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!

Rye Crackers–Recipe

These crackers disappear way too fast. My husband and I are plotting an afternoon when all hands will be on deck–and we’ll quadruple the recipe, setting up an assembly line with the hopes that we’ll be able to store some away-and even SHARE some… This last batch–I ate three myself, gave three to a friend, and the rest disappeared into the tummies of my children.

I adapted this recipe from three various cracker recipes that I fiddled with, and the result is a hyper pungent mix of rye, caraway and cumin. My kids don’t particularly like any of those ingredients, but somehow these come out too savory to resist. If you decide to give them a whirl–I hope you enjoy them, too!

Time Commitment: About an hour

Tools you need:
  • cookie sheets
  • rolling pin
  • sharp knife
  • I use an electric mixer for this recipe, but it can be easily mixed by hand

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unbleached flour
  • 1 cup rye flour
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/3 cup oil (I use canola)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
What to do:

Step One: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine all dry ingredients–mix.

Step Two: Add oil, milk, and molasses. Mix until it all comes together in crumbles and you can mold it into a ball with your hands. If needed, add another tablespoon or two of milk.

Step Three: (This photo makes it look like food for a pooch! Makes me miss my Zeke…) Take a fist-sized ball of dough and roll it out onto a clean, un-floured surface with a rolling pin–until cracker thin… 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. (I don’t like using flour at this stage while I’m playing with the rolling pin, so, in order for the dough not to stick to surfaces I flip it over often…) Keep rolling and cutting until all the dough is used. Either cut into cracker-like squares with a sharp knife

or use your favorite cookie cutter and make hippos or hearts with the dough 🙂

Step Four: Transfer the dough from the counter to the cookie sheet. I use a sharp knife to help me lift the dough.

Step Five: Bake in the 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes, until slightly golden brown.

Step Six: Cool on a rack–then hide most of them so they don’t get gobbled too quickly!