With yeast and time issues (I haven’t been as active as a wild yeast parent as I should) I took my first leap in the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge and jumped ahead to bread number 34 – Pumpernickel. While eating a fair share of this bread over the years, I really didn’t know more than the basics, so I turned to my friend Pedia, as in Wikipedia. With a few types of pumpernickel, I was glad to discover Peter goes the soft and airy route. There is nothing wrong with a dense loaf that needs to be sliced thinly, it just doesn’t make for the best sandwiches!
The rye starter bubbled and gurgled accordingly, so things looked to be off on the right foot. So I went about the standard bread making steps making one change. I included roughly cut, stale, no-knead bread instead of breadcrumbs. Everything still seemed to rise OK, so I decided to shape these puppies into standard bread pans.
If you can’t tell, I ran into one little issue. Well two I guess, but the first one wasn’t so much of an issue as simply forgetting. See, I left out the carob powder needed for that extra dark look. I don’t know how, as it’s the first time I’ve missed something in the book, but I apparently just glanced right over it. The second issue; my pans were sticking something fierce. Why..I don’t know. Things were lubed up nicely, and it hasn’t been a common issue before. Regardless of whether I need new pans or not, takes nothing away from the fact that it was delicious. The crust and crumb were beautiful, the bread had a strong rye profile and even without the added colour, it look beautiful. While not a big loaf, the tiny shape suited me just right in this world of over-sized foods. Plus this made for a mean accompaniment to soft poached eggs and blood sausage courtesy of Todd at Old Country.