The mother of all bricks

I decided to try a loaf with all rye, using the dark rye that I bought last week. It’s a finer grind that the whole grain pumpernickel rye I’ve been using. The dough was incredibly dense and sticky.

Note: Dark rye flour is not pumpernickel flour. If you have pumpernickel flour you can use it but you must first sift it with a fine sifter and sift out any of the coarse bits of grain that are typically part of pumpernickel flour. If you leave them in, they turn hard as rocks when the slices are dried.

1 cup 120 grams dark rye flour
1/3 cup 24 grams powdered non-fat milk
1/2 teaspoon 4 grams salt
3 tablespoons 14 grams dried instant potato flakes
1 cup 50 grams wheat bran
2 tablespoons 26 grams olive oil
3/4 cup 175 ml water

It’s resting now and I’ll bake it later tonight and then let it get thoroughly cold in the fridge overnight. These bricks slice better when they’re cold.

Later, baked … It had some deep cracks in the side; I’m guessing that I should use more water next time. 200 ml perhaps.

It didn’t finish baking until very late in the evening and I didn’t want to let it cool on the counter, I wanted it to be cold in the morning for slicing, so I wrapped it in a paper towel and put it in a paper bag and put it in the fridge. Probably not the best way to treat a loaf of bread but hopefully it won’t matter too much since it’s going to be made into rusks. In retrospect it might have been better to not rush things and let it cool overnight on the counter then put it in the fridge for an hour or so to get cold.

I was reading some cookbooks on bread making and was reminded again that storing bread in the fridge is the worst place for it. I’m in a bit of a quandary about that; I’m not really storing it in the fridge but using the fridge to make the loaf cold and dense for the slicing.

Jeffrey Hamelman also notes that rye bread develops its flavor after resting for 24 to 48 hours.

Later, sliced and drying … The consistently thin slices from the electric slicer are very nice. I was slicing this brick this morning and I think that the 2 setting is too thin so I’m going to start using 3 and see how that goes.

Later, after drying … They came out nicely. It seems that slicing them on the 2 setting makes for a nicer cracker; the 3 setting makes them slightly too thick. The rye flavor isn’t pronounced; maybe it will develop with some time.

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