Date : 2003-03-03
To make 2 kg of 10% rye sourdough, using King Arthur unbleached white flour and King Arthur medium rye flour, at approximately 70% overall hydration:
White Flour Leaven
250 grams White Flour
250 grams Water
430 grams White Flour
100 grams Rye Flour
200 grams White Whole Wheat Flour
455 grams Water
16 grams Salt
500 grams White Flour Leaven
Large, flattish bowl
Sturdy mixing spoon
Start with an active storage leaven at 100% hydration-- meaning that is is composed of equal weights of water and unbleached white flour and has either been put in the refrigerator when active and removed when it was still active, or has developed fro 8-24 hours from a prior refreshment at room temperature. A leaven of this hydration has a lower total load of organisms per gram than a stiffer leaven, so you will use 30% leaven in your dough mix, rather than the 20-25% that is typical for the formulas that use a stiffer leaven.
Mix 167 grams storage leaven with 167 grams of water and 167 grams of white unbleached flour and let that sit 8 hours. You will have 500 grams of leaven. That amount is 30% of the overall weight of your finished dough.
How to mix:
Use a large, flattish bowl. Put all but about 75 grams of the water in, (slightly warm, as the flour and leaven, at room temperature, will be slightly cool), then all of the leaven, and mix them until uniform. Then add all of the rye flour, and mix that. Then add all of the white whole wheat flour, and mix that. Then half of the white flour and mix that. Add the rest of the white flour, retire your big spoon, and knead that mass for about 5 minutes, by hand. It won't be too sticky, as you have held back some water. Stop kneading for 20 minutes, which is the "autolyse," a French term for a period in which the dough relaxes and hydrates, without the presence of salt that would compete for water and lead to premature gluten linking and tightening. While the dough is in autolyse, you should clean up your kitchen.
After 20 minutes, add half of your spare water and knead for 5 minutes. Then splash on the rest of that water, sprinkle on the salt, and knead 5 more minutes, working the water and the salt into the dough. You can do this in the bowl or on the table-- but the dough does not need to be as forcefully and completely kneaded as pan bread doughs. During this phase, study the viscosity of the dough, and add as much EXTRA water as you need to get the dough consistency you want-- for me, it is about 15 more grams. (My doughs usually have a final hydration of about 72%.)
After 10 minutes of total kneading after the autolyse, the dough will be nearly at the "window-pane" or clearing stage-- but you don't need to get it that far. Stop now, and let the dough sit in the bowl, covered, for 3 hours, turning it each hour. At the end of hat time, the dough will have completed its development.
Spread half a handful of flour out on your table, gently deflate the dough in the bowl, then dump it out onto the flour. Divide it by half. Round each of these pieces and place them on a little flour on the table.
After 20 minutes shape your loaves and put them to proof. They will proof for about three and one-quarter hours.
More information can be found in Dan Wing's book The Bread Builders: Hearth Loaves and Masonry Ovens.