Knitting & Kneading

As my hands have only recently returned to a state where I can knit without fear and bandages, I had been putting more attention to bread making.  Fun!  Proofing has been challenging in these cold, winter months.  Because we use heat sparingly, I became fairly creative by, for instance, wrapping the proofing bowl first in plastic wrap, then in a kitchen towel and lastly in a bath towel and setting the whole bulky bundle in the closet where our hot water heater lives. Alternatively, I have relied on my “best guess” method or hunches for calculating slower rises at cooler temperatures.

BroedTaylorProofingBoxNo more!  Supporting my immersion in the world of artisan bread making, Thor gave me a Brød & Taylor proofing box for my PullmanPanbirthday!  It’s been a wonderful addition to the kitchen.

Right now I’m on a whole rye “jag,” and not surprisingly my Pullman pans are getting a workout.

HB_BlackPumpernickelHamelmanBreadFrom Hamelman’s Bread, I baked “Horst Bandel’s Black Pumpernickel.”  The bread required a 12 to 16 hour baking time!  While we enjoyed the bread at room temperature, we did not eat this bread quickly, so after a few days I sliced and froze what we didn’t eat.  When later toasted and eaten, I found the taste of the molasses too strong.  One of my bread tasters, however, did not.  Maybe I shouldn’t have frozen it.

ScandinavianBakingMyClassicRyeAs soon as I got my floured hands on Trine Hahnemann’s Scandinavian Baking, I browsed through the book and selected “My Classic Rye Bread.” 

This bread was superb and immediately triggered fond childhood memories.  Thor and I have now worked in EkteFrukostto our breakfast rotations the kind of deilig (delicious) Norwegian breakfast I ate regularly at my Mormor’s kitchen table.  🙂

After finishing off Hahnemann’s “My Classic Rye,” I turned to Hamelman once again and baked “Vollkornbrot with Sunflower Seeds.”  Hamelman recommends VollkornbrotSunflowerswaiting 48 to 72 hours before slicing this loaf, so after it cooled I wrapped it in linen, and it now sits on a kitchen counter waiting for Monday.  Today I’m going to start the preferment for another loaf of Hahnemann’s “My Classic Rye.”  Baked tomorrow, we’ll slice it on Monday and so can compare to Hamelman’s “Vollkornbrot with Sunflower Seeds.”

RaisinRyeFor Thor, who loves my sour rye with raisin bread, I made him his very own loaf.  There’s something about the sour, tangy dough offset by the sweet raisins that makes this bread his favorite.

Yes, the proofer is indeed a welcome addition to our kitchen!

I’ll be back to a knitting related topic on the next post.  In the interim and for a giggle, take a peek at “My Knitted Boyfriend” by Noortje de Keijzer.

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About sweatyknitter

Fiber art devotee, author, and amateur artisan bread baker.
This entry was posted in Breads, Cooking, Knitting and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Knitting & Kneading

  1. I am so pleased that you found the info about the proofer helpful! I use the proofer regularly and will probably only have 3-4 months where I’m not using it. And it folds nice, neat and flat too so you can store it out of sight. (And I won’t tell him what he’s getting for his birthday!) >

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  2. I laughed at the knitted boyfriend video … Well, at least there’s no arguing with knitted boyfriends. 🙂 >

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  3. Susan says:

    The Knitted Boy friend……….very funny but still, NO thank you, I’ll take my doggers 🙂

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  4. kaydeerouge says:

    Such a helpful post! We too use heat sparingly in our little northern England cottage, and while my husband’s summer bread rises a treat, the winter bread can be very heavy and solid 😦 I have checked out Brød & Taylor’s UK agents, and my husband may well be getting one of these proofing boxes for his birthday soon (shhh – good thing he won’t be reading this blog). I do hope you can knit comfortably again soon.

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  5. You’re quite welcome. Breadtopia is great, and the people there are very helpful.

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  6. Do you not use a bread maker at all? I have arthritis and wonder about the kneading process and my ability to do so. I will have to do some research and trial and error I am sure. But any tips? I had carpal tunnel surgery about 6 years ago on both hands but that was before we found out that I had rheumatoid arthritis. Now, well I have to pick and choose what I do and how often I do those chosen things.

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  7. Thank you for the information as well as the link to that wonderful website with all that how to information tutorials. I have book marked it and plan to start making better bread. My hubby and I are trying to lose weight and I recently discovered that I have a small gluten issue. My husband wants me to get tested for celiac disease but I don’t think it is all that…I think it is just the poor ingredients that are in the bread we buy. Again, thank you. This has been very encouraging and helpful.

    By the way, sorry for my original thank you. I read it after I posted and saw that the first sentence was misspelled and not easily understood due to my lack of checking before posting.

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  8. Glad you are better

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  9. Yes, these are definitely not nutritionally void, empty calorie breads! >

    Liked by 1 person

  10. kiwiyarns says:

    Yum, yum! All that homemade bread with its higher nutritional value has got to be good for you. I am so glad you can knit again!

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  11. It is not as hard as you’d think, especially once you get it going! I started my own rye sour (aka a Sauertieg), but got my white sour starter (aka a levain) from Breadtopia.com.

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  12. That’s k you. Now to find a sourdough recipe and learn to keep it alive.

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  13. Oh no, I never choose to not knit. Other things make that choice for me. 😦

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  14. I’d recommend starting with Ken Forkish’s “Flour Water Salt Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza.” I gave that (along with some of my sourdough starters) to my daughter who started reading at page 1, finished the book and started baking! Have fun!

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  15. So true! I used a bread maker for almost a year before moving to sourdough artisan breads. My bread maker went to my daughter who used it for a few months before moving to sourdough artisan breads. Now the bread maker lives with her best friend … At least for now! 🙂

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  16. Verónica says:

    If I had a bread maker, I would eat a loaf a day! Nothing like a fresh loaf of warm bread.

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  17. I am sorry about the knitting but loving the bread. I need to get to making bread myself but have feared trying new recipes. Any books I might try? I do like artisan breads and like marbled rye. Willing to try new and tasty things. Please advise?

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  18. Belinda O says:

    I’m so sorry you haven’t been able to knit in so long! It’s one thing not to knit because you choose not to (does that happen?), but another when an injury prevents you from doing so. I have a similar situation from time to time.

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