I finally got a chance to answer Karin’s latest challenge. It was a good one and left me with a good loaf of bread, too!
Trying to come up with a loaf that would reflect the history of it all was a little too daunting, so I asked myself what sort of bread I would serve to the iron handed knight now. What kind of loaf would I bake if he was standing in my kitchen? (Any kind he wants!!) Something with flavors of home but maybe a little more modern in style. It didn’t take long to decide on a combination of barley, oats and flaxseeds in a medium-wholegrain sort of wheat dough. It sounded good to me, anyway! This loaf was baked as one large round. I think I’ll split it next time, but for this bake the big round seemed appropriate. The method was a little harder to decide on. My first thought was good, old-fashioned hand kneading, but the man inspiring the bread is clearly no stranger to a little mechanical assistance, so I let the mixer do the work.
The result was as good as I could have hoped for. The crumb was surprisingly light and soft and the flavor complex, though distinctly sour. I prefermented quite a bit of the flour without really thinking it through. I think it worked well against the other flavors, but for non-sour lovers it would probably be a bit much and the amount of leaven should definitely be reduced. Barley flakes in place of the barley meal would be another change worth trying. I think I would have opted for that from the start if I had had any barley flakes.
All in all a worthy bread, I think, one I will be baking again. I got a good response from everyone who tried it so I’ll make plenty for sharing. If anyone doesn’t like it? Well… thanks to Götz, now I know just what to say! :)