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Recipe: Yogurt whey méteil (50% rye) bread
Inspired by Homa Dashtaki's 'Yogurt & Whey'
This recipe was inspired by the recipes in Homa Dashtaki’s book Yogurt & Whey. I’ve been making a lot of yogurt at home myself lately (both before and after getting the book, but the yogurt is definitely better since reading it), and looking for things to do with the whey it produces. I’ve also been working on some rye bread recipes for my book, which is where the idea for this bread came about.
One reason many rye bread formulas are made with sourdough is that the acids produced by the sourdough bacteria keep the bread from losing structure as it proofs, since they neutralize the starch-degrading amylase enzymes that rye flour is high in. I figured that yogurt whey would work in a similar fashion, and it seems to. Despite this, the loaf has a mild, sweet flavor, and an intoxicating aroma both during and after baking (but especially during!)
This is what is known in France as a ‘méteil’ bread, meaning it is made from equal parts wheat and rye flour. Apparently farmers would grow wheat and rye together on the same land when the soil wasn’t rich enough to sustain wheat on its own, and the grains would be harvested and milled together.
One quart of strained yogurt should yield at least the 200g whey called for here. If you don’t have whey, you can also use plain yogurt or buttermilk, using the adjustments to the water amounts given below.
Yogurt whey méteil (50% rye) bread
Makes one 900g loaf
If yogurt whey is unavailable, either replace it with 150g yogurt and increase the water in step 1 to 225g, or use 300g buttermilk and reduce the water in step 1 to 75g.
Use whole rye flour if available, otherwise use any other grade.
Setting the loaf into the banneton seam side down means that the seam will end up on top for baking, which means it does not need to be scored, since the seams will act as scores.
If desired, the loaf can be set into the banneton seam side up and scored with a crosshatch pattern before baking instead.
The loaf needs at least 12 hours to set after baking, or the crumb will be sticky or gummy.
50% bread flour
50% whole-rye flour
40% yogurt whey
1% instant yeast
200g yogurt whey
175g plus 35g 75˚F (24˚C) water
5g (1 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
250g bread flour
250g whole-rye flour
9g (1 1/2 teaspoons fine) salt
DOUGH: Combine the whey and 175g water in a medium bowl. Add the yeast and stir to combine. Add the flours and stir with a dough whisk or by hand until a uniform dough forms. Cover and let sit for 20 minutes.
Add the salt and the remaining 35g water and stir until a uniform dough forms. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes.
Knead the dough in the bowl until a smooth dough forms. Cover and let sit until slightly puffy, 30 to 60 minutes.
Flour the top of the dough liberally. Transfer the dough to a well-floured counter and shape into a ball. Set seam side down in a well-floured banneton or towel-lined colander. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
Transfer loaf to the fridge for at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours.
BAKE: At least one hour before baking, set a Dutch oven on the middle shelf of a 450˚F (232˚C) oven and allow to heat.
Invert the loaf onto a parchment sling, dust liberally with rye flour, and transfer the loaf to the Dutch oven. Cover the pot and allow to bake for 20 minutes.
Remove the cover, reduce the heat to 425˚F (220˚C), and continue to bake until the loaf is evenly and well browned, 30 minutes.
Allow to cool at least 12 hours before slicing and serving.