… until I can knit or weave again. <Sigh> Nonetheless, I’ve been keeping myself busy by baking bread.
I have the 7 quart KitchenAid Pro Line Stand Mixer (thank you Thor!), and, thanks to its powerful motor and curly-q dough hook, my fingers, hands and wrists are saved a lot of stress that would occur from hand kneading.
The newest bread that I’m experimenting with is Leinsamenbrot – a German flax seed bread. As told me by a German ex-colleague of mine, her mother practically lived on this bread, and after sampling several versions of Leinsamenbrot, I can see why! Wow. I used dark rye flour (I am partial to dark rye) and tried it first with dark flax seeds and then later with golden flax seeds, with and without sesame seeds sprinkled on the top of the loaf. (I prefer the dark flax seeds and no sesame seeds.)
Thor had a birthday recently, so I made his favorite breakfast: French toast out of Challah with raisins! Of course, I had to make Challah the day before. As the picture shows, I made a double braided Challah (a 3-strand braid on each level), but I think the top braid slipped a bit. Oh well. Thor didn’t complain. He enjoyed homemade raspberry jam on the Challah french toast and accompanying mixed fresh fruit salad. (The orange pieces are Fuyu persimmons.)
Using the KitchenAid’s pasta attachment (thank you again, Thor!) to roll out the dough to a nice, even height, I regularly make crackers from my white and dark rye sourdough discards. Earlier batches of crackers used first whole wheat flour, then einkorn flour, then white whole wheat flour with the discard. In my last couple of batches I used sprouted whole spelt flour. Wow – a whole other level of taste. I add dried rosemary to the dough and push them into current favorite topping – a mix of black and white sesame seeds – before putting them through the KitchenAid pasta roller. (Definitely worth a try for those of you who make their own sourdough crackers!)
Unable to find rye chops (aka cracked rye) locally (I even contacted a local miller who said she’d never heard of it), I’ve been experimenting with making my own using my Vitamix with its dry grains container. I made six different batches and sent them to a weaver/spinner who is also artisan baker. We both agreed batch four looks like cracked rye (or at least will after a little sifting). I want to make “Horst Bandel’s Black Pumpernickel” from Jeffrey Hamelman’s Bread. Here’s a picture of the bread slightly scaled down for a 9 inch Pullman pan. (Source, Fresh Loaf) I’m going to make a larger loaf and bake in a 13 inch Pullman pan. I have to share with my tasters, after all!
I am still anxiously awaiting starting to knit again. There’s only so many loaves of bread I can bake before my friends will start hiding when they see me pull into their driveway in my car or on my bike. “Oh no, it’s her again with more freshly made sourdough bread! Quick, turn out the lights!” 🙂
(Pencil sketch, Girl Carrying Loaf of Bread (1882), by Vincent Van Gogh)