Saturday, May 15, 2010

BBA Challenge Bread #34 — Pumpernickel Rye

I've got one word for this bread—YUM! BBA bread #34 Pumpernickel Rye...

I'm baking my way through Peter Reinhart's award winning book, The Bread Baker's Apprentice, along with a number of other amateur bakers (I'm not sure how many are still with us, and a few have finished!). Want to join in the madness, or just learn more about this semi-crazy undertaking? Check out the following links:

This bread began with a trip. Or maybe it was more of a jaunt. Or a quest. Something like that. Anyway. I was on the hunt for the elusive "pumpernickel-grind" rye flour. I couldn't find it at the store and didn't think about it in time to order some from King Arthur flour—because I'm pretty sure THEY would have it.

I called my mom to see if she'd have any insight on where to find such flour and she gave me a few  suggestions that sounded promising. I followed up with phone calls but struck out each time. But she also mentioned an Amish store that might have it and figured that was my best bet. So I invited mom along and we took a trip (jaunt? quest?) to Shipshewana, and adorable Amish town about 45 minutes east.

Shipshewana* is quite the tourist town and rightly so. It's full of shops big and small filled with quilts and fabric and candy and furniture and ... everything. Throw in the charm of horse and buggies, homemade clothes drying on lines at nearly every home and slightly undulating farm land plowed with literal horse power, and it's downright bucolic.

But even THEY didn't have pumpernickel grind rye flour. Well, crud. BUT. There was the rest of E & S Sales to drool over. Move over Target. I think I found my new favorite store. There's nothing fancy about this store, but what it lacks in shelves designed by marketing pros and pimped out displays, it makes up for in selection. I could have dropped my entire paycheck at this place, but I don't know where I'd store everything because the prices were AH-mazing. I got a 10 lb bag of high-protein (i.e. bread) flour for $5.71.
bread flour-bulk

I KNOW! A 5lb bag at the grocery store will run anywhere from $3-$5. Score! And everything was like that. They sold most things by the pound in nondescript plastic bags with twist tie closures—bulk items without having to measure it out yourself. They had tons of flours (not the one I wanted, unfortunately), spices, dried fruits, cheeses, cookie/cake decorating sugars and sprinkles ... and on and on.
(Are you still with me? Good. I promise I'm getting to the bread soon)

I didn't find the right flour, but I did find this:
PN-rye flakes
Rye flakes. Like oatmeal but with rye. "Hm", I pondered. "I think I could grind this—coarsely." (Pumpernickel rye is also called coarse ground rye)...DING DING DING. We have a winner. And into my shopping cart it went.

Back at home, drunk on bargain baking ingredients shopping, I ran the rye flakes through my food processor.
PN-rye flakes in processor

It took a few minutes, but eventually, I ended up with this:
 PN-rye flakes chopped
Works for me.

I mixed a cup of the ground rye flakes with a cup of starter and 3/4 cup water and let that sit out for 4-5 hours, then into the fridge for an overnight stay.

The next day, you finish mixing it all up. In addition to the rye starter made the day before, you add bread flour, some brown sugar, salt, yeast, a little bit of oil and bread crumbs. Now, if I'd been paying attention, I would have saved some of my miche for this part, but I didn't. Crumbs are optional, but I had some aging store-bought (I know, I know) whole wheat hamburger buns and decided to turn them into bread crumbs.
PN-bread crumbs

You also add cocoa, carob powder, instant coffee or liquid caramel coloring to achieve the distinct color of pumpernickel. I didn't have luck using coffee with my marble rye, so I went the traditional route and used cocoa.

Because rye can get gummy if you mix it too long, I only let the mixer knead the dough for about 4 minutes and called it good. I put it in an oiled bowl and let it ferment about 2 hours, until it doubled.

I decided to bake these in loaf pans rather than go with free standing boules that would need to be hearth baked. I didn't feel like messing with steam pans and spraying the inside of the oven. So loaves it was!
PN-shaped 1

I didn't take lots of time shaping because I didn't want to degas the dough. In about 90 minutes, they looked like this:

They weren't remotely cresting the pans as PR says they should, but they'd clearly risen and looked good to me. Into the oven they went, as you see, on the sheet pan.
In about 40 minutes, I had two lovely loaves that smelled wonderful.
A bit on the small side, but delicious nonetheless. I might have added too much cocoa powder because there was a distinct if subtle chocolate flavor to them. The crumb, though, was about perfect—fairly dense yet soft, with a really nice texture and thin, chewy crust. I thought it tasted great and definitely see myself making this again.

Check out the efforts of some of the other BBA bakers:

Cathy at Bread Experience (Awesome step by step pics and comparison between cloche baking and using a disposable aluminum roasting pan–a great read!)

Sally at Bewitching Kitchen (Seriously, click on this link. Her loaves are absolutely gorgeous!)

Cindy at Salt and Serenity (Another post filled with great photos, plus Cindy talks about how this bread brought back childhood memories.)

*Is it just me, or does the fact that an Amish town have a website make you chuckle, even just a little? 

1 comment:

  1. I love the color of the loaves. Must be all that cocoa powder! No, but seriously- I found mine a little on the small side. Not sure if it was the lack of the gluten structure or what, but they were deliciously dense. And not chocolate tasting at all!


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