Thursday, April 7, 2011

Special Kneads: Leann Rye-ms

This is the most delicious bread I have ever made! It might be the tastiest bread I have ever eaten. It involves many ingredients, and even more steps. It's a good thing I had just been on a buying binge at Bob's Red Mill Whole Grain Store and had everything on the list.

The recipe is from my favorite bread book, and I'm passing it on to you, with modifications where I made them as I went (in parenthesis). It has mashed potatoes. It has rye flour. It has molasses. It can only be great. I thought the dough was so thick it would never rise, but (by golly) it did, and made the best breakfast toast in the world.

German Pumpernickel

1 medium potato
1.5 cups water (plus lots more for boiling potatoes)
1.5 teaspoons active dry yeast (I bumped it up to 2tsp)
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1.5 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon margarine
2 cups wholewheat flour
1 cup rye flour (i used half bob's rye, half pumpernickel)
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons bran (i used wheat bran)
3 tablespoons cornmeal
.5 teaspoon caraway seeds (I bumped it up to 1 tsp.)


1. Peel the potato, cut into quarters (I used even smaller pieces), and cook in boiling salted water until tender. Drain, (reserving the potato water), and mash smoothly (my mashing wasn't as smooth as I would have liked. Next time I'll use the food processor). Leave to cool.

2. Bring the 1.5 cups fresh water to a boil in a saucepan, then pour about 4 tablespoons of the boiling water in a large bowl (I used the bowl to my Kitchen Aid Mixer). Leave until it is lukewarm then stir in yeast and brown sugar until well mixed. Leave in a warm place until frothy, about 10 minutes. Stir the molasses and margarine into the remaining hot water and stir until dissolved then leave to cool until lukewarm.

3. Place 1 cup of wholewheat flour and all the rye flour in the bowl with the yeast. Add the salt, bran, cornmeal, and cooled molasses liquid. Mix thoroughly and beat well for at least 4 minutes or 2 minutes with a food mixer at high speed (I used the paddle attachment and my Kitchen Aid).

4. Mix in the mashed potatoes, and a further .5 cup of wholewheat flour. Beat well for another 4 minutes, to give a very thick batter. (This was too thick for me. My mixer was laboring, so I filtered the reserved potato water, and added that, slowly. I probably added about one half to three quarters of a cup, until it was what i imagined to be 'thick batter' consistency.)

5. Add the caraway seeds and remaining wholewheat flour (again I added some more filtered potato water, probably another quarter cup) to give a fairly soft dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, cover, and leave to rest for 15 minutes.

6. Knead the rested dough until smooth and elastic. This will take about 15 minutes (I used my Kitchen Aid again, this time with the dough hook). Place the dough in a greased bowl and leave it to rise until it has doubled in size. (Here I was convinced the dough was too dense to ever rise. But it did!)

7. Preheat the oven to 350 (I used 375). Punch down the dough (I kneaded by hand for 2-3 minutes) and return to the bowl to rise for another 30 minutes. Punch down the dough again and shape into a loaf to fit into a large loaf pan, greased. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm place until it almost reaches the top of the pan.

8. Bake risen loaf toward the top of a 350 degree oven (I went up to 375) for 45-50 minutes. Turn onto a cake rack and leave to cool.

Enjoy the most delicious loaf in the world and dream about living in Northern Europe, where they eat this kind of bread every single day.

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