Sourdough Dark Deli Rye
He stole back the rye?
I realized recently that I have a lot of favorite bread recipes, which I suppose means none of them is really all that favorite. Whatevs—this dark deli rye (or Jewish-style pumpernickel, if you like) is one of my new favorites. It is finely-crumbed but still light-textured, deeply aromatic, and plays as well with savory sandwich fillings as it does with sweet toppings as toast. And thanks to the rye scald it starts off with and the cornstarch wash it ends with, it keeps moist and soft for days.
The cooked cornstarch wash, something I haven’t used before here, is a Jewish rye specialty, one that has the paradoxical effect of adding a crisp crunch to the exterior of the crust while also sealing in moisture to keep the underlying crust soft. It also gives the loaf a gorgeous, glossy sheen. Unlike many other bread washes, a starch wash is applied after the loaf comes out of the oven, but while it is still hot, so that the water in the starch boils off.
The dough gets its midnight tones from cocoa powder and espresso powder, which add subtle roasty, bitter notes, but are not otherwise noticeable. They can easily be left out if you’d like to make a light rye (as I mention in the recipe, you should replace the cocoa power with the same weight of flour).
I keep meaning to make a marble rye version of this one, but keep not finding the time. The instructions for doing so are in the recipe, and I’ll add some pictures and maybe a shaping video once I get around to making one here. But the idea is simple: You just make two batches of dough, one without the cocoa and espresso powder, divide each into pieces (2 for the light and 6 for the dark), and then combine 1 light with 3 dark pieces during the preshape step, to yield two loaves of bread. (You could also start with 2 half-batches, if you want.)
This bread is many things: the first official Wordloaf subscriber-exclusive recipe of the year, one of—containing 40% rye flour—the whole-grain breads I promised you’d see more of in 2022, and the start of a long series of posts and recipes relating to cooked-starch breads—those containing flour scalds, tangzhong, yudane, porridges, etc.—one of my bread-baking obsessions.
Catch the recipe via the button below: