The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Does this recipe look right?

althetrainer's picture
althetrainer

Does this recipe look right?

I make breads in the oven but my husband likes the bread machine because it's easier.  We have a bread machine recipe book and he always wants to make this particular Russian Black Bread recipe.  But each time I ended up rescuing his bread because the moisture was too low.  I don't do bread machine so I will have to ask those who have a lot of experience making bread in machines. 


Russian Black Bread (medium loaf)


360ml/1.5 C water


30ml/2 T sunflower oil


40ml/ 2.5 T molasses


140g/ 1.25 C rye flour


85g/ 3/4 C wholemeal bread flour


250g/ 2.25 C unbleached white bread flour


40g/ 3 T oat bran


75g/ 3/4 C dried breadcrumbs


22ml/ 1.5 T cocoa powder


40ml/ 2.5 T instant coffee granules


7.5ml/ 1.5 tsp caraway seeds


7.5ml/ 1.5 tsp salt


7.5ml/ 1.5 tsp dried yeast


The ingredients go in the bread pan in different orders than our machine manual.  But the book also says we should follow our manual if the orders are different. 


Each time my husband tried each time he failed.  We let the machine knead for 5 - 10 minutes but the "dough" would turn solid; it was just turning  around and around and I wouldn't call it kneading.  I always end up taking the ingredients out and mix it in my Kitchen Center with extra water so he would have a loaf of bread.  I don't know why, I made Russian Black Bread (using a different recipe) all the time so it's not that he didn't get to eat it.  But he seems to have problems letting this recipe go.  My first bread machine actually died after one of his attempts in making the very same bread.  I bought him two other bread machines and we still have the same problem.  Last week he wanted to try again so I asked him to add an extra 0.5 C of water.  It sort of turned out but I wouldn't call it a good loaf.  I cannot come up with any other conclusions but something is off with this recipe. 


What do you think?


 

LLM777's picture
LLM777

I found a similiar recipe but have never tried it.  I did compare recipes and it seems the dry ingredients outweigh the wet. I am completely thrown off by the breadcrumbs. If you're wanting another recipe I will post it for you. Otherwise, I would completely omit the breadcrumbs and try it without them.  Bread machines are so picky it may not work, but that is where I'd start.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Yes, mix the crumbs with a little water until the crumbs are moist enough to resemble dough itself, then crumble into the pan so it gets mixed in, in the order your machine says.


The recipe looks on the dry side.  Many bread recipes that ask for crumbs or cubes of old bread, the bread is soaked first and wrung out, then added.  That's where I'm coming from with the above suggestion.


Mini

baltochef's picture
baltochef

My very first job that I had while attending culinary school was in an old-school German-American bakery..One of the bakers that taught me was originally from Germany, whereas the other 3 bakers were all born in the USA from parents or grandparents that had immigrated from Germany..


All four were familiar with using day old bread in a new batch of dough, and with incorporating day old cake crumbs into the next batch of cake batter..This was a technique that they regularly employed during my year at that bakery..I gathered that the use of bread crumbs in a new batch of dough was quite common amongst old-school bakers, as these men simply did not waste anything..Most came from fairly poor backgrounds where frugality rules..


The crumbs took the place of some of the flour in the recipe..All three men were quick to caution we younger baker's NOT to excede substituting 10%-15%of the total normal flour weight in any recipe with stale bread crumbs..Otherwise, the staleness of the bread crumbs, combined with their already baked composition (even hydrated) would adversely effect the taste and texture of the baked loaves..


As an interesting historical note I will mention something that Ernie, the baker born in Germany told all of us one afternoon..He said it so calmly, and in such a matter-of-fact tone of voice that it was at first hard to believe..Ernie was only 10-11 years old when WWII ended..He was immediately apprenticed at this young age to a baker..He never said so, but I suspect that his apprenticeship was a means of his family's survival in the chaotic post-war environment that existed in Germany..Times were quite hard as the country was being punished for allowing Adolph Hitler to do the things that he had orchestrated..Food was scarce, serious rationing was the rule-of-the-day, and the black market was dominant..


