Happy Holidays to everyone. As usual, we celebrated the holidays with family and friends and cooked and baked and baked some more :).
For Christmas dinner at our good friends house I always bring my homemade pirogi filled with potatoes and cheese and also a cheese only version. I also bring some type of rye bread to accompany the spiral ham they serve. This year I made a big miche style rye with porridge, raspberry ale, onions, mashed potatoes mixed with fresh ground rye, white rye and First Clear flour.
I made a smaller loaf to keep for myself and as you can by the crumb shot it came out nice and moist and full of rye and onion flavor.
I made some German pretzel rolls to bring to my family's holiday dinner. I melted some smoked Gruyere on some of them which was delicious.
For Christmas Eve I made some German Weizenbrotchen Sour dough Rolls brushed with melted garlic butter to go along with the Italian theme our friends were following. I also melted some mixed Italian cheeses on some of them for something extra special.
I hope you all are having a great holiday season.
Here's more details on the rye bread for those who are interested.
Here are the Zip files for the above BreadStorm files.
Mix all the levain ingredients together for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap. Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled. I used my proofer set at 83 degrees and it took about 4 hours. You can use it immediately in the final dough or let it sit in your refrigerator overnight.
Add about 3/4's of the water called for in the porridge to the dry ingredients in a small pot set to low and stir constantly until all the water is absorbed. Add the remainder of the water and keep stirring until you have a nice creamy and soft porridge. Remove from the heat and let it come to room temperature before adding to the dough. I put mine in the refrigerator and let it cool quicker.
Main Dough Procedure
Mix the onions with the ale and let it sit to rehydrate for about 30 minutes or longer.
Mix the flours, ale, and the potatoes for about 1 minute. Let the rough dough sit for about 20 minutes to an hour. Next add the levain, cooled porridge, caraway seeds and salt and mix on low for 5 minutes. A Remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds. Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold. Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold. After a total of 2 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours.
When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1.5 to 2 hours. Remove the dough and shape as desired.
The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature and will only rise about 1/3 it's size at most. Let the dough dictate when it is read to bake not the clock.
Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 550 degrees F. and prepare it for steam. I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on above the pan and one on the top shelf. I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.
Right before you are ready to put them in the oven, score as desired and then add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.
After 5 minute lower the temperature to 450 degrees. Bake for 35-50 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 205 degrees.
Take the bread out of the oven when done and let it cool on a bakers rack before for at least 2 hours before eating.