I don’t know what the deal is, but my bread dough rarely turns out as described. If the recipe warns that it will be sticky, mine is not. If it says I will get a smooth, elastic dough that’s slightly tacky, I often end up with soup. Not always, mind you, but with enough frequency to leave me scratching my head.
And that is one of the many reasons that I love to bake bread. The sheer unpredictability of it. You take water, flour, salt, and yeast and you can end up with a myriad of different breads. And I am always, always learning.
This month, the Bread Baking Babes made a dark onion rye boule, and then invited everyone to join them. Mary was this month’s host, and the recipe involved preparing and using her sourdough starter. So, a couple weeks ago, I got to work making the starter.
All went well until I actually started to make the dough. I realized that I had only medium rye flour, not dark. I forged ahead. At the point in the recipe where I was supposed to have an elastic dough, I had a bowl full of pebbles that looked like a streusel topping. I added more water bit by bit until I was able to get a cohesive mass. Elasticity was nonexistent. I then realized that I’d forgotten to add the sauted onions, and kneaded those in.
The dough never doubled, but did get about 1.5 times bigger over 5 hours. It rose in the oven, but not by much. And it took about 90 minutes to bake until it reached the correct internal temperature.
The result? A very heavy, dense loaf ( I mean HEAVY) with lots of flavor (I used the optional caraway seeds, as well as the onion) . The crumb was tight, and the interior was moist, much to my surprise. I really liked the flavor, especially toasted with a bit of butter, but didn’t much care for the texture.
Thank you, BBBs, for another great bread baking experience. I can hardly wait to see what you come up with next month. Check out Mary’s blog in the next week to see who else joined in!
If you are interested in who else is baking what in the culinary blogosphere, be sure to check out Susan’s weekly YeastSpotting roundup on her blog.