf pans for nearly twelve hours prior to baking. I was up at 6am to prepare for my run. To give it the best chance for a long day of big rise, 6am is definitely not too early.
Yet twelve hours seemed long, especially considering how warm (in the high twenties Celsius) it has been outdoors this week.
Some insight from the web: I was watching a Youtube video last week about capturing wild yeast for sourdough. (The general topic tends to pop up in my feed with some frequency these days, go figure!) This particular vid had some information (among other topics) about The Science of Sourdough project that has been trying to answer the age-old question: Sourdough? How does that work? Specifically, the project seemed to be digging through an attempt to collect thousands of data points from global participants kicking off a homemade starter with the goal of discovering “how geography and different flours affect microbial growth over time, and how those microbes affect the taste and texture of bread.”
In other words, how does sourdough work, and why does my bread take twelve hours to rise while someone else might have a loaf ready to bake in half that amount of wait time?
The answer might simply be because of the yeast I caught, or the place I live, or the flour I use. Flours, yes. Yeast is everywhere after all. And it grows better in some places than others. I’m feeling that this playing around with locally milled flours may not just result in some new varieties of breads, but give me some insight to my own two-year-old starter and how viable he is. How he reacts to new things. His favourite flours, even.
Of course I kept one loaf for myself, and I can report that despite the long rise (maybe because of it) the Northern Albertan rye flour produced a great loaf with a lovely crumb, a warm hue to the bread, and the expected slightly-nuttier taste I was hoping for from a rye-white blend.
Definitely one of my favourite blends so far.
Worth the work. Worth the wait.
And since I gave one loaf away, probably a blend I’ll be repeating in a day or two. I should probably get started.