Friday, December 23, 2011

100% Sourdough Rye Bread

Hello, lovers!  So, today we attempt to make a rye bread without the appropriate pumpernickel-grind flour.  I'd say this is the tenth billion time I have tried to restart this project with this bread -- 100% Sourdough Rye.  But, because barm and I are not exactly friends -- or even frenemies -- it fails.  Fails.  But, I'm going to try to get around that this time.  Muahhahaha.

Barm + rye flour + water + my secret ingredient (yeast -- secrets are boring, anyway.  Unless they are fun, and yeast is not fun.).  PS: Are you supposed to do this? -- He said to me, but (blah blah.).  Like a period after a period and parenthesis?  It looks funny.

Anyway.  So, hopefully my secret ingredient will help the barm out.  Because this poor barm has traveled with me across state lines, across fridge lines, and across the love/hate line (so many binaries!).  We are generally in hate.  It hasn't really cooperated with me in terms of the whole rising when it should thing.  This could also be because the house in which I'm currently being put up is freezing.  Both barm and I are not rising to the occasion.  GET IT?  I haven't done my reading lists, either.  Let's be friends.

More pictures.  Less words.

Dough after mixing.  Needs to double in four hours.  So, would you hold me please?  I'm trying hard to breathe; I'm just surviving.

Pre-dough mix #2:

My life is on the line here, people.  MY LIFE.  So, after searching literally EVERYwhere for all the ish Peter calls for for this bread (coarse whole-rye (pumpernickel-grind) flour, rye meal, or rye chops (cracked rye) -- that's five different names for one ingredient -- five different types of rye flour variant -- none of which I could find), I decided to just use dark rye flour.  I know, people, I could have bought this for ten dollars plus shipping, but really?!  How are there no stores that don't sell pumpernickel-grind flour?  I mean, do people never make pumpernickel bread?  I guess not:

I had no idea there was a dislike of pumpernickel bread out there.  Anyway, so, that mixture sits overnight.  See you in four hours, when hopefully I will have finished my reading lists and our firm rye starter will git r done -- yes, I just said that.

So, Christmas miracles do happen!  Or, adding yeast was a good idea.  Or I didn't need to add yeast.  It rose to double in two hours!

So ominous.  And bubbly.  This also sits overnight (in the fridge).  Or I might start baking at six.  I mean, six hours is like overnight, right?  My desperation to see this bread through might encourage me to take short naps while the bread rises.

Dead bread head

So I decided six hours is like overnight.  This will assist me in scheduling my bread baking picking up my little sister day tomorrow.  Life on break is overwhelming and more than hectic.  Anyway, the above pieces you see are the starter cut up and chillaxing -- or perhaps warmaxalgiaognosg -- warming up, which cannot be transformed into an -axing verb, for an hour.

This is rye flour + salt + caraway seeds (obvi not optional for me) + the starter + the sponge.  I decided not to add yeast this round b/c the starter super rose earlier, so I figured that amount of yeast was enough for the whole loaf.  Hopefully.  I am a cheaterpants.  Also, I loving having a mixer at my disposal.  It makes it so easy to produce this:

All stirred up, this sits for four hours, or until it doubles, which might be quicker.  Yay yeast!  Yay warm ovens!  I didn't use that short cut this time, b/c the oven here isn't already warm.  Makes me miss my baby kitchen.  Oh, baby kitchen, I will be home soon!  And then I can stop constantly eating cookies, too . . .

After four hours:

It looks like it doubled.  I then shaped the dough, but it looks really gross, so I won't show you the picture.  I was going to show you a picture of a hot celebrity instead, but I realized in a conversation I had earlier today with my sister that I have no strong celebrity crushes right now.  Odd and disappointing.  Everyone is so old hat.  I kind of stopped watching movies, too, and the only tv I'm watching right now is Gossip Girl.  Penn Badgely?  But that's just so . . . yeah.  Oh!  But I did just google him and he was born in Baltimore.  Holla!  Another thing I just realized?  I'm going to be driving all over this motherfucking country in like a second.  All over.  AH.

Anyway, here's the shaped dough a little further away, so it doesn't look as grotesque:

This dough was dense.  The bread is going to be so doughy.  Yeesh.  Hey!  We do still have that Hulk chocolate syrup.  I was just thinking about that the other day.  (This is a comment only my sisters will understand -- it's also kind of gross that we still have that syrup.)  This sits in the fridge overnight.  See you all tomorrow.

This was def one of the most stressful breads ever.  It didn't rise very much in the four hours it was supposed to when it came out of the fridge.  I left it out for like eight hours.  I still don't think it rose enough.  Also I'm baking it on the eve of many roadtrips.  But!  It finally finished, after like fifteen more minutes in the oven than it should have taken.  It's like a motherfucking brick.

Sits for an hour while I pack and watch Batty pore over The Hunger Games (finally) on her fancy working person's Kindle.


