With thanks to Franko!
Franko was travelling in Europe recently, and thoughtfully sent me a gift from Vienna, Austria - an organic rye bread baking mix, called Holzofenbrot Backmischung (translates to: woodstove breadbaking mix).
To say that I was tremendously pleased with this, would be an understatement!
Thanks again, so much, Franko, for your kindness and generosity!
Here is the bread, baked from the mix. It looked like the mix had a good amount of rye in it, and some bread spice (brotgewurze). I tried scoring before proofing, as we were taught in my recent Guild class.
We haven't tasted this bread yet but are looking forward to it very much!
Thinking of Franko's travels, I was looking at pictures of folk art today and tried to paint a design on the bread reminiscent of eastern European folk art. (It's the thought that counts, right?! :^) I'm not a painter! and wish I'd been able to keep it more on center!).
The mix was a 500g size, to which I added 350g 90F water and 2 teaspoons (7g) instant dry yeast. The dough moved along just as the instructions said it would: 45 minute bulk, 30 minute proof (no longer!):
scored before proofing:
I'm really happy with the quality of the mix and how nicely it baked up. Such a lovely gift! :^)
Still inspired by Franko's travels!, I tried making Mr. Leader's Czech Country Bread from his book Local Breads.
I found a nice writeup about this bread here .
I used dark rye for the levain and 75% sifted rye, and unmalted bread flour, in the final dough.
This bread has a mild, but very good flavor, and an exceptionally soft crumb - almost as if a water roux were employed.
I mixed using stretch and folds in the bowl, with lots of rests, and two folds during a 2.5 hour bulk ferment; one hour proof.
I docked one as instructed, and painted the other:
Crackles and crumb:
Here are the two painted ones, side-by-side. I will keep practising this technique, for obvious reasons :^)
It was a took a little bit of time, but was fun to try.
With thanks, once again to Franko, and to Janknitz, for letting me know about Chef Tess Bakeresse and her lovely, decorative loaves . The instruction I found on Chef Tess' site  re: painting bread was so helpful!
Happy baking everyone!
:^) from breadsong