I suspect that Ernie's working at a bakery was a means for his family to have food to eat in the form of bread that he was allowed to occasionally give to his family surreptiously at the back door of the bakery..Apprentices in those days were not paid any wages..Kids worked for their masters (apprentices legally BELONGED to the master artisan that was teaching them), lived with them, obeyed them unquestioningly, were fed, clothed, and housed by the master..


Anyway, on this day Ernie told us that times were so hard in post-war Germany that for approximately 2 years after the war ended most of Germany's bakers HAD to use things other than flour in their bread recipes because bread flour was in such short supply..The most common additive was finely ground SAWDUST!!!..That is right, sawdust..The five of us looked at him stupified in amazement..One of the older bakers that had experienced rationing here in the USA during WWII said that the sawdust must have made the bread taste terrible..His reply was that for most of the population bread to eat had been virtually non-existent the last year of the war in Germany..He said that people were so happy to be able to eat bread again that they ate the breads with the sawdust in it with few complaints..


Of course, being a smart ass, I had to quip that with all of that undigestible cellulose in the bread from the sawdust that most Germans after the war were certainly not having any problems taking a poop!!..Well, that cracked everybody up, we started laughing like crazy, and we started talking about more pleasant subjects..


Every once in a while, I am reminded of Ernie's story, and of how fortunate I have been to live in the United States during the post-WWII baby boom..


Bruce

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

There is a difference.   Stale?  Isn't that too dramatic?  What is the exact word in German that you are translating?  We all know that rye bread does not stale quickly and if it was so rare, (as it may soon be again) the day old bread that was put into the dough couldn't possibly be stale or verjährt.


I do not like your undertones of treating even the lowly bread crumb as something not worthy of eating.  I would never use stale bread in a recipe.  I would use dried bread/crumbs that have not gone stale.  Just want to clearify.  


 


Frugal may be part of the reason but flavor is also an important reason this has continued thru to today.


Page 28, Jeffrey Hamelman, Bread, "There is, somehow, a distinction between old bread and stale bread."


It might be a good time to mention that if the bread crumbs were not self made and purchased in the supermarket, they might be stale.   I suggest tasting the crumbs first and use "good" tasting rye bread crumbs, not stale or inferior crumbs.


Mini

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The use of "old" bread or "altus" is traditional in Jewish rye breads, including pumpernickel. This was probably a way of not wasting bread that hadn't sold the day before, but it adds flavor and texture to the bread and has come to be seen as an enhancement. I have been told that, in Germany, there are laws limiting the amount of altus that can be added to bread dough.


Altus is made by cutting up the "old" bread into cubes and soaking it in water, then wringing it out. A typical amount might be about 1/4 cup of altus per 1.5 lb loaf.


As Mini said, this is not "stale" bread. And I have not heard of using bread crumbs in bread before.


David

althetrainer's picture
althetrainer

Thanks for all your inputs.  They really helped me to understand the cultures of old breads.


 


LLM, I would love to have another bread machine black bread recipe.  My husband would be thrilled to have something else to try in his machine.  Please post the recipe.


Mini, that's a good suggestion.  I didn't even think of that but it makes sense.


Bruce, fascinating story.  Thanks for sharing.


David, I have never heard of that before neither.  Isn't that interesting how people do things so differently?

LLM777's picture
LLM777

Russian Black Bread


from The Bread Machine Cookbook by Donna Rathmell German


water 1.33


oil  3 tbs.


molasses 1.5 tbs.


vinegar  1.5 tbs.


sugar  1 tsp.


salt  1 tsp.


unsweetened cocoa  2 tbs.


minced dried onion  .5 tsp


instant coffee granules  1 tsp.


caraway seed  1 tbs.


fennel  .5 tsp.


bread flour  2.5 cups


rye flour  1.25 cups


yeast  2 tsp.


Hopefully, you won't have to adjust too much for your machine. I usually have to use less yeast than what is called for but at least it's a starting point.  I hope it turns out well for your husband!


This is for a medium loaf.

althetrainer's picture
althetrainer

I just want to make sure I understand it correctly.  The amount of water is 1.33 Cup for this recipe?

LLM777's picture
LLM777

It is 1 1/3 cups of water.  I put in decimals to make typing easier.  :)  That's one and one third cups of water.  Sorry for the confusion.

