Mixed flour honey loaf baked with scalded rye flour which makes it last longer, taste better and make me come up with bad puns.
As a queen of bad puns I can’t resist it: this loaf was repeatedly told what a bad, BAD dough it had been and it was also threatened with punching and kneading should it prove to be naughty again.
Scalded – scolded – geddit? Okay, now I’ve got it out of my system we can continue seriously.
What is scalding in bread making?
Scalding the flour means mixing a portion of the flour amount required for bread with boiling water. It results in cooking up starch in the flour, thus making it more pliable and, in effect, more mouldable.
Therefore, it is advantageous in rye breads as rye flour is low in gluten, which means it doesn’t come together easily during kneading. Incorporating scalded flour into the rye bread mix makes it more kneadable as well as speeds up fermentation.
It is all far too much of a chemistry lesson for my understanding, with amylase enzymes and conversion to glucose, and I’m primarily interested in what all the scalding does to the bread.
As it happens, it works well towards softening the crumb and prolonging the life of a loaf. I imagine industrially produced bread must be all about boiling the flour, considering its shelf life. This is not industrial bread though but very much artisan, so we’ll talk only in terms of shelf life of a proper bread loaf – which should be a few days, not a month.
How to make scalded flour bread
Start the process the night before baking, by scalding the rye flour. It will become glutinous and not seemingly fit for making bread.
The next day it’s bread business as usual though, with the addition of scalded gloop. This is a lovely mix of the scalded rye, with whole and white wheat, some honey because why not? and a pinch of cinnamon which makes the flavour really interesting.
The proving and shaping into a roll to fit in a loaf tin has also nothing unusual in it for bread bakers, and the loaf bakes in very hot oven, gradually reduced to just hot.
What does scalded bread taste like?
The bread is lovely and moist; the crumb is nice and squidgy, the crust firm but not crackling and the loaf makes wonderful toast.
If you’re suspicious of the cinnamon addition, skip it: I’ll admit it’s not to everyone’s taste. I quite enjoyed the hint of spice but half a teaspoon of ground caraway will be less startling. That would be my idea; the scalding procedure comes from Virtuous Bread.
It reminds me a little of the Japanese tadzhong technique which involves cooking up a starter of flour and milk, not unlike roux for béchamel, and adding it to the bulk of other ingredients.
Basically, it’s the case of Very Picky Yeast which won’t feed on raw flour but demands to be served a cooked starter.
But of course the scalded bread is nothing like the super fluffy Japanese Hokkaido. It’s much stodgier in a familiar European way.
I’ll be keen to try improvise on the scalding so watch this space. Bad, bad bread!
More rye bread recipes
Seeded light rye bread with linseed, sunflower and pumpkin. This light rye loaf is a little like a blonde pumpernickel, quite easy to bake and best sliced a day after baking.
Light rye yoghurt sourdough, healthy and tasty, with whole rye grain and linseed. It’s a blessing for gut health!
Rye crispbread, Swedish knäckebröd style thins, is full of flavour and quite easy to make. Ryvita, eat your heart out.
More unusual bread recipes
Possibly the most organic, natural and fascinating way of creating food is bread leavened with wild yeast water made from fermented dried figs. Pure magic.
Japanese Hokkaido milk bread recipe as mentioned above, using tangzhong method. It is soft and fluffy and it is utterly delightful.
Does bread have a soul? They think so in Schwabia, south Germany, where they bake traditional spelt sourdough ‘souls’ bread rolls - Schwäbische Seelen.