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Rice/Rye Bread - Pain de Campagne

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hey all, recently I have endeavored on a mission to cook some more traditional bread - that is bread with only the universally required bread ingredients and cooked in an oven rather then a bread maker.

Know to start off I had to make a few compromises:
  1. I don't have a traditional dome shaped clay oven... Oh well.
  2. I'm intolerant to gluten, so I did not use wheat flour (I did use some rye flour however, which has gluten - less than wheat however; like I said I'm intolerant not allergic).
  3. I did not have a sourdough sponge (is that the right term?), so I went with dry active yeast.
Now that you know where I'm coming from, I'll start by posted the recipe I followed (based off a recipe for a bread that I first had at Fortress Louisbourg in Novia Scotia... It was excellent to say the least):

  • 1 ½ cups warm water (about 110 °F)
  • ¾ tsp sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp dry active yeast
  • 1 cup rye flour (home milled some organic rye berries with an electric mill)
  • 3 cups "whole wheat flour imitation" (2 cups medium-grain rice - again home milled, 2/3 cup potato starch, 1/3 cup tapioca. Over the years I've found that this is a pretty good gluten-free substitute for wheat flour.)
  • 1 ½ tsp salt

  1. In a large bowl mix the water, sugar, yeast, rye flour and ¾ cups "whole wheat flour imitation" together. Beat 100 strokes.
  2. Cover with a damp cloth and let sit for 1 hour (all rising occurred at just under 80 °F - on my porch. I hear you should not go over 80 °F with rye, since it ferments faster then wheat).
  3. Stir down and mix in the salt.
  4. Stir in the remaining flour ¼ cup at a time until dough comes away from the sides of the bowl.
  5. Turn out and knead 15 minutes.
  6. Place dough in lightly greased bowl (I'm using a ceramic bowl by the way, it has sorta-gradual edges (as in not too steep)). Turn to coat.
  7. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until double, about 1 hour.
  8. Punch down, turn out and knead 5 minutes.
  9. Shape into a slightly flattened round and place on a greased cookie sheet.
  10. Let rise for 45 minutes.
  11. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  12. Bake loaf for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F and bake for 45 minutes.

How it turned out:
  • Pretty flat/round loaf, not too high.
  • A little sticky on the inside (probably because of the rice... I used medium instead of short grain to try and avoid this, and long grain because I usually don't get great results with it).
  • Pretty (very?) hard crust.
  • It tasted pretty good though!

What I know I did wrong:
  1. It was my first time really kneading - on the first time that you knead the dough, it was sticking everywhere. All over my hands and cutting board (the board was slightly damp by the way, as a book told me to do to combat stickiness). I also hear that you're supposed to stop kneading if the dough gets sticky, well it was sticky from the start, so I also stopped too early... The second time you knead I did much better - but still not that well. This time I was equipped with a butter knife, which I used whenever the dough showed signs of sticking (it worked great). As during the first time, I also had some extra rye flour - that I put down on the cutting board to prevent sticking. Well what can I expect with a recipe so low in gluten? Oh well, I'll work on my kneading for next time.
  2. My oven wasn't moist like a traditional clay one, so I very lightly sprayed my bread a couple times with a little glass spray bottle (again what a book said to do). I think a tray would work better next time - I only remembered at the last moment however. (I also read on another thread that an iron skillet with ice cubes works well).

My Questions:
  1. Should I have let the yeast foam in the warm water before using it?
  2. Why was the crust hard?
  3. How should I implement sourdough - I would like to next time! (And what do you think about making a rice sourdough? (versus a rye one that is)).
  4. What did I do wrong! I left a lot of openish comments throughout this post, anything that you think I should do differently next time!

Thank you so much for taking the time, it is immensely appreciated. I don't have too much experiance as a chef - so what ever you can suggest will surely help!

Thanks again - I know it was a long post,
post #2 of 16
I am sure someone knows more then me about this, but here is my 2 cents.

1. yes you should have let the dry yeast "bloom". Gives it time to wake up and be active.

2. Crust was probably hard because it didn't rise properly so it would be a very dense loaf, also adding to that undercooked middle issue.

3. i have no idea, someone around here will tell ya about sourdough or do a search

4. you did nothing wrong, you just didn't do it right:p

read some of the making bread posts from the real pros on the forum, its a science and an art
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
post #3 of 16
You might consider posing your questions at this sourdough website.

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.



Brot und Wein
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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.



Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
In answer to Dillbert's questions:

Yea the dough did rise pretty well at first (about doubled in bulk). It never really seemed to rise too well after the punch down/kneading though. When it was on the cookie sheet it just kind of got flatter...

My crust was pretty thick (though I don't think I sprayed the crust all too much).

Current list of modifications (for next time - probably this weekend because of school):
  1. Increase sugar from ¾ tsp to 1 tbsp.
  2. Skip the punch down/kneading/45 minute rise on the cookie sheet; just place the loaf straight in the oven.
  3. Use a baking stone instead of cookie sheet. (And lower temperature or use metal pot if that doesn't work).
  4. Allow yeast to bloom first before adding (I made an error in the original post, it said I used "instant yeast" instead of "dry active yeast". Not sure if anyone saw it since I fixed it pretty soon after, but sorry for the confusion it may have caused =p).
Thanks for the feedback thus far guys!

