I've got a confession to make, this is really the first loaf of bread I've ever made that has come out well. It's not perfect, but at least it's not rock hard. It couldn't have come at a better time. I needed some pumpernickel or rye for a my Cider-Braised Corned Beef. Frankly, I like pumpernickel better, and I was fortunate enough to have a lovely little recipe from a cooking class I took up at Stonewall Kitchen in York, Maine. If you haven't been there, by the way, spend the time to do so, I love it there.
My friend, Jane, from over at Food and Fiction, once told me that once you nail your first loaf, you'll be hooked on bread-baking. She wasn't wrong. Getting one, fairly close to right, just makes me want to bake a bunch of them. I would, if I weren't out of flour, and I haven't shaken off the cobwebs from the week in sunny Florida that I just returned from. You just wait, though. Once I replenish my stock in flour, I think it's time to tackle several more. Practice makes perfect right?
The husband was fairly excited I finely baked a loaf of bread that wasn't hard as a rock. I'd like to add here that those hard-as-rock loaves were always very nice and tasty on the inside, it was just getting there. A couple of points with this recipe. First, I was too overzealous in coating my towel in flour on the second rise of this bread, be judicious. Second, wait for it to cool completely before slicing. I cut into it while fairly warm still and the crust will still a bit tough. However, when I had a piece slathered in butter the next day, the crust had relaxed once cooled.
Win a spot for April's Boston Brunchers Event!
Before we get started on the bread, let's talk brunch real quick, shall we? I've been lucky enough to be selected to take part in April's Boston Brunchers event at the Biltmore in Newton. Click on that link, we're talking chive poached eggs, lobster frittatas... and that's not all. Here's the deal, this is all about bringing new bloggers into our little community. I want to meet some new bloggers! Since I've won a spot, I'm going to let you guys win a spot to. So if you're a BOSTON/NEW ENGLAND area blogger and you'd like to come to brunch with me and several other awesome Boston Brunchers (see other winners here) on Sunday April 3rd th at 11 a.m., do the following and I'll randomly select a winnter:
- You cannot have attended ANY previous Boston Bruncher events
- You must have a Boston area blog (does not have to be food related)
- You have to check out the original post for this months event here
- You must follow me @kimmybingham , @bostonbrunchers and @biltmorebargril on Twitter and tweet "I'd love to brunch with @kimmybingham, @bostonbrunchers @biltmorebargril in April!"
- Leave a comment below that you've done all the above :-)
Now we return you to the bread!
|over floured on second rise, but still yummy|
Makes: 1 loaf
Source: Stonewall Kitchen, adapted from Techniques of Bread Baking 1 at the ICE
1 cup warm tap water, about 100 degrees
2 1/2 teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour (250 grams)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (60 grams)
1/2 cup whole grain rye flour (51 grams, I used dark rye)
1 tablespoon non-alkalized cocoa powder (example, Hershey's unsweetened cocoa)
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon unsulphered molasses
cornmeal for bottom of loaf
Pour warm water into a stand mixer bowl or a general mixing bowl, sprinkle yeast on surface and whisk, letting it stand for five minutes. Now, add your molasses and stir in flours and remaining ingredients. At this point, you can knead by hand or knead using the dough hook attachment for your stand mixer. Either way, knead until you have a smooth, elastic, soft dough.
Now transfer your dough to an oiled bowl and turn dough over so top is oiled as well. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap (or a kitchen towel) and allow to rise at room temperature until doubled (I usually put the bowl on top of a preheating oven because my kitchen is drafty).
You can interrupt the process if you don't have time for a second rise right now or will bake it later on by punching the dough down once doubled, covering it tightly and refrigerating. To continue on, bring the dough back to room temperature until it starts to double again.
Otherwise, once that dough has doubled, turn it out onto a floured surface (I suggest having a scraper handy, less of a mess). Press dough with palms of hands to deflate. Gently knead, shaping the dough into a sphere by tucking edges under and in toward the center all around the bottom. Take a round basket or bowl and line it with a heavily floured napkin or tea towel, making sure the ends of the napkin or towel are sticking out. Now invert your dough into the basket or bowl (see picture below). Cover with plastic wrap or towel and allow to rise until doubled.
While the oven/baking sheet it preheating. Sprinkle cornmeal on top of your loaf (technically the bottom) and invert it onto a cardboard round or peel (I used a large dinner plate, worked fine). Using a razor blade or knife held at a 30-degree angle, score an "X" at the top of the loaf. Slide the risen loaf from the plate onto the preheated pan in the oven (carefully, it's hot in there!). Immediately lower oven temperature to 450 degrees. Bake the loaf about 20-30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 210 degrees.
Cool the loaf on a rack and do not cut until completely cooled.