Saturday, February 03, 2007

Losing My Marbles

Last week when I felt the urge to bake bread, I was torn between two different recipes. Obviously I opted then for the black raspberry-lavender-walnut bread, but I promised myself that I would try the other very soon.

And "soon" came this morning, when I pulled out flours and such to make my first ever marbled rye bread.

Knowing that I had plenty of other cooking to do this weekend in preparation for tomorrow night's Indian feast, I hauled myself out of bed early in order to get the doughs made and shaped before my morning appointment.

This bread requires two separate doughs, identical except for the caramel coloring (which I don't have) or its replacement cocoa powder mixed with water in the darker dough. Easy enough to make, of course, but I discovered that there wasn't a significant difference in shades of brown in the two doughs, possible because I used whole wheat flour in each (in addition to rye).

Still, I carried on, making two loaves in different styles. One loaf I assembled by mashing together chunks of each dough, making a haphazard marbling. For the other loaf, I rolled out each dough, laid one on top of the other, and rolled them up for a spiral effect.

The loaves rose while I headed out for an hour and a half, and when I returned home, I slid them both into the oven to bake.


Both turned out beautifully, and I was certain that I would enjoy them for sandwiches and toast during the week. But I was still very curious to find out how that marbling effect would come through:


Okay, it's hardly the stuff of professional bakery or Seinfeld legend, but it's still pretty cool.

As for taste, I enjoyed a grilled Swiss cheese sandwich on this bread, and it was the best grilled cheese I've had in a long, long time. Granted, that's partly because I slice my cheese thick for sandwiches, but the bread itself was hearty, moist, and flavorful.

I may be crazy for trying something like this, but it's worth it!

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