So, this was actually way better than it looked.  The bread tastes good, if only it rose like it was supposed to.  Ratings:

Me: 3/5
Batty: 3.5/5
My dad: 4/5

So yeah, even though the bread looks like shit, it's not horrible.  Yay!  I hope this bodes well for the rest of the breads, which I WILL FINISH.  NOW.  I mean, you know, now-ish.  But, in a couple months, hopefully.  And by hopefully, I mean YES.  <3

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Secret Admirers

Well, hello there fans.  So, yesterday, I heard a knock at my door and to my surprise, it was my postlady!  She handed me a heavy box from Amazon, much to my bewilderment.  No, I do not have money to buy things.  So, I opened it up.  Lo and behold:

it contained six bags (!) of rye flour and two pounds of yeast.  WHAT??????????????????????????

My question to all of my avid readers is: who bestowed this gift upon me?  I have been raised properly and will send you a well-worded thank you card.  Unless the bags all contain anthrax.  In which case, let me know so I can dispose of them properly.  Also, you should know I'm Muslim and that would most likely leave me in quite a lurch.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Polaine-Style Miche

So the real next bread is 100% Sourdough Rye Bread.  I searched three different specialty grocery stores looking for the required amount of coarse whole-rye (pumpernickel-grind) flour, rye meal, or rye chops (cracked rye), but was only able to find rye flakes and rye berries.  I even tried to grind up some rye berries in my food processor, but that failed, too.  I thought I might order some flour online, but really?  I decided to just skip it.  So yes, I am not completing the entire book.  Will you take this as an example of failure, my readers?  If you do, I apologize.  I have some other grocery stores I might check tomorrow.  Dear Peter, I am committed.  Let me find this flour without paying shipping.

So we are on to the next one, on on to the next one, hard to move on when you always regret one: Polaine-Style Miche.  Apparently this is a bread by the most famous bread baker in the world.  Additionally, it is the bread you see to the right of this entry aka on the cover of the book.  If I was at home, I could borrow one of my dad's jackets to recreate this picture, but unfortunately, I currently have no easy access to a chef's jacket.  I will attempt my best to recreate the photo, anyway.

This starts with barm + (supposed to be sifted, but I don't have a sifter) wheat flour + water:

All stirred up and ready to sit:

For four to six hours, or until it doubles.  Waiting is the hardest part.  The first cut is the deepest?

This took forever.  After seven hours, half of which was in the oven (the oven is super warm, even when it's not on):

Sort of doubled.  Hopefully enough.  Sorry, starter, but we both need to sleep.  You in the fridge, obviously.  See you tomorrow!

Hello again, starter!  Time to murder you.  Or perhaps turn you into something else.  Vampire-esque.  Yes, I just finished the second season of True Blood and no, that reference has nothing to do with Twilight; stop judging me.

Hey!  They kind of look like fangs, too!  You know, if you have a semi-wild imagination.  Hi!

So an hour later, this + wheat flour + water + salt =


Or alternatively the hippie from Scooby Doo, which makes me think of that lame shooting ride at Kings' (King's?  Kings?) Dominion -- anyone?  Anyone?  I am so bad at shooting.  Maybe that's why I'm in grad school.  Hey, I kneaded!  My muscles forgot how to knead.  I am so bad at it now.  But, at least I got an arm workout today.

This sat for about four hours, after which time it should have doubled.  Because my trusty Pyrex was dirty, I had it rise in the same bowl, which didn't allow me to see if it actually doubled.  I all of a sudden hate doing dishes.  And I feel stupid.  But no one knows why except me!  Ha.

Looks kind of doubled to me.  I just wanna feel / on your booty, that's not a big deal.  Really, Jamie Foxx?  Is it not?  I think it's kind of a big deal.  You are Jamie Foxx after all.  I think any one would be like, "Damn, Jamie Foxx pinched my ass tonight!  It was a pretty big deal."  I actually think that's exactly what I would say.

And then we couche for two to three hours, or until the bread is 1.5 times its original size.  Bread baking, make me patient.  Thanks.  ALso, as an update, I checked one of the two possible sources for pumpernickel flour.  It failed.  I am at a LOSS and I refuse to order online.  Tomorrow, I will probably check the other source (and go bridesmaid dress shopping, but that's nunya biznazz, unless you know where I can find a fairly inexpensive, hot, purple dress that will make me look awesome on the dance floor at a wedding).

So, I neglected to take pictures during the rest of the pre-baking procedure.  Shame, shame, shame.  I don't want to go to Mexico no more, more more.  But, here's the bread after baking.  It might be a bit burnt.  I tried all of Peter's methods to make sure it didn't -- aka putting the bread up on an overturned pan and covering it with a foil tent:

But, it still seems slightly burnt.  Well, here, you can see.

