Rye Bread

Okay, this is my first entry for Pam’s Bread and the beginning of a search for a tasty and healthy whole grain bread. Right in the beginning I want to be clear: I am not a professional baker; I just like to bake and my husband, Ron, loves bread. So, I hope that you also like to bake and would like to join me in a conversation about finding delicious (first and foremost!) whole grain breads. I will be posting my various trials & hope that you will chime in with your own experiences and opinions on what to do, which ingredients are better/best and why, etc. This is not a Blog for professionals, although professional bakers can certainly share their opinions and expertise! I hope you join me in this baking adventure.

My first loaf in this baking journey was for a modified rye bread from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook: Cranberry-Pecan Rye Bread on page 298, which I made last night/this morning. This is a delicious bread as it is presented, but I wanted to avoid any white four, so I replaced all of the bread flour Martha Stewart called for with whole wheat flour (King Arthur Flour) and a bit of gluten flour (Bob’s Red Mill organic vital wheat gluten flour), which is supposed to help the bread rise. I also used walnuts instead of pecans – for no reason, just because.

Also, because it was so late when I started making the bread, I prepared it in the evening and baked it, after its second rise, the next morning.

Confession time: I promise to always be as honest as possible in this Blog, so I have to admit in my very first posting that I made what I thought was a major mistake: I had written out a doubling of ingredients next to the book’s instructions, intending to make 2 loaves. At the last minute I decided to only make one loaf – but I mistakenly added twice the whole wheat & gluten flour than called for in the single loaf recipe!

I expected a total failure or at least an unpalatable (is there such a word?) bread for any but the most hearty bread enthusiast. But, no! It turned out to be tasty with good texture! Now, why was that? If anyone can explain how I could have gotten so far off course with the ingredients and still have a tasty loaf of bread, please let me know the reason.

Rye bread with walnuts and cranberries

Rye bread with walnuts and cranberries

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5 Responses to Rye Bread

  1. Joshua says:

    Very cool! Did the extra whole wheat and gluten flour affect the density? And did you get the wheat gluten at a regular grocery store, or did you have to go to a specialty store to find it?

    • pamela says:

      Yeah, this is really a good bread – It could almost be a dessert because of the walnuts and cranberries!
      Using so much whole wheat should have made the bread VERY dense, but adding a bit of gluten flour lightened the it up & gave it a nice texture.
      I was able to find the wheat gluten at our local Schnucks grocery store in their specialty foods area, not in the baking area.

  2. Penelope says:

    I’ve heard about the health benefits of flax seed. Any good recipes using flax seed or flax oil?

    • pamela says:

      You’re right, I’ve also heard about how good flax seed is. My doctor even recommended adding some to my bread. I think I’ll try some when I make more bread this week – Grind flax seeds in my coffee grinder & substitute a portion of the other bread flours with it. I’ll let you know how it turns out!

      Have you ever tried it in bread before?

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