I finally decided to jump on the 5-minute Artisan bread bandwagon, and whipped up some Pumpernickel Bread and Potato Soup, thanks to Miss T’s recent post.
At first, I thought I was going to have the same problem as Carrie, since the bread really didn’t rise very much on the second rising, just before baking. But once it was in the oven, it rose some more and came out pretty well. I had planned on topping it with caraway seeds, which I thought I had, but didn’t. Instead, I used some multigrain seeds. It worked well, but I’ll definitely get some caraway seeds on my next trip to the store.
I was just finished making the soup this afternoon when DH got back from his weekend trip to Las Vegas. We had a late lunch, and he gave both the soup and bread a thumbs up. I had already cleaned up all evidence of the bread baking, so I waited to see if he commented on it. He said it was good bread, and then didn’t believe me when I said I’d made it. (The seeds really impressed him.) I had to show him the rest of the dough.
I used the same bread recipe as Miss T, but I think this link has better instructions. I omitted the caramel color, and just added that much more water to the bread. Overall, I think the bread was very good considering the small amount of time and effort that goes into it, but it does taste a little yeasty, which I guess should be expected for this type of bread. I also thought it was slightly on the salty side (there’s a lot more salt than in the basic bread recipe), but that might have been counteracted by the caramel color, if I’d used it. It’s certainly a lot more economical than buying bread at the bakery.
If I make it again, I’ll probably omit the instant espresso and cocoa, cut down on the salt, and add caraway seeds to the dough to make a light seeded rye instead of a pumpernickel loaf.
However, I think after I’ve finished baking the rest of the dough from this batch, I’ll probably try something I’ve meant to do for years, but just never bothered with – get out my bread machine and use it for the kneading and rising parts of the breadmaking procedure, using my old bread recipes. Then I’ll just shape the dough and bake it in the oven. It won’t really be any more work, and I think it will probably make a slightly better loaf of bread.
And because someome would be sure to ask: Why I don’t just bake the bread in the bread machine? I have one of the old original (20-year old!) DAK bread machines made by Welbilt – the ones that look like R2D2. It makes a cylindrical loaf, with a big hole in the bottom where the kneading paddle sits, which makes for some strange slices of bread. And for breads with a lot of rye flour or other whole grain flours, the rising time isn’t really long enough. I also think the bread will have a nicer crust if it’s baked in the oven.