Posts Tagged ‘rye bread’

Beguiling mountain rye

Preparation Time: 3 days Baking Time: 90 minutes Yield: 2 loaves

Portuguese mountain rye

 Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid’s fabulous book “Home Baking” started me on a bread-baking odyssey some months ago. One of the recipes I tried, is for a Portuguese mountain rye loaf, well two actually. It’s kind of a bulk recipe.

Anyway, the dough seems to be very moist, and therefore difficult to work with. I’ve made it about a half dozen times, with mixed results, until I decided to exclude one of the cups of water. What a difference! I finally figured out that what appears in the book is actually wrong, and tweaking it the way I did makes all the difference.

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Rye bread revisited – again

February 22, 2011 9 comments
Preparation Time: 24 hours Cooking Time: 35 minutes Yield: a loaf

The ultimate light rye – great loft, slightly moist fine crumb

After about a year’s experimenting with rye bread, the ultimate loaf has finally emerged.

One of the biggest problems with a pure rye loaf is the lack of loft. Even using light pure rye flour, the loaf tends to be quite dense, the slices small. If sliced too thick, it is inclined to be stodgy, and it does not toast well.

Having started working with a poolish of late – a fermentation starter or pre-ferment – in my bread baking odyssey, the thought struck me that perhaps weaving a poolish into the conventional rye recipe may well make a difference.

The origins of the name poolish are not credibly determinable, but the word is used in French to describe a sponge pre-ferment, consisting of equal proportions of flour and lukewarm water, and a pinch of dry, or a thumb-sized piece of fresh yeast. Read more…

Shortbread with a difference

Preparation Time: 20 minutes Baking Time: 45 minutes Yield:Plenty!

The pursuit of physical perfection – well such as it is possible for those over 50 considering the inexorable effect of gravity – requires, other than regular physical exercise, a change in eating habits.

The first requirement is a healthy diet, and the second is a healthy eating plan. Neither comes easy, and personal experience reinforces the maxim that “too much, too soon, too fast” leads inevitably to disastrous backsliding. So, mixed metaphors aside, softly, softly catchy monkey helps to avoid the otherwise inevitable slip betwixt cup and lip. Read more…