If you remember the eggy incident which had shaken my bread-baking confidence, you’ll be pleased to know that having bought fresh yeast (not literally, I just use the granular machine stuff) around a month ago, I finally tried it out this week on a loaf of machine rye.
I had made this recipe previously, and although it passed The Boy’s critical taste test (he’s fussy about his bread), I had always thought it was a bit stodgy and heavy.
What a difference better yeast makes. While I’d always thought that recipe was a little bit too sweet, I now have proof that there is definitely more sugar than necessary for a 2lb loaf:
It didn’t quite reach the lid of the breadmaker, but it was close. This whole thing is a great relief to me, as I had been worrying that even with the aid of the machine*, that I was doomed to horrible, thick, cardboardy bread for eternity. (Or Wonderbread, which The Boy would buy because it was better than eating my horrible, thick, cardboardy bread.)
* I consider that breadmaker by far my best garage sale find — for $5, I can’t even complain that there was no manual. It has a steel paddle (coated with bird-killing Teflon), runs like a charm and (provided I supply non-dead yeast) makes wonderful, light, tasty bread.
The next runner-up in the “awesome garage sale item” contest would probably be the wooden drop spindle with the bag of fleece for $8.
Anyway, I’ll leave you with a picture of the crumb, and the recipe, in case you’re curious. This was the fluffiest rye bread I have ever had, and it was wonderful. (In spite of this, however, I am going to try modifying the recipe to use less sugar, and possibly less yeast. If it works, I’ll post the mods as well.)
I’m actually slightly annoyed that we currently have so much bread in the house, because I want to try all the other recipes I kept trying to make The Boy eat, but which all turned out so poorly. Next up, I think I’m going with Amanda‘s WHO bread, but in the meantime, here:
Bread Machine Rye (2lb loaf)
I use the Basic setting, with a medium crust.
1/3 c brown sugar (mod: 1/4 c)
1.5 c warm water
1.5 tsp yeast
1 c rye flour (mod: 1.25 c)
2.75 c all-purpose flour (mod: 2.5 c)
1/2 tsp caraway seeds
1.5 tsp salt
Throw in 2 tbsp butter on top of it all, and hit go.