The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

ITJB Rustic Pumpernickel

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

ITJB Rustic Pumpernickel

Last weekend, as I was trying to decide what I wanted to bake next, two things occurred to me.  First, I had only baked one bread from Inside the Jewish Bakery so far.  Second, a rye bread sounded like a good thing.  

Although it was a matter of moments to pull the book from the shelf, it was probably half an hour later before I actually got to, and selected, the Rustic Pumpernickel bread as the weekend's bake.  Part of that is me; I'm easily distracted by books and usually spend more time in them than intended.  Part of it is the nature of ITJB itself; this award-winning book has so much interesting information which is presented so lovingly that, well, how could I just look at the formula and ignore everything else?  It's a good thing that I'm not looking at it now, or I wouldn't be writing this post.

Note: I consulted the errata sheet available here and marked the corrected quantities in my copy of ITJB before starting.

Since I don't keep a rye sour on hand, I seeded the sour with my mostly-white starter and built it up as directed, trusting that the coarsely-ground whole rye flour I had on hand would suffice for the dark rye called for in the formula.  There's something magical about a rye sour.  It looks like a grey-brown sludge but has the most amazing aroma!  Sour, yes, but also fruity and spicy, all at the same time.  Good stuff!

 The dough came together very easily as I mixed it by hand.  Since I don't have first clear flour on hand, I subbed in some bread flour in its place.  That's where I encountered a surprise.  This bread is about 80% rye to 20% wheat.  It should have been hyper-gluey, but wasn't.  An occasional moistening of my hands was enough to keep the stickies at bay.  Understand, it was sticky and I did need to clean some paste from my hands when finished, just nowhere near as much as I have experienced with other breads of similar composition.  Maybe it was because part of the rye was scalded.  Or maybe not.  I'm not sure.

Since one member of the household is not fond of caraway, I elected to include dill seed instead of caraway seed.  Rye and dill get on very nicely.

Although the yield for this bread is listed as one loaf, I elected to shape it into two loaves.  As two loaves, each was large enough to provide a week's worth of sandwiches.  The final dough rose quickly in the warmer temperatures that we were experiencing last weekend.  Given the high percentage of rye, I was concerned about the amount of expansion I was seeing.  Rye breads that go one step too far tend to collapse spectacularly.  I needn't have worried:

In fact, I could have let it ferment a while longer, as is evidenced by the cracking caused by a vigorous oven spring.  Why the dough was so resilient, I don't know.  Maybe it was related to what I saw with the less-than-expected stickiness.  Still, these loaves were almost doubled in size before they went into the oven.  In my rye experience, that's living on the ragged edge.  

The crumb shows good aeration, especially for a high-rye bread.  It is a solid, hefty loaf and works very well as a base for sandwiches made with ham or other flavorful meats.  Turkey breast, unless smoked, really doesn't have enough flavor of its own to compete with the bread.  Although, with bread this good, it's still a good sandwich!

Thank you to Norm and Stan for bringing ITJB to fruition, and to the TFL testers.  I'll be making this bread again and I'll be a bit bolder about pushing the fermentation envelope.

Paul

Comments

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

rye bread Paul!  That's my kind of bread and it must taste sour and at least a little Dilly - right? 

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

The rye flavor is very pronounced, though, and the dill is right there, too.

Paul

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

Here's a favorite Reuben recipe that begs for Pumpernickle.

The Russian dressing is essential, but you can get away with a commercial mayo if you don't feel like making the mayo from scratch.

I cut the bread slices (usually Hamelman 60% rye) thicker (about twice as thick).

I like provolone over the usual Swiss or Gouda.

Beautiful loaves. I didn't buy ITJB because of the errata, but I'm looking forward to ITJB2.

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Me, I'd rather have a Rachel than a Reuben.  It's that sauerkraut thing.  Yours looks beautiful, though.

Paul

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

It looks like there is a sandwich called a Rachel.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reuben_sandwich#Rachel_sandwich

Now I have ammunition against that restaurant in Golden, Colorado that served me a sandwich made with turkey and coleslaw when I ordered a Reuben: That's not a Reuben, that's a Rachel! Take it back! :)

(Not my photo, not my blog. It's Aun's photo (and recipe) from chubbyhubby.net).

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Paul,

Your loaf looks great and the idea of dill in place of caraway sounds like a good pick too.

I will have to give this loaf a try.  I already have a lot of fans for their Jewish Deli Rye bread and have been going to that recipe a lot so I am thinking it is time to branch out a bit :-)

Thanks for the nudge :-) and the notes on the fermenting times.  I know the JDR gets a phenomenal spring  which surprised me too because of the rye content so maybe that is the 'norm' with these 2 breads...

Take Care,

Janet

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

By all means, do work this one into your bake schedule when you can.  Thanks for the tip about JDR's expansion; I hadn't seen it quite so much with Reinhart's version. 

Dill is a natural with rye.  I like fennel, too.  And caraway; it's just that my wife is less enthused about the latter.

Paul

Elagins's picture
Elagins

You do yourself (and us) proud.

Stan

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

It's good to know that this meets with your approval.  Too often, we never get to find out whether our efforts align with the original baker's intent, so your praise is most welcome.

Paul

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Looks truly lovely, Paul! Given the percentage of rye in this bread, and the fact that it is pumpernickel, makes the crumb spot on. The glaze looks attractive too! what is it? corn starch / egg wash?

I couldn't find dill seeds here in Dubai. It may yet still be available under other name. Have to keep searching, as my wife dislikes caraway in bread too.

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

The glaze is cornstarch.  It does make for a pretty loaf.

Dill seed was difficult for me to locate while I was in South Africa.  There was plenty of the dill weed around but it took a long time for me to find a shop that carried dill seed.  Best of luck with your search.

Paul

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Scalding impresses me everytime.   Go for the Glory, Paul, and let it rise!  Crumb looks great!  :)  

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

I think that this is the first rye that I've baked which used a scald.  It is certainly the first one with this high a rye content that behaved as it did.

Glory-bound for the next bake!

Paul