The bread

Hi. I hope you had a nice Sunday. We did. I took two naps, Sally took three, and we all spent a lot of time on the couch. We read Cross Country Cat, and Frederick, and when it got dark, we went to the restaurant where I work for a holiday closing party. There were seared scallops and fried oysters and tuna bolognese and pork belly skewers, and all in all it was a good way to go out. We also baked our bread, and I wanted to show you a picture.

It's delicious. It didn't rise up quite as high as I'd hoped, but I think that might be related to the fact that our oven is in SERIOUS need of calibration and we accidentally started off the bake at 600 degrees F when it was supposed to be on 375. We also cut into one loaf right away, without doing the dishcloth thing. But it's right on in the flavor department, and it's got the texture too, so if you're thinking of baking, it's a Go!

That said, the next time I make it, I think I'll do a few experiments. I think I'll up the rye—swap out one cup of the all-purpose flour in the last portion for rye flour instead. And I happen to really like caraway, so I might double the caraway seeds or even grind some up to add into the flour.

And just so you know, we still have a lot of rye flour kicking around here. We're not done with rye yet. My next project will be these—Swedish rye cookies from 101cookbooks. Have you done your holiday baking yet? We're a little behind the times this year, but the tree is up, and this afternoon, we're going to put on the Muppets Christmas disc and start whisking and rolling and baking.

Happy Holidays, everyone.


Dar said...

Hey, I've been baking for a while now as you can see:
http://breadnbeer.wordpress.com/ though I haven't updated my blog for a while.. but your rising issue is probably not enough bread flour or the yeast didn't develop as much as it should have (which is hard with starters). 600 degrees is actually a good thing! The secret to a nice crusty bread is to get yourself a combo cooker (dutch oven) and bake it in that - this will keep in the steam. You preheat your oven as high as you can, then lower it to 450, bake for 20 min, then take the lid off, then bake another 20 min for good crust. It looks nice and dark though! :)

Jess said...

Yum! Have you seen the book "healthy bread in 30 minutes a day?" It's been really helpful in getting me off on the right food when baking bread. I love your photo. I can just taste the crumb of the hearty loaf!

Elspeth said...

dar, yum! your blog looks great. and thanks for the pointers. it may also have been because i left my rye mixture sitting an extra day...maybe that was too long? glad to know our pesky oven was actually working in my favor yesterday...very rare.

and jess, no, but that sounds great. i'll have to check it out!

all the best,

Dar said...

do you mean the rye mixture of starter or the dough? If the dough over proofed ( it rose too long) then that could be it but rye is.. heavy. When I make rye, it's like 3 cups breadflour to 1/2 a cup rye and than you get a good rise - gluten does a nice job. But yeast starters are always super hard to rise.. it's gotta be warm and really bubbly. :) Try making the dough than leaving it in the fridge for overnight to a couple of days (the longer it sits in the fridge, the more flavour and sourness it gets). Anyways, I like solving bread problems, they're always the hardest! :)

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