Actually, it looks half decent in the picture.  But, we won't see the burntness until we cut into it, which won't be for two more hours.  Alas, alas.  In time for iftar!  Also, I glanced ahead, and unless I find pumpernickel bread flour at this other place tomorrow, I'll have to skip the rest of the sourdough recipes. Cry, cry.  Actually, the less I have to deal with barm, the better.  But, still, cry, cry.  I am also thinking about just using regular rye flour in place of the pumpernickel-grind flour and seeing what happens.  I am actually leaning toward that.  Might as well, right?  Are you getting super bored of this bread-talk?  Do you want another Britney Spears picture?  Or how about a bread picture?

This is pretty good!  Fairly sourdough-y, but a bit dense for my taste -- probably needed to rise more.  4/5.  Oh!  And look!  I took a picture for the cover of my book.  Check it <3

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Gracious and faithful followers of 3B: we have nearly reached the end of the process that will deliver us a barm, a motherstarter, the answer to all your prayers.  By the end of reading this blog entry, you will see -- in the flesh (or in a picture on your computer, unless you come visit me, and ask to see it, or go in my fridge) -- my barm.  As long as everything over the next day works out . . .

I don't know why my camera pretends like it's the 70s.  Or maybe it's my kitchen.  So, after like two hours, the seed culture had doubled, but I left it out for the minimum of the four hours, and it became huge!  Yay!  It definitely tripled.  I have never seen a hotter seed culture.  I know you want to jump it.

So!  Some of the seed culture + flour + water =

Reminds me of a Squidbilly.  Not. a. good. thing.  And this sits for about six hours, or whenever it gets all bubbly.  Yeasts like bubble baths.  Yeasty bubble bath. Actually that sounds dangerous.  Something you'd need Summer's Eve for.  Sorry, those commercials keep douches on the brain.  Gosh!  I suppose that means they're effective!

After six hours, we have:

I know it looks similar, but it bubbled people!  The bubbles popped, but I promise they were there.  Yay!  I am so excited to actually bake.  This sits in the fridge overnight, and then the barm will finally be complete!

And after sitting overnight, the barm is ready for its close-up:

Sorry if that gives you nightmares.

Yay people!  I now finally get to bake!  Granted the next recipe will take three days before I actually get bread.  <3

Friday, July 29, 2011

Seed Culture: Day 4


It worked, people, it really worked!  It's so inspiring!  It's like life is amazing again!  We all need to be like this seed culture.  Omg, it (and Ke$ha) is my new role model!

This is half the wonderfulness that is last night's seed culture + flour + water =

And this sits for 4-24 hours, during which time it will hopefully double or triple.  I hope it works again.  Seriously.  This has effected (affected?  this is one grammar/spelling rule I remain confused by) my life in substantial ways.  <3

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Seed Culture: Day 3

Hello again, friends!  I am once again re-doing the seed culture due to my epic fail last time around.  I really want to succeed this time, and I can only do so with your support.  If you will kindly offer me funds or barter me services in return for the opportunity to read the genius that is my blog, I would greatly appreciate it.  Let me know what you are able to offer.  Thank you.

This is day two again.  No big difference, basically.  Although it apparently should have risen a little bit. Problems, problems.  I am basically so nervous this isn't going to work out.  I think that's why I've been avoiding it.  GAH.

You can't really see this.  Too much caucasian happening.  But, this is half of yesterday's ish + flour + water.

And all stirred up!  This sits for 24 hours again.  And it's supposed to rise for real for real, so hopefully it will work outtttt.  Comment me your services people.  Give me your credit card numbers.  I will bring you a blog tomorrow.  I need someone to wash my dishes.  <3

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Seed Culture: Day 2

Hi everyone.  I changed what my blog looks like.  I hated the other layout.  It was too skinny.  Anyway, I have a lot of reading to do.  I'm trying to actually work, like a grad student is supposed to.  Check it, though.  Here is Day 1 on Day 2:

More pasty.  Like me in the winter.  So, bread flour + more pineapple juice + Day 1 Stuff =

Ice cream!  J/k.  Hahahahaha.  I am so funny.

Once again, we wait for 24 hours.  See you then.  Sorry these entries are boring.  I can quote you some text about the history of the United States border patrol, if you'd prefer.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Seed Culture: Day 1

AH.  Hello lovelies.  It's been entirely too long.  If you're wondering WHY this is so, basically, I have a life.  Also, I am currently stuck at the barm stage of things, which a) takes forever b) produces no immediate results and c) takes forever.  I've tried to make it about five months ago, or whatever, but here's attempt number three (?!).  I'm hoping b/c it's the summer, and my apt is hotter, it'll work.  Let's find out together!

So, here goes the chronicle of your lifetime.  We start with developing a seed culture:

This is dark rye flour + pineapple juice (I know.  WTF.  What did bread bakers do before the West colonized pineapple-growing areas of the world?) and it sits out for 24 hours.  Rotten pineapple juice, basically.

See you tomorrow!  <3