I'll check out the sourdough forums and quick question Dillbert: you say I should maybe decrease the "whole grain" (rye) content. Isn't rice a whole grain too though (or at least the kind I'm using (medium-grain brown rice)). Perhaps it's less dense then rye though, so I shouldn't worry about it?
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, so I made another loaf today. It came out a lot better!

This time I let the yeast bloom just a little, added 3 tsp of xanthum gum, used 1 tsp of sugar (I forgot to used closer to 1 tbsp when I was cooking it... maybe next time) and a baking stone (oh and I didn't spray the bread while it was cooking this time). The crust was perfect in my opinion - it was very hard and yet very thin. The bread itself was pretty dense and a little sticky this time - but I suppose that has to be somewhat expected when cooking with so little gluten.

I also skipped the punch down/knead/rise on cookie sheet step - and instead placed it right in the oven. The dough didn't seem to grow as big when it was supposed to "double" (but came pretty close); then again, it was twelve degrees (Fahrenheit) colder today than last time...

Kneading was a lot better this time around. I knew what to expect and the dough did not rip at all.

I didn't cut back on the Rye flour (like Dillbert recommended) quite yet, because I didn't want to introduce too many variables at one time. I'll have to try that sometime soon.

Oh, one other I forgot to do was pre-warm the baking stone... Again it'll have to wait 'till next time :look:.

Finally: any suggestions for making the bread rise more/be less dense/less sticky?

Thanks everyone for the input - it's really helping!

I'll post some pictures once I get 5 posts - it doesn't let you before then... Really now? Anyway, for now the bread was:
Weight: 1.875 lbs
Diameter: 15.6 cm
Height: 8.7 cm

Pretty dense!
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Pictures at these URLs (they're waaay to big to fit nicely in the forum):

post #7 of 16
looks pretty good. Usually a gluten free bread looks like a too moist banana bread. good job.
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
post #8 of 16
google carol fenster or bette hagman, they have extensive gluten free bread recipes in their books. pm me if you want gluten free advice.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Yea katbalou I have a few cookbooks by Fenster and I got the flour substitute I'm using from Hagman. Then again, I don't think I've looked at how they alter the procedure of recipes like this, I'll do that =p.
post #10 of 16

Pain de campagne; sourdoughs; punchdowns

You can make a rye sourdough starter pretty easily. I'm not sure about a rice flour starter in the sense that I haven't had any actual experience with one -- but I don't see why not. Anything yeast eats can be used to make a starter.

There's plenty of information around on starting starters, so I won't go into the specifics other than to say that not all wild, local yeasts make good starters; unless you live in an area where sourdough is popular you might want to get a commercial starter; and that the Friends of Carl starter is (a) excellent, (b) hardy, (c) as reliable as startes get -- which isn't all that reliable, and (d) free.

Pain de campagne isn't usually made with an actual sourdough starter, but with something a little less unruly. That's a semi-sour "preferment," made with regular yeast, called a "poolish." Yes you can use rye flour. Also, pain de campagne is usually a sort of dirty-white bread. Don't use too much rye or other strong flavored flours -- use some, remembering a little goes a long way. And don't expect to hit a perfect flavor profile on the first try, either. It's probably going to take a lot fooling around.

I've got a recipe posted for a Pumpernickel Sour Rye on Chef Talk at which has a poolish in it along with some easy instructions for making one. The particular recipe mixes rye with regular wheat flour, but there's no reason you can't avoid the wheat in the same way you already have.

Not to hare off on a tangent or anything, but there's no such thing as "pumpernickel flour," per se. Pumpernickels are a mix of rye and wheat, along with a few other ingredients lending taste, texture and the distinctive dark coloring.

One can't argue with success, and I'm certainly not going to tell you that you must punch down. However, be aware the process of several rises with punch downs between them develops texture and matures the yeast taste. I just don't know enough about non-wheat bread to give you specific advice; but frequently the problems you describe result from punching down and loaf forming too roughly.

Also loaves will spread out rather than rise during both the proofing and oven-spring periods if the skin isn't stretched tight during loaf formation. It's possible (likely) that was part of your probelm.

post #11 of 16
if it has rye in it, it's not gluten-free.
post #12 of 16
boar_d_laze Offline
Registered User
Culinary Experience: Other

As they said on TV in our generation "Welcome back Kotter"" EDB
Hope all is well.
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
TexasSwtyPie: I didn't try to make the bread gluten free, rather very low in gluten. As my first post says, rye does indeed have gluten, only much less then wheat.
post #14 of 16
gotcha. I've never heard of anyone being just a little intolerant!
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Haha yeah, I'll agree it's a little bit odd. I used to be a lot more allergic then I am now, but it's never been too bad =)
post #16 of 16
that's a blessing! I was testing donuts tonight and dipped them in cinnamon sugar that obviously had something with gluten in it because I was sicker than a dog. Threw the cinnamon away...
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