Friday, December 2, 2011

Horst Bandel's Black Pumpernickel Bread -Preparation and Mix Part One

This is the moment I have been waiting for all year, the bread of all breads. Pumpernickel. There are so many things about this bread that are just really cool. There is an enormous amount of soaked and cooked rye berries in this bread. 6.4oz dried berries are soaked over night and then boiled for about an hour, This amounted to over a pound of cooked berries. This bread also has an old bread soaker. This means that you take 7 ounces of old bread and you toast the bread to a very dark color, and then you soak the bread in hot water for at least four hours. I did this over night. This bread also has rye chops in it, unlike other breads these are not soaked in water, they are simply added in the final mix. The water from the old bread soaker is squeezed out of the bread and is reserved for mixing. DO NO ADD THIS WATER IN THE MIX. This water is only a back up, just in case you need more water if your dough is too dry. Hamelman notes that you will most likely not need to add any additional water. Actually for my bread I had to actually add close to 3/4 cup of bread flour. Another really neat thing about this bread is that you only mix it on first speed. You do not mix it on second speed at all.
I will now walk you through the process

Rye Berry Soaker:
combine rye berreis with a generous amount of water, and leave at room temperature over night. This will help to soften the berries. The next day combine the berries with three times there volume (or weight ) in water. Bring the water to a boil, cover and simmer for at least one hour. It is okay if the berreis split open. You are looking for the berries to be soft. You will notice that these berries start to carmalize and provide a wonderful aroma to the kitchen.

Old Bread Soaker:
Combine Well toasted old bread with boiling water for at least 4 hours. It is okay to do this overnight. Before the mix, make sure to squeeze as much water of the bread as possible. You will be surprised how much the bread will soak up. The water that is extracted from this bread will be a rich and deep brown color. It is very flavorful. (I tasted mine). I understand why Hamelman suggests that you use that water in the mix if necessary.

When you are preparing the Bread Soaker you should also prepare the sourdough. This starter has 100% hydration, meaning the ratio of water to rye flour is 1:1. It calls for rye meal, but I did not have any, so I ground some rye berries myself in to whole rye flour. Of coure you can use Pumpernickel four as well. This sourdough is very wet compared to other sourdoughs in Hanelman's breads, but I did taste the dough in the final mix and it sure was sour. I am excited for the final product.

Final Mix:
Combine the sourdough and old bread soaker and then add the rye berries and all of the remaining ingredients except NO WATER! If it is necessary to adjust the hydration of the mix you may add a small amount of watet, but be careful not to add to much. As mentioned before add the reserved water from the bread soaker. This dough mixes on first speed for ten minutes. Be by the mixer so you can scrape down the sides and push it closer to the dough hook. You will notice how much presence the rye berreis and chops provide to this bread.

The Bake:
This bread is baked in a pullman pan (I just got mine in the mail). A pullman pan is a covered pan, that was traditionally carried on the Pullman Trains. It is a very heavy pan usually made of steel. Prior to placing the log of dough in the pan it is recommended that you oil that pan and coat it with whole rye flour to prevent sticking. This bread traditionally bakes in a receding oven, that is as the bread cooks the oven is cooling from the days baking. Hamelman has provided a method for the home baker which is what I am following. (I did remove my stone from the oven, whether this is the correct practice or not I am not sure). For the first hour of the bake the oven is at 350 degrees. The oven is then turned down to 275 for the next four hours. After that the oven is turned off for the remaining 7-9 hours. I am not sure how it will turn out, but all i can say is that my whole apartment smells like caramelizing rye and it brings a constant smile to my face. I am having a very difficult time resisting the urge to open my oven. I am so excited. I was scared by this bread, and now I can say I made real pumpernickel bread.

I HAVE OFFICIALLY COMPLETED MY CHALLENGE. I have baked all the way through BREAD, and I await my next challenge of going through a more regional bread book. I have chosen to to LOCAL BREADS by Daniel Leader. Stick around folks there is more to come.

I will post all of the pictures in part two of this post when the bread is finished and cooled and enjoyed.


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