The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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wassisname

 


It was time to clear out some of the flotsam and jetsam of flour remnants.  It was  also time to unwind after several weeks of "disciplined" baking. 


So, into the dough went WW bread flour, WW turkey red flour, whole white wheat flour, pumpernickel  rye, medium rye (I think), molasses and caraway seeds.  And to top it off I dug out the ancient bottle of Jaegermeister that has been lurking in the dark depths of my freezer for more years than I can remember and threw in a shot of that as well.  I seem to have reached a point in my life where actually drinking the stuff has really lost its appeal.  But, the first time I combined German breadspice and molasses in my rye bread I noticed that the sweet, herbal flavor was very similar to the black stuff in the green bottle... and also Ricola cough drops now that I think about it.  So it was only a matter of time before it ended up in the bread.  The Jaegermeister, not the cough drops.


So I doubled the recipe, threw it all together and made a big, ol' loaf of this:



 


 And it actually turned out really tasty.


To follow-up on a previous post:  Sometimes it really is enough just to show up.


These two loaves went to the fair.  Embarassingly underproofed and really dense.  But they won their classes.  I'm pretty sure they were the only breads in their classes!!  Because I couldn't find a second place entry in either one.  There is no shame in cherry-picking!!



And more bagels!  This time with almost all KA whole white wheat flour to lighten things up a bit.  I was also able to locate the one jar of barley malt syrup in the area and make it mine.  Then underestimated the oven-spring and all the holes closed up!  But oh, what a difference in flavor



Marcus

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wassisname

 


Bagels, the perfect antidote to an overdose of sticky, tempermental sourdough ryes.  They may not be the prettiest bagels to ever come out of the kettle, but YUM!  I don't know why I didn't try these sooner.  These are going to replace english muffins as my "easy, little, single-serving bread" of choice... at least for a while.  The simple fact that there is nothing sticky going on makes them a breath of fresh air.


They are 100% whole wheat, straight out of Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads.  I didn't have any barley malt syrup, so I used dark, local honey, but I will definitely be picking some up for the next batch.


I'm eager to try different additions to the boiling-water.  For this batch I used baking soda and a little molasses just for the heck of it, but that didn't seem to get me a very bagel-like crust.  Not that I'm going for any kind of serious authenticity here!  Not really in my nature to stress about that, and besides, I wouldn't know an authentic bagel if it jumped out of the oven and sang "New York, New York."


-Marcus


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wassisname

 


I decided to enter a couple loaves of bread in the local fair, and thinking about having to achieve a particular result on a particular day made me realize what a sloppy baker I am.  Well, maybe "sloppy" is a little negative.  Let's say "happy-go-lucky," or "devil-may-care," or "possessed-of-a-certain-breezy-elan" when it comes to bread baking.  Or maybe "sloppy" is the right word after all.


Whatever you call it, the result is that I rarely end up exactly where I originally set out to go.  And I'm fine with that.  Up until now I've only baked for myself, my family, and a few friends.  And they're all fine with it, too... or at least polite about it.


But now it's down to business.  I've picked the recipe (a torturous process), and I'm determined to stop improvising half-way through the bake and really dial it in. 


As a happy side-benefit, this has turned out to be a great excuse to bake even more bread than usual!



 


The bread:  The lean 45% whole rye and whole wheat from Whole Grain Breads.  Minus the yeast.  One has a touch of molasses and caraway seeds.  The other has some packaged bread spice, no sweetner.


I've made versions of this before, but paid more attention to what I was doing this time.  I'm pretty happy with it.  I think I need to up the hydration just a bit.  And I clearly went a little overboard flouring the bannetons - a touch of paranoia.


But about the rise... I went 45 min for the first rise, then shaped, then another 45min for the second rise.  That seems awfully fast.  That's about the recommended time for the yeasted version.  I went by feel and look on the first rise (my finger press did not spring back).  Since I've never seen a recipe with a second rise longer than the first, I put it in the oven 45 min after that.  I worry about over-proofing with rye, but would a third rise maybe be an option?


Marcus




 


Then I turned over the camera to my daughter for a couple shots.  Future bread blogger?  Hehehe... could be.



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wassisname

 


If ever there was a time to make a hearty rye...


When mom returns from a trip to Germany with an assortment of Brotgewuerz and mustard recipes (gotta love a mom who knows), I think that's a sign that I need to get back to some rye bread.  She whipped up a few test batches of mustard, all mouthwatering, some sinus clearing, so I baked up some crusty rye.


It's about 60/40 whole wheat / whole rye using Peter Reinhart's method from WGB.  I fed my WW starter with rye and let it ferment for 12 hrs at room temp.  Worried that the starter may have spent too much of itself overnight I added a little instant yeast to the final dough, though originally I had intended to leave it out and go full sour. 


Things got a little wetter than they should have.  Not only was I a little out of practice on this recipe, but I switched WW flours as well.  "Sticky mess" would be one way to describe it.  But I persevered and went with it.  Every step was a near disaster but eventually I got the two loaves in the oven more or less intact.  The one that didn't try to ooze off the edge of the stone made it into the picture.


They went flat and wide, of course, but otherwise came out about as well as I could have hoped.  Crusty, airy, chewy, yummy.



 


Unfortunately, I ran out of mom's homemade pickles last week, drat!  So these will have to do.



-Marcus

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