This is the last week of the winter bread subscription. I’m taking off for the remainder of March to visit bakeries! The spring bread subscription starts April 3, the Wednesday before the first farmers market, and runs for 9 weeks, through the end of May. Sign up HERE to get your midweek bread. The Baker’s Choice Subscription will be make up of recipes I gather on my travels.
In the meantime, for those of you who like to bake, or who are interested in starting, I’ve written out a basic recipe for Mountain Rye below so you can keep eating good bread while I’m gone. Bread isn’t hard to make. Mix flour, water, salt, and leavening, give it some time, add heat, and you have a loaf. The challenge is making good bread, consistently.
THIS WEEK's WEDNESDAY BREAD
Order by Sunday night to pick up Wednesday, Mar 6
Red & White
Baker's Choice: Black Bread
SPRING BREAD SUBSCRIPTION
Every Wednesday, Apr 3 - Jun 5
Red & White Subscription
Mountain Rye Subscription
Baker's Choice Subscription
Mountain Rye Recipe
Makes 1 large loaf
What you’ll need: Healthy sourdough, whole rye & whole wheat flour (available in the bulk section at the Coop), non-iodized salt, a scale, mixing bowls, a loaf pan, an oven, the contents of your pantry. Optional: A thermometer.
Sourdough: Mix 145g warm water, 145g whole rye flour, and a generous teaspoon (7g) sourdough. Cover and leave in a warm place overnight (12-14 hours), until the dough has risen and is just starting to collapse.
Soaker: Mix 155g total of the seeds, cracked/rolled grains, toasted old bread, nuts, dried fruit, or whatever other dry goods you have in your pantry that look interesting. Add 2 teaspoon (11g) salt. Optional: add 1 teaspoon (5g) whole spices, toasted and ground (caraway, coriander, anise, and fennel are common bread spices, but you can use anything you want). Pour 225g boiling water over the top and let the soaker sit for a few hours or overnight.
Dough: Mix the sourdough and the soaker until smooth, breaking up any clumps of seeds or old bread. Add 170g whole wheat flour, 60g whole rye flour, and 90g very warm water. Mix vigorously until the dough is smooth and supple (5-10 minute). It will not feel strong like a wheat dough. Set aside, covered, in a warm spot for half an hour.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and press into a long rectangle with floured hands. Roll the rectangle up and set seam side down into the greased bread pan. (Add more flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking to your hands or the counter, but try not to roll raw flour inside the loaf). Press the rolled dough into the pan. Score the top by cutting a 1/4” deep crosshatch (a flat-ended spatula works well) or by poking holes with the narrow end of a chopstick. Cover and let rise in a warm place until the dough has expanded by about half and the surface of the loaf shows widening cracks (2-5 hours).
Preheat the oven as hot as it will go. Add a pan for steam. When you load the bread into the oven, pour a cup of hot water into the steam pan. Bake for 10 minutes at the hottest temperature, then lower the oven to 375F and bake for another 50-70 minutes. The loaf is done when a thermometer inserted into the bottom reads 198F to 205F. If you don’t have a thermometer, err on the side of caution.
Let cool completely before cutting.
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