Saturday, July 30, 2016


Yesterday I decided to try a recipe I had read recently for a Russian Black Bread, a sort of pumpernickel with caraway seeds, fennel, cider vinegar, espresso powder, chocolate, molasses and butter, as well as three different kinds of flour and wheat germ.

Never mind that it was one of the hottest days of the summer.

In the kitchen, my ambition is sometimes frequently exceeded by my foolhardiness.

SWMBO could and would tell you.

And so it began.

I had two jars of instant bread yeast in the fridge, one nearly empty, one new.

I combined all of the old with some of the new to get the amount I needed.

It didn't bloom well and I showed it to Judy and said I didn't think it was right.

It wasn't foamy, it was lumpy, but she said it smelled all right and to go ahead.

"Our" mistake.

Once all of the 20 or so ingredients had been combined and the bread rested for a couple of hours, it had risen barely at all. 

So we gave it another couple of hours.

Then a call to the West Coast, hoping to find some help from some regular bread makers there.

It pretty much sounded like a loss.

But eventually it was divided into two loaf pans and allowed to rise for another hour or so and it seemed to have come up some so I baked it.

An hour later and about 7 hours after starting, I had bread.

It seemed pretty heavy but "the knock" sounded right and so we set them on a rack to cool.

A little while later we tried a loaf and you know what?

It was pretty darned good with a decided caraway aroma.

Rich and flavorful, I thought.

SWMBO grudgingly agreed but told me to never use old yeast again and to never combine it with new yeast.

The real test comes today when a slice gets toasted.


Tom Cochrun said...

It looks good. Hope it toasts well.
Old yeast is like a bad idea, best to dump it.
You did however persist with your enthusiasm. As Henry Ford said "Enthusiasm is the yeast that makes your hopes shine to the stars."
Sorry none of us could help.

L Lewis said...

And when bread doesn't work out, you varnish it and use it for a door stop. 70's Thing.

Zhoen said...

Sometimes you just have to take what you have and make it work anyway.

Anonymous said...

You are both in the dough. Almost like hitting the lottery.


joeh said...

Take it to "Shark Tank." This could be a business.

The Bug said...

Well it sure looks pretty darned good!

Stephen Hayes said...

In my opinion, good bread, which this looks like, is much more satisfying than cake. And the darker the bread the better. I love pumpernickel and rye.