66% Sourdough Rye
Last night, I baked the 66% Sourdough rye in Hamelman's book. This is the highest percentage of rye I have ever worked with, so it was quite an experience. My favorite part about it is that it's a very fast bread to make. From the time I mixed all the ingredients together to the time I pulled the loaf from the oven, I think it was about 2 hours. The high percentage of rye requires very little proofing time, so this fits in nicely into a busy schedule.
I found that shaping the loaves was a little tricky. I really wouldn't say that I "shaped" them in the traditional sense. It was more like rolling out play-dough.
Despite how much I want to love it, rye bread is just a little too intense for me. The thought of taking a bite out of a big chunk of it makes me a little queasy. I have to slice it very thin, and even then, the taste is almost overwhelming. I wish I had to vocabulary to describe it... I almost get an umami flavor from it. Perhaps the best comparison is to a dark oatmeal stout or a fine bourbon, in that you would never want to gulp it, but only let it wet your lips.
Anyway, I was wondering what kind of condiments traditionally go with dense rye breads? I've heard that smoked meats are popular, but we don't have access to those right now. Dipping oil seems too heavy, but maybe some cream cheese or a thin pat of butter is all it needs?