I was tired of drooling over Zolablue's pictures of Dan Leader's "Pierre Nury's Light Rye" and decided to try it for myself. This bread is *amazing*. I sent the second loaf home with friends of ours that came for dinner. It was a really nice addition to the cheese plate - and every piece was gone in about 15 minutes - there were only 4 of us!
Two days ago I started a buttermilk bread from Laurel's that I finished yesterday. That was the softest whole wheat sandwich bread I have ever made. It is amazing! So much flavor and so tender. Probably will be our regular sandwich bread in the house.
The only changes that I made to Dan Leader's recipe were the following:
I didn't do the second rise before the retardation. I did it after. I couldn't stay up late enough waiting for it, so when I went to bed I threw it in the fridge. Then took it out this morning and let it sit at room temp for hours... like 7 or 8. Three hours to accomodate for the "before baking warm up" and another couple hours for the second rise that I didn't do last night. I then shaped as directed and baked for the longer of the time range and the oven spring was tremendous! The first loaf was not shaped nearly as nice as the second, but it was incredibly easy once I tried the first and figured out what he was describing us to do. I'm finding that I'm departing more and more from the recipe's directions in order to fit my life. I'm just trying to be less fanatic about the whole process. Its refreshing :)
For Laurel's Buttermilk bread, I didn't follow the recipe exactly, in that I did an overnight retardation that she doesn't call for. I let it rise twice and then threw it in the frigerator overnight (forgetting to punch it down before hand). When I got up in the morning I took it out and halved it, and shaped them into loaf pans. Then I put those in the fridge all day while at work, then baked them when I got home. They are really beautiful loaves. I gave one as a gift today to a girlfriend that went with me to a whole grain baking class. We had a ton of fun and got to try some great foodie samples. Those classes always re-enerigize my love for whole grains.
As you can see above, the loaf on the right isn't nearly as nicely shaped as the other. But, before our friends got to the house, I cut that one up to put on the cheese plate and no one knew it wasn't such a pretty loaf to start with. Then I was able to send our friends home with the pretty one. I can't emphasize how great the bread was. It was good that we got it out of the house because we would've continued eating it. *gasp!*
The crumb is so open. I was so happy with this loaf! It was so chewy and the crust was so, well, crusty! Just perfection...
The perfect pairing with Kalamata olive spread, strawberry preserves, Stilton and Brie... and a few pecans for accent. I think I could have this as my dinner every night. Not just an appetizer... wow.
Not so chatty tonight... tired... will bake more tomorrow. Hubby is off to see family and packing some bread along as gifts. :)