Saturday, July 21, 2012

Pumpernickel Bread

I was going to buy one of those cute little loaves of cocktail rye for the barbecue.  Keep in mind that I haven't been buying bread very often.  Bread got expensive while I wasn't buying it.  I decided that I could make about a dozen mini-loaves of pumpernickel out of a package of rye flour for only twice as much as one loaf cost in the market.

This recipe is hidden in the Bible's "Pumpernickel and Whole Wheat Braid" recipe.  I know I've made it before, but I don't remember it being this sweet.  What emerged was more like a squaw bread.  I'm not complaining, but it didn't taste as good with hummus as what I was expecting.  I'm going to guess that I didn't have molasses the last time I made it and substituted brown sugar.  With cream cheese, on the other hand....

1 Tb sugar
1-1/2 tsp salt
1 package (2 tsp) yeast
about 1-1/4 C flour
1 square (1 oz) unsweetened chocolate
1/3 C molasses
2 Tb butter
3/4 C 100º water
1-1/2 C rye flour or pumpernickel rye flour

1.  Chop chocolate into small pieces.  Combine with water, sugar, butter, molasses, and yeast.  Allow to sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.

2.  In a mixer, stir together 1 C of the rye flour and the salt.  Add water mixture and beat into a batter.  Add 1/2 C more flour and beat again until smooth, about 2 minutes.  Beat in 1 C all-purpose flour to make a dough.

3.  Flour a kneading surface and pour dough onto it.  Knead until smooth, about 5 minutes.  Because of the molasses, the dough will stay sticky.  Try not to add more flour than necessary.  Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and turn to coat all sides.  Set in a warm place and allow to rise until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.

4.  Punch down dough and let rest for 10 minutes.  If making a panned loaf: grease loaf pan.  Roll out dough into a rectangle, then roll up into a log.  Place in pan, seam-side down.  If making a stand-alone loaf: grease (or silpat) sheet pan, then scatter generously with corn meal.  Shape dough into a round, log, or braid and place on pan.  Let dough rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.  If desired, brush with an egg wash before baking.

5.  Bake at 350º for 45 minutes, or until dough sounds hollow when tapped.

Makes 1 loaf, or 3 mini-loaves

Difficulty rating :)

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