Bleh (Rye) Bread

You know. Sometimes a new fiddling just doesn’t finish well (or even middle well). Ever since the marbled rye in South Dakota I’ve been dreaming of making a wonderful rye bread of my own. I’m not sure why I haven’t dared an actual marbled rye recipe yet. I’m not sure why I keep trying recipes that take days of starter-making and a hyper watchful eye.

So far I’ve tried a sourdough rye of my own invention. Bleh. (My daughter gave one of the loaves away to a neighbor that we don’t know well. Thankfully, it was pretty to look at, and she mentioned in the giving that it was experimental bread. Humbled, though. I wouldn’t want to eat that loaf again.)

I also tried to make a sourdough rye out of The Village Baker. I love this bread book, but it took about two weeks for me to actually get all the steps right. The bread was ugly, and I refused to give one away.

There’s that pride of mine! Refusing to give because of appearances!

And yet, when we cut into one of the loaves the next day, it was actually quite good. We all ate sandwiches using it, but the kids aren’t begging me to try again.

Still in a rye mood, I finally mixed up a batch of rye crackers! Ahhhhhh. So very tasty. My youngest helped, and was excited to use his steam roller (rolling pin) and we cut the dough into hearts, teddy bears, angels, and butterflies. These crackers are amazing. My son actually called me a genius for this baking effort. That’s a five-year-old for you. Tasty rye crackers=genius!

For now I’m done with both bleh bread and rye bread. I need to gain a little steam before more experiments…

(But just in case, if you happen to have any rye advice or favorite recipes, send them along. You never know when a new mood might strike!)

Last news. More Simple Gifts on the way. The next post will be all about Anna Larsen. Can’t wait to share!


Last week.

Two loaves of Peter Reinhart’s Oreganato (from his Brother Juniper’s Bread Book)

Despite my struggles with new rye bread recipes, I am thankfully still in the mood to experiment. The weather is changing to cool–we even have had rain! When you live in Southern California long enough, you become a great cheerleader for rain clouds. I am cheering those clouds on by turning on my oven. Rain is the perfect time for baking–since while things are rising, or baking, you can sit in a chair and sip tea and read a book. All very perfect things to do when it’s raining.

Last week again.

So, anyway, I made two loaves of this very scrumptious bread infused with garlic, parsley and oregano. I will make it again, because (1) it was good, and (2) the oregano in my garden needs a forceful trimming to induce new fall growth, and using it in bread is just too fun. Nothing stops growing in this place.

Our chicken-owner friends, who live just around the corner, took on the tasting of Oreganato loaf number two. It really is important to have people in your life who will eat your experimental bread and not get mad at you when it’s bad. Thankfully, Mr. Reinhart’s recipes seem to be anything but icky. yum yum…

We gobbled up our own loaf, and with the few extra ends that remained, I cut them into cubes and made croutons. yum yum again!


What about you? Do you mind experimental bread? If you’re up for being a guinea pig, and live somewhat near me, send me a quick note, because as long as there are clouds and happy threats of rain, I’ll be baking and happy to share!