Saturday, January 24, 2009

More Bread, again.

You ask... what is that a picture of? Oh my, is that the tin ceiling in your kitchen? Oh yes! I was working on breaking the code of "caramel color" for a loaf of pumpernickel the other day and found the camera focusing on odd shapes. As I snapped the camera into manual, I realized that the other shapes were coming from the ceiling. Although I may never get that pot clean after burning sugar into tar, the results in the photo and the subsequent bread were stunning.
Here's what it really looks like. The recipe in Artisan Bread... 5 Minutes a Day calls for "caramel coloring" that can be purchased at a baking store or online. It was probably -10 degrees the other day and I had one napping, so there was no way I was going out in search of the brown goo. Instead I found a recipe on line to make it myself. Here it is:
Pumpernickel Color
3 T sugar
1T water
Pinch cream of tartar
1/4 cup boiling water

"In a heavy saucepan over low heat, melt the sugar in the tablespoon of water. Increast the heat to medium-high, cover the pan, bring to a boil, and boil for 2 minutes. Add the cream of tartar and continue to boil, uncovered, until the sugar is almost black in color. Remove the pan from the heat. The sugar will continue cook and darken. Allow it to begin to cool. Using extreme care, add the boiling water (the sugar will boil up and may splatter). Stir to disolve, then let cool to room temperature.
Whenever you use pumpernickel color, wet the measuring spoon or cup with cold wter for easier cleanup. Soaking the saucepan and the utensils in hot water will dissolve the caramelized sugar remaining on them."

Did you know that pumpernickel and rye are related because they both have caraway and rye flour in them, but otherwise, they aren't very similar? The dark color of pumpernickel comes from the caramel color, but also from the addition of coffee, cocoa powder and molasses.

The front loaf is definitely much more beautiful, so I'm hiding the second one in the distance. Still tasted great, but not so cute. I tried to help the bread rise faster by placing them in a warmed oven that was turned off, but had difficulty transferring them onto the pizza peel so I could then pre-heat the oven and pizza stone for later baking. It got smushed. Is that even a word?

I also did rye this week, but forgot to photograph the baked final product. A much simpler bread, in terms of not having to make the caramel color, and quite tasty.


Stephanie said...

I am sure your rye is much better, and much tastier, than the 7 dollar loafs I can get in Luanda, wife! I remember a pumpernickel loaf I tried to make at 2000 Grand that was more akin to a door stopper than bread. Oh, I wish my kitchen didn't get so unbearably hot when I baked here! But darn, (my kitchen is already 85 degrees by 8 am witht the oven off, so only quick breads here!) I made 'Aztec muffins' yesterday morning to take to the beach. Tinkered with a chocolate muffin recipe, using a bar of Lindt chili pepper chocolate for the chocolate chunks, adding a teaspoon of Tunisian pepper powder, a healthy scoop of cinnamon and a spoonful of vanilla into the mix. oh yeah, and instead of walnuts, I put in pumpkin seeds. I was worried if these particular beach buddies would like them, but they were gone in a hurry!

Catherine said...

I make bread every week too! Though not quite as beautiful as yours...just plain old honey whole wheat. I love kneading dough.

So you're a MaryJanes Farmgirl too? I used to have a local chapter called "Urban Farmgirls" but it's sort of fizzled out. Can't take the Urban Farmgirl out of the girl though!

Love your blog. See you at ECFE this week!

P.S. I'm :)