Thursday, July 23, 2009

Grandma's Bread #12

It's become a hot July. I was cleaning out the fridge, and started looking at my starter, which was looking a little brown, and so I started thinking about grandma's bread again. Haven't made any since April, and I bought some buttermilk over the weekend with the idea of making some more.

Grandma's Bread #12 - July 23, 2009

Makes 2 loaves

1-1/4 cups water
2 cups buttermilk
1-1/3 cup rye flour

6-1/4 cup AP wheat flour
2 tsp yeast
1/2 cup honey
3-1/2 + 1/8 tsp table salt

1. Over medium-low heat, warm buttermilk and water, stirring occasionally, just until it curdles and remove from heat. Stir in all rye flour, cover tightly and leave at room temperature overnight (at least 12 hours).

2. In mixing bowl, combine wheat flour + yeast. Transfer rye mixture to mixing bowl. Add honey. Using beater attachment, mix on speed "2" for 2 minutes, until the dough is uniform. It will look like a thick, uniform batter at this point. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes.

3. NOW ADD THE SALT ALL AT ONCE. Mix using beater for 4 minutes, dough hook for 4 minutes, both set to "2" (low speed). You may need to clean the dough hook once in a while. Dough will be very thick and sticky; it will never clear the sides of the bowl, more like a thick wet will not stop sticking! This is why the stand mixer is so handy. Total kneading time is 8 minutes. You will see some gluten strands forming in the dough towards the end.

6. Grease two bread pans with butter, and dust them with white flour. Using a wooden spoon or stiff bowl scraper, turn out the sticky dough onto a very well floured board. Form into a single round; dough will be very soft but with a well-floured board, won't be very sticky and will form a smooth surface. Cut dough into 2 equal pieces, shape dough into loaves (they will feel pretty soft, not quite baby's bottom but close) and place in bread pans. Press down on dough to get loaf to expand across the bottom of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and towel, and leave in warm place to rise for 2.5 hours.

7. Cover tightly with oiled plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 7.5 hours.

8. Cover loaves with a towel, and let rise again at room temp (~74F) for 2 hours.

9. Preheat oven to 450, adjust racks to put bread on 2nd to lowest rack, and put an empty broiler pan at the bottom. Slash loaves down the center with a serrated knife or a sharp razor blade, and place bread pans on rack in the oven. Add 1 cup hot water to pan to steam and close door. Bake at 450 for exactly 40 minutes; they will look dark chocolate brown (almost black!) on top.

10. Take bread from oven, remove from pans. Let cool on rack, uncovered, for at least 30 min; will still be warm 2 hours later.

11. Store in large Ziploc freezer bags when cool; this will help promote a soft crust.

  • Forgot to oil the plastic wrap, so it got stuck to crust when I pulled it off. Made it extra rustic :( Best bet would be an inflated bag in the fridge; or a large rectangular ClickClack or other see-thru small airtight plastic cannister. So when I recovered with a towel, I dusted with some extra flour. Had a nice looking "snow dust on mountains" effect.
  • Nice dark brown top crust. Bottom crust is solid tan with a few chocolate-y spots in the corners.
  • Interior is perfect, just like #11 that proofed in the fridge. Same flavor, same texture. Would've risen more if I had oiled the plastic wrap.
  • Didn't brush tops with butter this time. Didn't seem to matter (today, at least).
Notes/Next time:
  • We'll see

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