Monday, July 9, 2012

Light-Rye Beer Bread (bread machine)

So this month, we introduced a new feature for our monthly BYOB posts.  Not much has changed, we still want to encourage and promote all sorts of home bread baking, but we introduced an optional feature, as well.

What is it...what is it...you ask!?!?  (You were totally wondering, right?)

Well, for those of you who don't know, we are picking one blog each month as the BYOB - Featured Bread Blog.  This bread doesn't necessarily have to be only about bread.  Although it can be.  We just want to choose a blog to feature that has a pretty good bread catalogue.  Hopefully something that a home bread baker at any stage can pick from.  From beginners (maybe quick breads, flat breads, and yeast breads with good tutorials), to those who bake bread regularly (maybe more yeast options, bread machine options, harder techniques), to experienced bread bakers (formulas, wild yeast, the whole shebang).  Not all will fit all categories, but we hope to choose a good mix.  It's fun to explore, learn from, and be inspired by our peers...and this is what we hope will happen with our Featured Bread Blog each month.

Okay, that said...our very first featured bread blog is Bread Experience, run by avid bread baker and former BYOB hostess, Cathy.  Let me tell you...if you didn't already know...there are a TON of different types and styles of bread recipes to choose from at her place.  Her main focus actually is bread.  She has tons of great photo tutorials and tips, as well.
While I marked a bunch of recipes that I wanted to try, I decided that I was definitely going to go with something I could make in my bread machine to start with.  I know you're probably tired of hearing me complain about the heat, so I won't make you listen again - but that heat is the reason I wanted to use my bread machine.

I've also been craving both rye bread and beer bread.  How cool is it that I was able to locate a recipe using both rye flour and beer?  Even better - bread machine. Score!  Now, I did adapt it a bit, because Cathy's recipe uses the bread machine only for the mixing, kneading, and first rise.  I decided I was going to go ahead and bake in it, too.  Heat and all...you understand. 

It is a fairly small loaf, anyway...it bakes in a pan that is just over 6-inches square.  My ancient bread machine pan is just under 6-inches square (though much deeper).  I figured it would work.  It did!  The only difference is that I don't get to score the top and have those beautiful rustic diamonds on the top.  Oh well.  I'll make it again when the weather gets cool and turn it out into a pan to bake it.  I included the steps to do it either way; for more step-by-step photos for baking it in a pan, head on over to see Cathy's original post.

This loaf was exactly what I was looking for.  It was slightly dense and perfectly chewy with a beautiful tang lent from the starter and a super dark variety of beer.  Alongside some softly scrambled eggs with chives and goat cheese, toasted up, it made a heavenly breakfast.


Light-Rye Beer Bread (bread machine)

by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: 72 hours (mostly unattended)
Cook Time: 45-60 minutes
Keywords: bake bread machine bread vegetarian

Ingredients (1 small loaf)
    For the starter:
    • ¾ c. milk
    • 1 c. rye flour
    • ¾ tsp. rapid-rise active dry yeast
    For the dough:
    • all of starter
    • 1 c. beer, at room temperature (+ a few dribbles more, if needed)
    • 1 Tbs. honey
    • 3½ c. bread flour
    • 1½ tsp. salt
    • ½ tsp. rapid-rise active dry yeast
    Instructions
    Starter (you'll need 72 hours to let this develop):
    Mix the milk, flour and yeast for the starter in a large bowl. Stir, then cover with a damp dish towel or plastic wrap. Rest in a warm place for 3 days; stir once a day.
    For finishing dough and bread entirely in a bread machine:
    Scrape the starter into the pan of the bread machine. Add beer and honey. Add flour and salt. Sprinkle yeast over top.

    Choose basic bread setting . Start your machine, checking the consistency of the dough after a couple of minutes. Once the ingredients have been mixed together, if it seems too dry, add a sprinkle of beer. If it seems to wet, add a sprinkle of flour. Dough should be slightly tacky, but not sticky. Close lid and let machine finish the work.

    This takes about 3 hours, 10 minutes from start to finish in my bread machine. But it is all unattended once you've checked the dough's consistency.

    For bread machine rising and oven baking:
    Place ingredients in bread machine in same order, and just use the dough cycle. Once the cycle has run and the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface and punch it down. Roll into a rectangle that is ~6" x 18" (~¾" thick). Fold the bottom third of the dough up and the top fold down (letter fold). Pinch edges shut.

    Transfer to a lightly oiled pan that measures ~6½" square. Cover with lightly greased plastic wrap and let set in a warm place until the dough has risen almost to the top of the pan, 45-60 minutes.

    Preheat oven to 425°F during last 15 minutes of rise time. Dust the top of the loaf with a little whole wheat flour. Use a sharp knife to slash the top of the loaf with four long cuts in one direction and five in the opposite, giving it a cross-hatched, or diamond pattern.

    Slide into preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

    notes:
    If your machine has a rye setting, then use that one. Mine is old and doesn't, so that's why I chose the basic setting.

    adapted from/inspired by Bread Experience
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    If you're interested in starting a bread baking journey at home...or continuing your journey...or rekindling your interest in home bread baking...Bread Experience is a great site for inspiration on that journey.  And whether you bake something from Cathy's blog or any bread at all, I hope you'll stop by and share your loaf, rolls, flat breads, sweet breads, pizzas, and things made with bread from BYOB.  Click around some of the past BYOB roundups (or on that link to Yeastspotting below) if you're looking for inspiration - you never know where it could strike!

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