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

This bread is almost the  exactly the same and the photos of the bread and crumb shots are posted on my page 3- blog.  Just click on my name!  It was mixed in my bread machine and baked in the oven...It's absolutely delicious and very easy...your husband will like this recipe.  The recipe is from Beth Hensperger's Bread Book.


 




Sylvia


 

xaipete's picture
xaipete

Isn't it amazing what we can do with cameras today, Sylvia? Now if I could only do something with my dogs like get them under control! Yesterday the JRT ripped up my reusable grocery bags (she attacked them and shook them to death), grabbed a package off the front porch and ripped holes in its corners, tore a piece of paper that slid off my desk to shreds ....


--Pamela

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Pamel,  I saw where someone else photographed a recipe...sure makes it a lot easier.  Isn't their way of playing and having a great time something else...my JR does things like that to get me to chase after him.....he loves it...the only one he really listens to is my husband!  The other day he had a squirrel laying in his bed!!  We never did find it's head : / Katie and Joey will grab a squirrel between them...they do not share toys...  My little Pap Bella  drinks my cup o tea as soon as I forget and leave it on the desk!  She also completely goes through anyones bag, purse or duffle, suitcase left within her reach and you never see it happen...we should have named her Gypsy! 


Sylvia

xaipete's picture
xaipete

Our dogs sound so much alike! The doxy also drinks my tea if there is milk in it and I leave it low enough for him to reach. All of our dog toys are de-stuffed and then shredded. It only takes Heidi minutes to find the seam and start ripping out the stuffing. Heidi, the JRT, is also devoted to--more like possessive of--my husband. She likes bread too.


--Pamela

althetrainer's picture
althetrainer

Thank you very much!  My husband says "thank you" to both of you.

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Your welcome,  I highly recommend B Hensperger 'The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook'...there are many very nice recipes in this book.  I hope you are able to post some photos!


Sylvia

althetrainer's picture
althetrainer

I have given both recieps to my husband and he probably will try them out this weekend.  Can't wait to see the results.

LLM777's picture
LLM777

Just curious, did your husband ever try the recipes?

althetrainer's picture
althetrainer

Hi LLM777, my husband did try out Sylvia's Bohemian recipe last weekend.  Unforuntately, the bread collasped right before the baking cycle so it turned out very dense.  Also, it was a bit too salty than our usual; I usually use 1 tsp of salt but this recipe calls for 2 tsp.  My husband was frustrated and said he wouldn't make bread again.  But I knew once a person starts making bread, there's no looking back.  Sure enough, when I came home from work today, he said he wanted to try again.  This time I will help him to use the dough cycle of the bread machine, then we will let the loaf rise in a regular loaf pan and bake it in the oven.  We will try your version of Russian Black Bread.  Keeping my fingers crossed this time.  Will keep you posted.

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Hi althetrainer,  Glad to hear your husband is giving another try with his bread baking.  The bread was overproofed and the loaf is very large.  Different bread machines all react different to recipes....I find most recipes for the bread is to large for what the machine holds and sometimes a smaller loaf is better.  The recipe I show on my blog was not baked or proofed in the bread machine only kneaded in it...you can see it makes a hugh boule ...so the results are going to be a lot different than trying it in the machine.  I also use a kosher sea salt and it has a much nicer milder flavor than regular salt.  The flours and quality of them make a hugh difference when using a bread machine.  He'll be very happy when he starts seeing his loaves shaped and baked outside of the machine...and will find that very enjoyable. 


Sylvia


 

althetrainer's picture
althetrainer

Sylvia, Your recipe is perfectly fine.  I think it was the machine.  I kept an eye on my husband, last week, as he tried to do it all by himself.  I noticed the first rise of the dough was fine.  Then the machine whirred for a few seconds, punched down I assumed.  Stoped then rose for a bit longer, right before the bake cycle, the machine did another punch down.  I was surprised because knowing there was not enough time for the dought to rise to dome before high heat kicked in.  Not sure why the machine did that since I'd never used that machine before.  Anyway, next time when my husband tries youe recipe again (I am sure he will), I will ask him to just do the dough cycle then bake it in the oven.  Will let you know.