In a brainstorming session we’ve come up with the idea to make a rye pizza dough. None of us has much experience using rye for bread or pizza dough, can anyone offer a recipe, ideas, tips, etc. to make such a thing? I have found a local source for dark rye flour but know nothing about its properties. Will it work similar to wheat flour? Can we use 100% rye or is a blend with wheat necessary? What percentages?
I’m sure there’s a formula out there. I played with a few way back and never was satisfied. We came up with a “Rueben” pizza though and just opted to put a dusting of toasted Caraway seeds on the pie for the flavor of “rye”.
I’ve never even thought about making a rye pizza, and I like rye. (Rye bread, rye beer, rye whiskey, …). It’s a very potent taste, so you don’t typically need a whole lot of it to get a distinct flavor. Which is good, because you don’t really want to be working with pure rye flour. It doesn’t have gluten. (it has one of the proteins that make up gluten, gliadin, but lacks the other, glutenin. It’s got a similarly spelled one, glutelin, but it doesn’t do the same things). It’s also got huge amounts of amylase (the enzyme that breaks starches into sugars), and lots of pentosan gum, which is a complex sugar that absorbs lots of water, and what causes rye to get gummy sometimes. I’d stick to 10% rye or so, but I don’t have a formula to offer, sorry. don’t overknead (causes the pentosan gumminess), and expect to need more water.
100% rye bread is a pretty dense thing, but if you’re thinking of something like commercial rye bread, try using 30%. Replace 30% of the regular white pizza flour with an equal portion of rye flour. Since rye flour has a higher absorption than your white flour, you should increase your total dough absorption by 2 to 3% over what you are using for your white pizza dough. The color that we normally associate with rye flour is due to caramel color, so you may want to pick some up to add if you don’t like the muddy color the rye imparts to the dough. The flavor that we most typically associate with rye bread is due to the caraway seeds it contains. Typical use for caraway seeds is in the 2 to 3% of the total flour. You can buy both rye flour and caraway seeds at your local supermarket in the baking isle, or you can find a local BAKERY PRODUCTS distributor and buy them much cheaper. If you have a local retail bakery, check with them, quite possibly they will some of each to you.
One last thing, be sure to watch your dough mixing time when using rye flour. Rye flour makes for a sticky/tacky dough feel, and things can do south in a hurry if you over mix the dough. Mix the rye dough only at low speed, and just mix it until it begins to take on a smooth appearance, then handle it like your regular pizza dough, but remember that it is normal for it to be a bit tacky, so be prepared to use a little extra dusting flour.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor