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.
No more! Supporting my immersion in the world of artisan bread making, Thor gave me a Brød & Taylor proofing box for my birthday! 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.
From 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.
As 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 to 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 waiting 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.”
For 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.