I am doing a rye bread this week with a few adjustments. I am:
- using a rye I just received from Bluebird Grain Farms: an organic Dark Northern Heirloom Rye Flour, which comes from the state of Washington, where it is grown on the Bluebird Grain Farms (www.bluebirdgrainfarms.com);
- modifying a rye recipe from James Peterson’s Baking, 2009, page 314;
- including flax – to build up the bread’s fiber content; and
- exchanging King Arthur Flour’s whole wheat flour and ground flax for the all-purpose flour.
In reading about baking breads this week, I noticed that many people, including Peterson in the above book, recommend developing a “sponge” (a flour, water, yeast mixture that rises for several hours to overnight) or at least letting the first rising take a very long time – over night, for example. This rising period is to give the bread more flavor. So, who am I to ignore this enticing suggestion. Anything (within Reason!) to develop a delicious bread.
Even more importantly, this increased rising time helps solve a problem I always run into when making bread – time. How to be in one place over a long period of time in order to follow through with each step of the bread making process. Logisitics. This is a big challenge for all of us, I’d imagine. Work, family, projects, all demand their time & it’s hard to follow a strict schedule for baking. After reading all of this on the benefits of a LONG rising time (which gives me & you a chance to get on with the rest of our lives) I feel liberated.
Yes, I said liberated. Because, while I want to make bread, it is very difficult to plan several hours around a loaf of bread. I thought that this would just be one of the unalterables that I would have to work into my schedule – Now, I know that there is another layer of FLEXIBILITY. Flexibility in timing. We can work fresh bread into our lives – no matter what our schedule might be.
Question: How are you managing this time factor? How do you work bread baking into your everyday lives? Do you use a multiday process? Work it into one day? What’s your process? I’d love to hear how others manage this problem.