Monday, November 16, 2009


As you probably have guessed by now if you follow this blog much, I enjoy experimenting in baking. This weekend was no exception, with various experiments that failed spectacularly or turned out nicely.

I am always trying to get more whole grains into my baked goods, so back in January I tried substituting whole wheat flour for the unbleached flour in cornbread. It was a failure; the taste of the whole wheat overpowered the cornmeal—yes, this is about successes, hold on :) Well, Saturday, I decided to try dark rye flour instead of unbleached flour. It looked pretty strange going into the pan; it was very dark and almost playdough™-ish in texture. I wasn't too hopeful...25 minutes later, out comes this nicely dark, slightly risen pan of batter bread. I put the knife in to cut it, pulled out a piece, letting it cool for a few seconds before tasting it. Hey! It was pretty good; in fact it was so good that I'm going to make it that way all the time. Well, for visitors I might make it with unbleached flour so they don't freak out at the dark color :)

Second experiment: I thought that since that turned out, maybe I could go with a rye only rye bread. I know, there isn't much gluten in rye flour, almost none, in fact. But, maybe...well, I should have stopped at the kneading stage. It had a very strange texture and didn't get springy at all. But, hey, what have I got to lose? I let it rise, and rise, and rise. Right, it didn't! Oh well, maybe it will still make a loaf that is edible. So, I formed the loaf and let it rise, only it didn't. That's all right, I'll bake it anyway. It might make a nice solid loaf, sort of like a cracker. Thirty-five minutes later, not done. Let's give it another 10 minutes. OK, the edges are starting to burn, better take it out. This, my dear reader, was a complete flop. It is finding its way into the compost pile.

Somewhat discouraged, but not to be deterred, I decided to use whole wheat flour instead of the unbleached flour in the rye bread. Hmm, it feels more normal as I knead it. It actually rose, although not as much as normal. It formed a nice loaf, and then rose again. Thirty-five minutes later and I had a very nice, although dense, loaf of rye bread. Ah, but will it taste like rye bread? Nope! It tasted like whole wheat bread. But wait! As it cooled, it began to taste like rye bread. Maybe there's hope...sure enough. Once it was cool it tasted like rye bread, just very dark. Success! But a few hours much fiber is in that monster? Too much! Intestinal problems...I don't think I'll try that one again!

Oh, did I mention that I had just eaten whole wheat waffles an hour before the rye bread? Maybe it isn't the rye bread alone...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sorghum flour is nice. oh and millet flour is delicious. Whole grain with nutrition but not as much fiber as whole wheat. Joel and I made a corn free cornbread: It was really good!