Sunday, July 6, 2008

Rye's the Word

Weighing in at a whopping 32.85 ounces, I give you Dark Onion Rye, June’s effort by the Bread Baking Babes.

At first, I didn’t think I could join in this month, since the recent hot weather spell killed both my sourdough starters. But, since I’m loath to quit just about anything, I began building a new starter, using Mary’s instructions. By Day 9, Mary said I could safely use the starter with a little help from its yeasty friends. Friday was the target day.

I gave the starter a morning feeding, then another around dinner time. Just before I went to bed, I made the sponge and hoped for the best. Saturday morning, the sponge looked great, all nice and bubbly, so I proceeded to mix the dough. This was a very firm dough, only slightly tacky, and I didn’t even add all the required flour. I let it rise for 5 hours. I believe it rose. I kept telling myself it looked like it had risen.

Shaping was straight forward. Since it was already round, I gently deflated it, re-rounded it, placed it in a towel-lined colander, and waited. This time, I let it try to rise for 2 hours, but there didn’t appear to be much activity.

At this point, I truly believed that I was about to bake another door stop, but amazingly, the loaf really sprung in the oven. I did have to bake it longer than required (65 min. total) to obtain the 200°F internal temperature, which made for a thicker crust. By now, it was 8 pm. With a cooling time of 4-6 hours, I decided to wait until daylight to slice it up. I did weigh it beforehand, since it felt very dense. It was just over 2 pounds.

Slicing through the thick crust was a challenge, but the bread was nice and moist inside, with a pleasant aroma of onions and caraway. Toasted, with a melted piece of Havarti on top, it made a tasty breakfast.

I always look forward to the BBB’s challenges each month. In the interim, now, I will tend to my starters and protect them from the impending hot weather that is predicted for next week, so I can be ready for the July challenge. For the recipe and the efforts of the Bread Baking Babes, check out Breadchick Mary’s blog.

And, Mary, thanks for all your help and encouragement.


ostwestwind said...

Great looking bread, I liked it too

Ulrike from Küchenlatein

Anonymous said...

Your bread looks good. 2 pounds is quite a loaf of bread! I bet it was delicious with the Havarti.

Anonymous said...

Yes, yes, yes! My experience, exactly. I love this part of your post: "I believe it rose. I kept telling myself it looked like it had risen." Ah, the faith of a bread baker!

Anonymous said...

It was really nice and moist for me, too. Delicious recipe that I'll definitely be making again.