Sunday, March 29, 2020

Quiet Sunday In A Typical Town

And what do we do? MAKE BREAD!

Ready to pop in the oven...

And out of the oven and cooling...

This batch is rye bread. I took my basic "Can't Screw It Up" white bread recipe, and substituted 1-1/2 cups of dark rye flower for an equal amount of the King Arthur Bread Flour I use, and added a couple of things to give it the distinctive "rye bread" flavor. 1tsp of dill seed, 2 tsp caraway seed, and 1tbs of Gulden's mustard.

And this is my first loaf of rye with an acceptable texture...

This batch was almost a disaster because of mistakes I made, but I recovered it on-the-fly with acceptable results. I was busy with The Little Guy because Sweet Little Wife made an "emergency run" to the drugstore. I started the chain-of-errors by leaving 1/2 cup of flour OUT of the ingredients as I added the water and Happy Joyous Bubbly Yeast to the mixture. As I was watching the timer I use to help with my mixing, I noticed that the dough hadn't become dough yet at the 4-minute mark, so I started adding some flour to get it right. It took almost 1/2 cup to get it right, and by then it had mixed six minutes, what I consider to be the upper limit before damaging the dough. I turned it out on the "lightly floured" breadboard, and cleaned and butter the mixing bowl. Popped it back in the oven at ~105*F and let it raise for 90 minutes. Turned it out, divided it, put it in the butter pans, and back in the oven for the second raise, covered with damp cloth.

The cloth stuck to it as it raised, and when I took the cloth off, the loaves deflated. ARRRRRGH!

Following advice from SLW, I took them out of the pans, kneaded them again, and put them back in the pans, this time "tented" with buttered aluminum foil.

They raised just fine again, and SLW put them in the oven when I was playing "Jump The Little Truck" with TLG.

She forgot to "liberally brush the tops of the loaves with warm water", and popped them in the oven when it hit 400*F. This kind of killed the nice, browned, crunchy top I was getting, but it baked OK, and tastes very great, mistakes and all. I'm just glad I caught the mistakes I made, otherwise we'd have two loaves of very thick "Rye Hardtack", which probably wouldn't have been eaten.

Anyway, we had a fun day playing games and R/C truck, and wound up with some bread, too.

And played with little trucks.....

Sorry, can't figure out how to snag the video SLW posted on the Book of Farces...


  1. Sounds like you pulled out a good save there.

    I'd be baking, but I can't find yeast in the store, or online (that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.)

    Seems that all the not-normally cooking or baking people remembered that stupid bread machine they got 20 years ago, and swept up all the yeast.

    Hopefully there will be yeast in the store soon. Can't make wife home-made pizza without it.

    1. Yeah, I was ready to toss the batch, then looked at the timer, and realized I had at most two minutes to "fix" it.

      Then I saw the other 1/2 cup of flour sitting on the other side of the kitchen where I set it down when I went to go check on TLG, and grabbed the bag and added enough flour to "fix" it.

      WHEW! Close call.....

      SLW just went to the store to pick up an order of stuff we made last week. Yeast is on the list, along with some more bread flour and other essentials.

      Haven't tried pizza crust yet...

  2. We took notice that the cooking shows have a lot of the ingredients lined up in little bowls.
    And my OCD is very happy with the method.

    It looks very good.

    1. I stage everything the night before, along with all the utensils I'll need.

      Just glad I saw the flour across the room, and realized I hadn't put it all in before I started the mixing!

      It tastes good, too!

  3. Looks like you have the same stove I have. Have you checked the actual oven temperature against the setting? Mine is off 20+ degrees.

    1. Good point. I'll get my thermocouple out and check it today. There's times I think it might read low....

  4. Not to worry...kneading the dough is critical to get the glutens to form the matrix into which the Co2 bubbles fill to make it rise.
    I never time it...Personally, I prefer kneading by hand, adding flour as you go until you reach your preferred texture.
    Not all flours have a lot of glutens either.
    Looks good Jim!
    WSF is correct as well.
    I like to set the oven temp 25 degrees higher when preheating, then drop the temp by 25 when the bread is put into oven.

    1. Yep. Rye flour doesn't have as much as the "Bread Flour" I'm using, which has more gluten/protein than an "All Purpose" flour would have. Not much, but a bit higher.

      The first time I made bread here I did it all by hand. Then Sweet Little Wife bought me a killer stand mixer with a bunch of attachments, and it's much easier and faster for me to make it that way. The first time I used it I learned all about how long to mix it when I followed the "8 Minutes" the flour company said. I also had the speed one notch too low, and it just didn't look right. Didn't raise very well, either.

      Now I follow the mixer manufacturer's directions, and mix it 4 Four Minutes. The time I over mixed it I remember seeing the dough go through three distinct stages, and after six minutes of mixing it starts to get a weird texture. my thermocouple out, and I'll check the calibration of the oven. One of the high-altitude adjustments I made is to use 400* instead of 375*, and bake it 25 minutes instead of 35 minutes. The higher heat sets the gluten faster, and the shorter time reduces the moisture loss here.


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