Rusks; thoughts about pressure cooking the bread

Using the pressure cooker has several advantages;

  • it takes about half as long; 25 minutes compared to 60 minutes. (Edit: I was using 35 minutes but 25 minutes works just as well.)
  • It probably uses less energy since it takes half the time and is only heating a single burner on the stove and not the whole oven.
  • No need to preheat the oven and wait for it to get hot.
  • No worry about the temperature and burning the bread; my dodgy oven is never at the correct temperature that the dial says it should be.
  • Pressure cooked loaves don’t rise and are nice and dense; just what’s needed for slicing for rusks.
  • In addition to being dense, the loaves are moist and have minimal cracking, also great for slicing.

On the other hand, there is at least one disadvantage;

  • Because the loaves are dense, after the slices are dried they can be tough as wood. This depends on the flours used. For example, adding rice bran offsets the tough-as-wood effect. I’m guessing that the wooden effect is from the gluten; I need to experiment with different flours. Nevertheless, it’s nice to know that I can use rice bran to “rescue” a recipe, although it does change the flavor and make it sweeter.

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