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