Friday, February 26, 2010

black friday

Today is Johnny Cash Day + I am dressed all in black in his honor. I think Johnny Cash would like my little underdog garden. And the bits of homecookin' that come out of my crappy kitchen.

Like homemade bread. Such as this rye bread that I made the other day.
Homemade bread is another of those things that is often intimidating. Does one need a bread machine? No. Does one need a lot of brute strength? Not really (not if you have a stand mixer + even if you don't, the average elbow should have enough grease in it to suffice). Does one need a lot of time? Yes. Yes, you do.
Or really, I should say, just some forward-planning. Because your dough can be going through its scientific metamorphoses, mysteriously bubbling away + miraculously doubling in size, while you go about your business. So don't be put off by bread recipes that seem to take upwards of 8 hours. It doesn't mean you have to dedicate all 8 hours to staring in awe into the mixing bowl as the magic happens.
I followed this recipe that originates from The Bread Bible cookbook, via Smitten Kitchen. I changed it up a bit, using organic wholemeal flour instead of white. No malt or honey because I had none (though I'd like to try to include it next time). Whole caraway seeds + olive oil.
It was a near perfect success, though I'm still coming to grips with my shitty oven. I haven't quite learned how to time things in the alternate universe that it seems to operate in. All three of the risings looked great, yet in the end the baked loaf (or round, I should say) ended up flatter than it should have been + a little on the hard side. Just fine for toasting (and very, very tasty) but it makes the cutting after day one more like sawing through wood. But that did not take away from the taste. I enjoyed two very yummy, very skinny sandwiches for my lunch the next day.
MMMM. Rye bread.
I will experiment with cooking temps, times + tins next time. Hubs really enjoyed this.

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