This weeks’ whole grain bread is a Polish rye from The Bread Bible (page 205). The recipe calls for ½ rye and ½ unbleached white bread flour, which – as always, in keeping with my trying to use alternative flours – I replaced it with emmer and gluten flours. As you know, the gluten helps the bread rise. Whether the gluten was really necessary, I don’t know, but thought I’d try it. By the way, I keep all of my flours in the freezer until I need to use them, hoping that will assure a higher level of freshness than otherwise.
So, here are the changes I made to the Polish Rye Bread recipe:
Original Recipe My Changes
1 tsp clear honey 1 tsp blue agave
2 cups unbleached white bread flour 1 ¾ cups emmer flour
¼ cup gluten flour
I also put the dough in the refrigerator overnight during the first rise. In the morning I let the dough warm up for an hour before punching it down and letting it rise for the second time. Because the kitchen was so cold, I probably should have put the dough in a warmer spot because after an hour it was still cold. When I knocked it down, it was noticeably cool and firm and, therefore, somewhat hard to handle properly. As a result, the loaf has a somewhat funny shape.
Results: I think this is my favorite rye bread so far. The recipe calls for caraway seeds, which we both really enjoy. This bread has just the right taste and texture I most enjoy and associate with a classic rye. Wonderful with just butter.
Note: What I am finding after these many weeks of bread baking is that it’s not hard to produce an eatable loaf of bread, but it’s quite difficult to get one that delights the eye as well. However, as I look at other people’s bread sites, I have hope.
I also decided to try making a whole grain spelt flour chocolate chip cookie (Chocolate Chip-Hazelnut Cookies) by Mel from htt://goldentweety.blogspot.com, which was one of the recipes highlighted in Cathy Warner’s Bake Your Own Bread http://breadmakingblog.breadexperience.com/2011/04/byob-april-2011-roundup.html http://breadmakingblog.breadexperience.com. Two of the main reasons I decided to make these were 1) the recipe used spelt flour and I wanted to try that; and 2) I love chocolate chip cookies. Spelt flour is easy to find in your grocery store – I used Bob’s Red Mill Wholegrain Spelt Four.
I did substitute blue agave for the white sugar and I used macadamia nuts instead of hazelnuts, because I had them on hand. Otherwise the recipe is exactly the same.
Results: Love at first bite. If you like cookies – and especially if you like chocolate chip cookies – you have got to make these.