(ruis)reikaleipa

(ruis)reikaleipa

I stopped by the Grow NY grain stand at the local farmers market and picked up the lone bag of Frederick soft white wheat berries they had and a few bags of stone-ground flour from Farmer Ground and Small Valley Farm so I could sample some local wheat varieties and try a few bakes with professionally milled whole grain flour for comparison with Mockmilled flour.  Larger bags of wheat berries can be ordered for pick up in advance.  I am interested in the Renan flour, but a 50 lb minimum is a bit intimidating.  If someone in the NYC area is interested in splitting an order please let me know. 

In addition to the wheat flour, I picked up one bag of whole rye from Farmer Ground.  I have been wanting to try the recipe for the Finnish (ruis)reikaleipa from Daniel Leader’s Living Bread, so I queued it up.  (Leader refers to it as reikaleipa, although Wikipedia clarifies the rye version is technically ruisreikaleipa.)   It is a thin circular UFO-like rye with a hole in the middle, which was traditionally used for storage and aging on poles just below the kitchen ceiling.

From Wikipedia:

This is lower hydration than the whole rye Volkornbrot I’ve been learning to bake and has a pleasantly chewy texture.  It would be a great bread for a camping trip!  It employs a single rye sour build prior to the final mix, but I was quite surprised by the depth of flavor from such a simple formula, and am not now unsure why I don’t bake rye more often.  Leader recommends consuming within 4 days, although various articles I have seen suggest these were often baked in large quantities and consumed well beyond that.  Taking a hint from the small Finnish cafe where these were photographed, we baked the holes and post stenciling dough remnants as biscuits and ate them as egg sandwiches for brunch to get a preview of the flavor while the larger loaves cooled.  The recipe suggests baking a 12 inch round with steam, although our gas oven is unforgiving to uncovered bakes, so I opted for two 8 inch discs that would allow for covered bakes in a round DO and lodge pan at 400 F for 40 minutes.  The photos below indicate a doubling in the initial rye sour after approximately 12 hours, followed by a roughly 30% rise of the final mix at 1.5 hours and an additional 25% post-shape rise after 45 minutes with a corresponding reset of the aliquot jar.

I noticed the crust puffing up in a few places after I uncovered it, so I used a chopstick to dock it while it was in the oven.  I will probably do that ahead of time for the next bake.

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