Rusks; masa harina, sesame seeds, pressure cooked

I’m doing a test of masa harina, pressure cooked. I’m curious to see how the texture of the rusks from this comes out and how it tastes. Masa harina is gluten free and I’m hoping that the crackers won’t be tough.

Since it shouldn’t affect the texture I added 1/4 cup of toasted sesame seeds. The previous batch of rusks that I made with sesame seeds was with raw untoasted sesame seeds and they tasted a bit funky; I was hoping that baking the sesame seeds in the loaf would be sufficient to toast them but apparently not. So this is also an experiment with toasted sesame seeds.

1 cup masa harina
1 cup wheat bran
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup nonfat dry milk
3 tablespoons instant potato
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
2 tablespoons oil
1 cup (approximately) water

The water quantity is an approximation. I add the water slowly, 1 tablespoon at a time. When the dough starts sticking together in clumps I let it mix longer before I add each additional tablespoon. Towards the end the dough will clump together and stick to the mixer’s paddle. In the beginning the mixer is on low; once the dough starts clumping together I put the spatter shield on the bowl and turn up the mixer’s speed. At this point, after each tablespoon of water it needs to mix for a minute or more before I add another tablespoon. Suddenly it will start sticking to the inside of the bowl instead of clumping together, becoming a very stiff batter. At this point I don’t add any more water since I’ll be cooking it in the pressure cooker in a steamy environment. I’ll let it mix for a few minutes more in order to develop whatever gluten there might be, which is not much with rye flour. Then I put it in a greased plastic bowl with a snap on lid, but before putting its lid on it I press some plastic food wrap down onto the dough. Even with plastic on it the top darkens. I let it rest for at least an hour before I transfer it to the loaf pan and cook it.

The dough is resting.

The reason I let the dough rest is that I read that whole grain flours don’t absorb fluids as quickly as white wheat flour does. And that the bran needs extra time to soak up its fluids. Additionally, there is enzyme activity going on that adds complexity to the flavor of the bread, but that probably requires a longer rest (for example, a day).

After its rest I put it in the little loaf pan, covered it with aluminum foil, and cooked it at high pressure for 35 minutes, then let the pressure go down naturally.

I set up my pressure cooker by putting the pressure cooker’s trivet in it then I put the folding steaming basket on top of it (with its center handle removed). I wanted the loaf pan up away from the water and I wanted to put in several cups of water.

The cooked loaf is chilling in the fridge. I’ll slice it in the morning.

Later, sliced and dried: They just finished drying so it’s too early to tell about the texture but I think it’s going to be ok. I sliced them at 2.5. I dried them at 115.

The flavor is somewhat bland; the toasted sesame doesn’t come through very well. I think the masa’s flavor is competing with it and they both lost. I used black sesame seeds and they colored the dough very nicely; it’s very dark.


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