Saturday, September 16, 2006
Sourdough Pumpernickel Bread
Saturday, September 16, 2006
I was in a bad mood when I started this bread, which is not a good idea because I'm pretty sure the bread dough knows when you're not treating it with appropriate respect. I believe this even though it's nonsense. First of all, the bread calls for caramel powder. Usually Rose is very good about telling you where and how to obtain products that are hard to get. But "caramel powder" is just in the list of ingredients as though it's an everyday staple. I had no idea where caramel powder would even be in a grocery store, and none of the three grocery stores I tried had it or had even heard of it.
In all fairness to Rose, after I began this diatribe, I decided I'd better go make sure that she didn't say anything about caramel powder, so I turned to the other, non-sourdough pumpernickel bread recipe, which I also haven't made, and saw a note to go to page 556, "Coloring Agents." There it says that you can use either liquid caramel, which is like burned sugar, or caramel powder, and that this is the secret to a dark, dark pumpernickel. Shit. Well, I still don't know where to get it, and this puts me in a worse mood because I know that my sourdough pumpernickel is not going to be perfect.
Also, I was annoyed because I could only find coarse-ground pumpernickel meal, instead of pumpernickel flour, which would presumably be a finer grind. This irritates me because I think it will make the bread too grainy. And I also wish I didn't have to throw away so much of my sourdough starter, which is supple and lovely after I've fed it a few times. Not to mention the fact that the bread takes six to eight hours to rise, plus another four to five after it's shaped, which means it won't be ready for cocktail hour today, even though I started on this bread yesterday morning before I went to work. In fact, I don't think it will be ready for a midnight snack. I love the sourdough breads that I've made, but I'm still not sure they're worth all the trouble.
Later.....While waiting for the bread to rise, I decide to order some better pumpernickel flour from The Baker's Catalogue. After I add it to my cart, a list of things I might want to buy since I'm buying pumpernickel flour pops up. The first thing on the list is caramel powder. I order that too and try to look on the bright side--that my second loaf of pumpernickel bread is going to be perfect.
Still later.....What a great loaf of bread! Never mind that it didn't have any powdered caramel--it's still a dark, authentic-looking pumpernickel. The crust is very crisp, and the glaze (cornstarch and water) makes it exceptionally shiny. Never mind that the flour was actually meal--it wasn't too crunchy or too mealy. And it was ready for a midnight snack. It was a great midnight snack, (Jim said it's one of his favorite breads so far), and I'm looking forward to having a few slices for breakfast, along with a bowl of yogurt with slices of fresh Michigan peaches.
Posted by Marie at 1:35 PM