Sunday, November 05, 2006
Authentic Pumpernickel Bread
Sunday, November 5, 2006
I didn't think there would be any bread this weekend, but I got home in enough time to make pumpernickel bread, which, of the five I have left, was the one that took the least amount of time.
Because we are public defenders, and our budget is always tight, our annual conference is at the cheapest resort in Minnesota on the cheapest weekend of the year. The first weekend in November is off-off-season for northern Minnesota. The only other thing that's going on is Deer Opener; that is, the first day that people can go out in the woods and commune with Nature by killing animals.
We have a very close-knit office, and everyone was looking forward to going to Cragun's (the cheap resort), even though everyone always complains about the decor (ratty North Woods), color scheme (turquoise and brown), the smell of the cabins (combination of mildew and bleach), and the food (all-you-can-eat bowls of lime jello with pineapple tidbits and miniature marshmallows). As soon as we got there, people started talking about when they were leaving. The young women who were spending their first time away from their babies made secret phone calls to their husbands to check on whether their husbands had remembered 1) to pick up the child from day care and 2) to feed him or her. (All was well). The somewhat older women told the new mothers to enjoy their time away from their kids because it wouldn't happen very often. And some people (well, one person) kept talking about a KitchenAid and bread. The men, on the other hand, started drinking beer as soon as they arrived and showed no interest in going home early.
I stayed until Sunday morning, skipped the last two classes, and headed for home--the KitchenAid and The Bread Bible.
What a machine this is! Well, I have to admit that I was a little confused at first, but it didn't take me long to figure out how to attach the bowl to the mixer and to move the bowl up and down. My only real dilemma was the mixer speed: Rose says to knead on #4, but KitchenAid has dire warnings on every available surface of the machine, on the bread hook itself, and repeatedly throughout the informational brochure: "Use Speed 2 to mix or knead yeast doughs. Use of any other speed creates high potential for unit failure!" I finally decided I'd better go with KitchenAid's warnings, since Rose didn't threaten me with anything as bad as "unit failure" if I didn't use Speed 4.
It must be a more powerful motor because #2 speed worked just fine.
When I made the sourdough pumpernickel bread a month or so ago, I didn't have the caramel color and I had only very coarse sourdough grain. It still tasted good. I think that this one may have been even better. I liked the texture of the more finely ground flour, and the caramel color, along with the cocoa and the instant espresso powder, deepened the color beautifully. I added a little sourdough starter to the dough while I was mixing it, and that small amount of sourdough, plus a little cider vinegar, gave the bread a subtle tang.
I had two minor mishaps, but neither one shows in the picture, and neither one affected the taste. La Cloche slid into one side of the bread when I put it in the oven, so that side stuck to La Cloche and had to be forcibly detached. But we just moved that side to the back for the photos. And I made a mistake about the baking time so I took the bread out too early; even using the "thump" method instead of the thermometer method, however, I could see it wasn't done, so I just put it back in. And what's a project without a mistake or two?
Posted by Marie at 8:29 PM