Bread
Recipes and Suggestions

Old Milwaukee Rye

Sponge: 2 cups medium rye flour 1 package dry yeast 1 tablespoon caraway seeds 1 Ĺ cups warm water

Dough: 1 cup hot water ľ cup molasses 2 tablespoons caraway seeds 1 egg 1 tablespoon salt 2 cups rye flour 4 cups bread all-purpose, approximately 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening 1 egg, beaten, mixed with 1 tablespoon milk

To make the sponge, in a large bowl measure the flour, yeast, seeds, and water. Blend well with 25 strokes of a wooden spoon. Cover the bowl snugly with plastic wrap so the sponge loses none of its mixture, which will condense on the plastic and fall back into the mixture. The dark brown pastelike batter will rise and fall as it develops flavor and a delicious aroma. Stir once each day. Preparation takes from 1-3 days.

The sponge, which will resemble a wet mash thatís too thick to pour and too thin to knead, may be used anytime after 6 hours although the longer the better - up to 3 days, when it will have ceased fermentation. If it fails to bubble up after falling back anytime during the 3-day period, donít think it is dead. Itís not. Itís resting but gaining flavor all the time.

To make the dough, on bake day, uncover the bowl and add the water and molasses, 1 tablespoon caraway, egg, salt, rye flour, and about 2 cups white flour. Beat till smooth, about 100 strokes, or 3 minutes, with the mixer flat beater. Add the shortening. Stir in the balance of the white flour, Ĺ cup at a time, first with the spoon and then by hand or with the mixer dough hook. The dough should clean the sides of the bowl but it will be somewhat sticky, thanks to the perverse nature of rye flour.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead by hand (with the help of a dough blade) or under the mixer dough hook. If by hand, knead with a strong push-turn-fold rhythm until the dough is smooth. Add sprinkles of flour if necessary to control stickiness.

Place the dough in a greased bowl and place plastic wrap over the top of the bowl. Leave at room temperature until the dough has doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Punch down and let rise for an additional 10 minutes.

Divide the dough. Place the pieces side by side on the baking sheet. Cover the loaves with wax paper. Leave until the loaves have doubled in bulk, about 40 minutes. Carefully slash 3 or 4 diagonal cuts across the top of each long loaf or a tic-tac-toe design for round loaves. Brush the tops with the egg-mild wash for a shiny crust. Sprinkle the moist glaze with 1 tablespoon caraway seeds. Bake until done - dark brown, almost black in coloring.

Pain De Campagne Poil‚ne

Makes 1 large or 4 medium loaves - Allow 3 days to prepare recipe

Starter: 1 cup fine or stone-ground whole-wheat flour 1 tablespoon nonfat dry milk 2 packages dry yeast 1 cup hot water

Sponge: 2 cups hot water 3 cups bread or all-purpose flour

Dough: 1 tablespoon salt 3 cups all-purpose/bread flour

To make the starter, in a medium bowl, measure the flour, non-fat dry milk, and yeast. Stir in the hot water to make a batter. Cover tightly with a length of plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature. The batter will rise and fall and continue to ferment and bubble during a 24-hour period.

The next day, make the sponge: turn back the plastic wrap and pour the hot water into the starter. Stir in the white flour. The batter will be thick. Re-cover and leave at room temperature, another 24-hours or at least overnight.

To make the dough, remove the plastic wrap from the bowl. Stir briefly and add the salt. With a large wooden spoon or rubber scraper, stir in the white flour, Ĺ cup at a time, by hand or in an electric mixer. When the dough becomes dense and difficult to stir, work in the flour with your hands or with a dough hook. While this is an elastic, soft dough, sufficient flour must be worked into the mass to enable the shaped loaves to rest on the baking sheets without slumping, as hearth loaves are prone to do.

Knead the dough with a dough hook, or turn the dough out of the bowl onto a floured work surface and let rest for 3 to 4 minutes before kneading. If the dough seems slack, without body, or is sticky, throw down liberal sprinkles of flour to work into it during the early kneading.

A dough scraper in hand is convenient for keeping the work surface free of the film that often collects while the dough is moist and sticky. Lift the dough above the work surface occasionally and bang it down hard to break the kneading motion, and, at the same time, hasten the development of the dough, 10 minutes.

Wash and grease the bowl. Drop the dough into the bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Leave at room temperature until the dough more than doubles, about 1 Ĺ hours.

Punch down the dough and turn it onto the work surface. For a large loaf use all of the dough, about 4 pounds. The dough may be divided into small loaves. You may place the loaves on a baking sheet for rising or in cloth-lined baskets. When forming into round loaves, place the seamed side to the baking sheet so the smooth side is on top. You may also roll the dough into baguette lengths.

Carefully cover the loaves with wax paper or woolen cloth. Leave at room temperature until the dough triples in volume, about 2 hours.

It is best to make this bread with a water pan in place. Uncover the loaves, lightly brush the tops with water, and slice the top with 5 to 6 parallel jets or cuts in one direction, turn the loaf, and slice 5-6 parallel cuts in the other, to end up with a checkerboard pattern.

The loaves are baked when a light golden brown and are hard and crusty when tapped with a forefinger. If the bottom crust is not crisp, turn the loaves over for 10 mintues.

 

 

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