Crunchy Bottoms

Striking the caloric balance. Barely.

Tag Archives: dark rye

Dark Rye 35% with Raisins and Walnuts

It’s been far too long since anyone here has heard of anything popping out of my oven. The friends I meet during the week don’t count since they happily keep mum with all the bread I’ve been chucking at them.

Truth is, I haven’t had much inspiration for the stove. Life has been dull and uneventful, and I feared my food will turn out far from pretty. But see, I need my bread every day, even if I have to resort to spree-ing at Paul (post on that soon) so that I may have breakfast the next few days. I haven’t been home long enough to bake my favourite carbohydrate, let alone harbour thoughts of it. But finally, inevitably, tasting some of the loaves that Paul had to offer was the very reason why I got fed up and threw together a pre-ferment for home-made bread the next day.

Meet my Dark Rye version 3.0.

The first post I did on my Dark Rye was a 55% loaf (percentage of dark rye flour to total bread flour), was more earthy, tacky, dense, and took 40 minutes in the oven. I decided to give it multiple facelifts, finally refining it into what I think is the best dark rye loaf anyone could ask for: light, more nutty than earthy, studded with crunchy walnuts and sweet raisins, a killer crust, and took only 25 minutes to bake.

Of course, here’s the mandatory crumb shot:

I usually bake more than my family can finish in a week and give a couple of loaves away. But this, I’m not sharing. Unless you make a pilgrimage to my place where I’ll be smearing toasty slices with salted butter and sipping a good ol’ cup of coffee.

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Dark Rye Bread with Raisins

Dark Rye Bread with Raisins

My first introduction to rye breads came in the form of pumpernickel bread, those dark brown, unimaginably dense bricks (not loaves) of bread made with coarsely ground rye grains and rye berries. I hardly think of them as bread. In fact, I placed my mug of iced tea on a slice lying on the table thinking that it was a coaster, and it was only after my mom picked up another hefty slice to slap me away – I suffered oblong bruises – that I realised I just ruined her snack.

I didn’t take to pumpernickel very well. The musky earthiness, sweet-sour tang, grainy bits and coarse texture made me feel like I was gnawing on rabbit food. Suffice to say, dark rye breads didn’t get much of my attention as well.

And then I started getting my bread geek on, and all of a sudden, I saw how unearthly beautiful the dark rye fissures in a misty blanket of white looked on the loaves I saw occasionally in Cold Storage or Carrefour. I wanted them. I wanted to craft those crevices.

And then, I couldn’t find dark rye flour (because what demented person would want to bake artisanal breads at home? I mean, sheesh!).

Dark fissures.

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