Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sunflower Seed Bread with Rye Sourdough

This is definitely one of my new favorites. Yes, I remember I'm the guy who doesn't really like rye breads. But I really like sunflower seed breads and the rye, while definitely understated, does seem to add something to the bread.

The bread includes rye chops. I have made these in the past by running rye berries through the food processor. While working with this bread, I've found it better to get out a chef's knife and have at the rye berries. You usually don't need that many, it seems to go just as fast, isn't as noisy, and actually produces a better product. You don't get the rye flour that the food processor seems to produce while bouncing the berries around.

For me, this is a bread that benefits from a slightly longer rise that Hamelman suggests and from the use of a cloche. (I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that most breads benefit form a cloche, but that's a topic for another post.)

As I said, the bread benefits from the rye---at least for a few day.
I know this sounds a bit cryptic. Let me explain.
The rock-hard chops are soaked before making the bread and are reasonably tender after soaking.
But as the bread ages, they seem to loose moisture back to the bread.
After a couple of days the chops seem to go back to their original, rock-hard state. The good news: the bread is so tasty, there isn't likely to be much of it left after a couple of days, so this isn't much a problem. Just be warned, this is a great loaf but you should eat it quickly. Life can be demanding at times!

Two Whole-Wheat Breads

Yes, it has been over two months. So much for good intentions. I've done all the baking, but I just haven't done the blogging. So now I'm faced with the question of how much I can remember of what I did two months ago.

Recipes 45 and 46 in the challenge are for Whole-Wheat Levain and Whole-Wheat Multigrain. For the multigrain, I used a seed mix from King Arthur's Flour that I had in the freezer.

In addition to fendus and hamburger size buns, as can be seen in the pictures, I made several boules.

All where very straightforward to make and worked nicely. I slightly prefer the multigrain, but both were good. These are solid recipes. But it is getting difficult to compare one loaf with another. So many of Hamelman's recipes seem to be minor variations of other loaves. Without tasting them side-by-side, it is hard to draw comparisons among similar loaves, particularly when separated by a number of months and many, many other loaves. (And when you are thinking back of two months for even the latest loaf in the comparison.) Still, these are two recommended recipes.