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Friday, August 19, 2011

Raisin Rye Bread

August is turning out to be a slow month in the baking department. It is simply too hot around here to want to turn on the oven. Can't wait for October.
I hadn't baked a rye bread in a while. Laurel Robertson's 'The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book' has several recipes with rye bread but many of them need a special sourdough starter. I hadn't baked this Raisin Rye bread before and was quite excited about it.

The ingredients
This bread uses a mixture of whole wheat flour and rye flour, about 3 : 2 ratio. Besides raisins, some molasses is also used, resulting in a fairly sweet bread. There's also cider vinegar to help with the flavor, caraway seeds and the usuals: yeast, oil and salt. I chose to puree the cooked raisins to help them blend better into the bread.

The ingredients

Clockwise from left: pureed raisins, flours + salt, yeast + water,
water from soaking raisins + molasses + cider vinegar + oil,

The raisins are mixed in towards the end of the 10 minute kneading.

5:12 pm: Ready for first rise

6:21pm: First rise is done

6:23 pm: Ready for second rise

6:59: Second rise is done

The loaf pan
I decided to use the cast iron loaf pan for a change. It would have to be non-preheated, since I don't think placing proofed dough in a preheated loaf would be easy or reasonable. I heated the oven to 400º F to help the pan heat faster, but turned down the temperature to the specified 350º F after putting the pan in the oven.

7:11 pm: After rounding, resting and shaping

7:40 pm: Risen, but not a whole lot. Underproofed?

8:39 pm: Out of the oven and glazed with some butter

Sliced well

Decent crumb but dense at the bottom and sides

The bread
Although the bread didn't rise very well, or get any oven spring, it sliced well and tasted pretty good. It had a distinct taste of rye and raisins, but the caraway were lost. It was too sweet for RH to have more than a couple bites, so I got to enjoy it for a long time, mostly with almond butter and sliced bananas, of course.

Date: Aug 7, 2011
Recipe: Raisin Rye Bread from Laurel Robertson's book, 'The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book'

Flours: Whole wheat, rye flour
Bread specific ingredients: Raisins, caraway seeds, cider vinegar
Sweetener used: Raisins, molasses
Liquid: Water

Comments: Pureeing the raisins was a good idea. They spread more evenly throughout the loaf and the specks looked pretty. I wonder if the denseness at the bottom and sides has something to do with using a cold cast iron loaf pan where the top of the loaf got more heat initially before the sides and the bottom. Would this taste good with less raisins or no molasses added?

Time to brave the heat and bake a no-sign-of-sweet bread.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Whole Wheat Cinammon Raisin Bread

Another delayed post. This was the August bread for my father-in-law. I've made it before and the results of this attempt don't look much different from the previous attempt. It's from Peter Reinhart's 'Whole Grain Breads' book. It's a great whole grain bread for those who like sweet breads and appreciate the flavor of whole grains.

The ingredients
In typical delayed fermentation method, this bread is made over two days with a biga and a soaker. I used 1% milk as the liquid for both the soaker and the biga.

Day 1: Soaker ingredients on left, biga ingredients on the right.

Day 2: Soaker, biga and other ingredients: whole wheat flour, salt,
instant yeast, brown sugar, ground cinammon

Everything mixed together epoxy style

Dough ready for some kneading

2:51 pm: Ready for first rise

At 4:05 pm I rounded and rested the dough. This is the dough at 4:26 pm

The loaf
The recipe says it makes one large loaf. The dough didn't look like a lot, but I hoped it would rise better during proofing. Also, as I was going to be giving away this loaf, I thought it would be good to have a small piece for tasting. I split the dough into a big piece and a smaller piece

4:31pm: Ready to shape

The dough itself does not have a lot of sugar or cinnamon, so I would highly recommend adding the optional cinammon sugar swirl step. I didn't use all 3 tablespoons of the sugar though, because I was working with lesser dough.

4:34 pm: Cinnamon sugar step is highly recommended

4:38: Ready for proofing

6:10 pm: Not a lot of rise after 90 minutes of proofing

7:02 pm: Small bit of oven spring

Out of the pan, sticky raisins

Where is the swirl?

Decent crumb with veins of cinnamon sugar

The bread
Although I only got to have a bit of this bread, I really enjoyed it. It would be better if it were a little more light and airy, this one was fairly dense. RH doesn't like raisins in bread, or yeast breads that are sweet, for that matter, so I won't make this bread very often. It isn't suitable for savory sandwiches but it would make a great gift bread for whole grain lovers.

Date: July 31, 2011
Recipe: Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin from Peter Reinhart's book, 'Whole Grain Breads'

Flours: Whole wheat
Bread specific ingredients: Raisins, cinnamon, egg, butter
Sweetener used: Brown sugar
Liquid: Milk

Comments: I didn't add the optional walnuts. Next time I try this bread, I will add the walnuts and use all the healthier substitutes: agave nectar and vegetable oil. I also wonder if using almond milk for this would be a good idea. Hmm... maybe the next attempt will have to be soon.


Monday, August 1, 2011

Applesauce Walnut Bread 02

This bread is one of my favorites, so much so that I had been waiting to make it so I could blog about it. Then my sister pointed out that she had read about this bread in one of my posts. I checked back and indeed, I had made this bread in April. Looking back at the notes and pictures, it seems that the most recent attempt was more successful than the earlier one.

I stuck to the recipe this time as well. Compared to the previous attempt, I didn't add the vital wheat gluten, which, as I noted in my previous post seems to give better rising breads (at least for LR's recipes). Here are the pictures:


6:08 pm: Ready for mixing

6:29 pm: Some rest after mixing and then kneaded for about 10 minutes

7:32 pm: Good first rise in just over an hour

7:34 pm: Ready for second rise

8:15 pm: Good second rise in under 45 minutes

8:29 pm: After rounding and resting, ready for proofing
in a slightly greased and lightly floured pan

8:56 pm: Wonderfully risen

9:55 pm: Nicely colored crust....

...and some obvious ovenspring. The floured pan worked, because the
loaf slid out very easily

Sliced thin without too many crumbs

Love the crumb with flecks of walnuts

Date: July23, 2011
Recipe: Applesauce Walnut Bread from Laurel Robertson's book, 'The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book'

Flours: Whole wheat
Bread specific ingredients: Applesauce, walnuts
Sweetener used: None
Liquid: Buttermilk and water

Comments: Love this bread. I had some with almond butter topped with a sliced banana. New favorite breakfast.