Sunday, August 8, 2010

BBA Challenge Bread #35 — Sunflower Seed Rye (kind of)


Well, it was SUPPOSED to be "sunflower seed rye" but I had a complete brain dump at the store and bought PUMPKIN seeds. So... I made Pumpkin Seed Rye, and let me tell you it was a tasty mistake.

pumpkin seeds

I'm (very, very slowly) 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 number of us have finished). Want to learn more about it? Check out the following links:

Well, folks. I started this post on May 24. Really. Needless to say, I've completely forgotten what I was originally going to write, so let's keep this short and sweet. (But not short on photos, because I have a bunch of those – as usual.)

First, let's talk about my sourdough starter. I no longer have it, and I'm not really sure how that happened. I went to look for it so I could give it a feeding... and it was gone. Completely disappeared from the fridge. The only explanation I can think of is that someone (*cough* Dwight *cough*) cleaned out the fridge one day and away it went. Que sera sera.

But before it went AWOL, my starter was a vigorous beast. It literally blew the top off its container, distending the lid completely before finally popping off. Obviously I should have put it in a larger container after that last feeding!
starter blowout side
starter blowout top

After combining a portion of my starter (R.I.P.) with the rest of the ingredients, I added the seeds.

PSR-dough with seeds

And popped it into a container to double.

PSR-in bowl
(Vigorous starter in action – with some help from commercial yeast. This bread has both.)

Check out the gluten strands on this bread. So cool.
PSR-gluten strands

Next, I divided the dough into two equal portions...

...poked a hole in the center of each, and formed a ring. The shaping of this one is really fun.

Then you take a small dowel, or something similar (I used Wilton cake support dowels), and press it into one side of the ring.

Repeat this process with each side, making sure to flour the surface a bit so the dowel doesn't stick.

I put both shaped rounds on a parchment lined baking sheet, covered them with plastic wrap, and let them proof until roughly double in size.

Unfortunately they deflated a quite a bit when I transferred them to the peel. Bummer.
PSR-on peel

But they baked up nicely, if a bit pale.

But the taste was fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed this bread, with its chewy crust and flavorful crumb.


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