Sunday, 24 June 2007

Finnish Rye Bread

It's dense, dark and aromatic in an extraordinarily comforting way - Nigella Lawson

My love of bread making is well documented here. It's safe to say I'm quite passionate about it. So when I announced last night I would make Finnish Rye Bread, Sean, who is in tune with such things, noted that being the winter solstice, something dense and harking from one of the northern-most parts of the world seemed somehow fitting.

The Verdict
I chose to use the cool-rise method that Nigella mentions in the opening paragraphs in the Bread and Yeast chapter. That is, make the dough, put it in the fridge over night and let it rise while you sleep.

Unusual or substituted ingredients - Oddly enough I had both rye flour and dark muscovado sugar in the pantry. What can I say - I cook a lot of Nigella recipes and she calls for these sorts of things. So i substituted nothing.

Before going into the fridge for the night.

Special Cookware or utensils - Nigella says you can use a dough hook attachment for the kneading. I say 'don't be daft!' I knead by hand and can't imagine a time when I won't.

Repeatability - Try and stop me. This bread was amazing. The problem will be NOT making it every weekend to the point of getting sick of it. I'd do the cool rise again too. It does make it a little hard to give it the second knead in the morning but it warmed up in the sun that pours in our kitchen window soon enough.

The bread before it went in the oven - in glorious early morning light.

Sauciness - Oh yes. Making bread is my new favourite thing - has been for six months now so I guess it's not so new. But I am not tired of it. I'd make it more if it I didn't work. I'd do a lot more in life if I didn't work but that's another story.

Overall Pleasure level - Sean and I were in complete agreement. This was the best bread I've ever made. It's dense without being too heavy or too chewy. And it's marvellous dunked into soup on the second day.