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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.


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