Monday, May 27, 2013

Cranberrybrot mit hazelnuss

As you all know, I have been sharing bread since I have been baking bread. You also know that I have begun my career as a licensed dietician in Atlantic City. I must admit that I was rather alarmed and taken aback when I brought some of this bread to clinical rounds at work and not a single soul would indulge! I get the feeling that people have this terrible perception that bread makes you gain weight! Frankly, it's a misconception. It is not so! Too much bread will make you fat, in the same way that too much pretzels, chips, ice cream or soda or dressing will make you gain weight.

It's the basic concept of calories in and calories out. If one is more or less than the other, the body will change. People these days are unnecessarily cutting delicious and wonderful things out of their diet. It is simply a matter of moderation. This a problem that I can not solve globally. One of my life's goals is to bake rye bread and to get people who do not like rye bread to like rye bread. Therefore, I shall continue on my quest to convert people to rye bread on the local level, one person at a time. I continue onward.

Actually two of my dear friends Caryn and Bekah, were former rye-haters! Not now! Now they are hearthbakedtunes enthusiasts. Actually in my job interview, my current boss asked me what is your long term goal?". My response. "That is simple, to get more and more people to eat homemade rye bread." Chuckling ensued. The funny thing is that no matter how long you know me, and how many times we speak, you never really know what is going to come out of my mouth. However, but there is one thing that is constant: you will always know what will be coming out of my oven.

After mourning the loss of my colleagues' gross misunderstanding and accepting that they are most likely living lives of mediocrity, I finally gathered up the nerve to ask one last person to sample a piece. She tried it and she loved it. In doing so, she made my day. I am finding in my new job that all it takes is one good moment each day to keep me going. That single moment each day energizes me and most importantly, it fulfills me.

Although I did enjoy this bread, I felt that it was far from reaching enlightenment. Here is why: I like the idea of letting the rye tell the story. In this bread, the nuts and fruit make up a very small percent of the final dough in this bread, less than 5% combined. This allows the rye to narrate the flavor, with slight overtones of fruit and rich roasted nuts. Let me take a moment to compare this Bread to 'The Band'. The fruit and nuts in this bread are akin to Garth Hudson, the organ player, who when combined with the other musicians creates a beautiful 'bread', which without his presence would be far less significant. Yet his music is tasteful because he is only adding that "little bit" that is necessary to create his good music. Rather than exceeding what is called for and becoming overpowering, he adds only his special little touch. If you listen to The Band often, you will know what I mean. (If you do not listen to The Band often, change this immediately. You can thank me later.) I think Levon almost sounds like Randy Newman in the first verse, which makes me happy! 

As I previously mentioned, the auxillary ingredients in this bread are on the lighter side, which is something that I am finding to be relatively common in German bread baking. Most American bakers would have made this bread with 10-15% fruit and 20% nuts by weight. So, you get less of a fruity nutty blast and more of a rye overtone. It really depends on what I am shooting for with each bread. For instance, a bread like this would be fine for even the most savory of sandwiches, whereas a bread with 20% hazelnuts and cranberries might be a little interesting in certain savory applications. As the Rabbi's say, there is a time for everything under the sun (I might add and the moon, and what if its cloudy? Okay, if it is cloudy, go ahead, you're still allowed.)

I know this post is quite different from what I normally post, but I have to tell you, I just started an online course, An Introduction to Psychology. The professor is quite awesome and he is funny and he is really making me think. I am finding humor in everything. I am quite excited to learn more about this topic as the course progresses. I know Kelly is going to be so sick of hearing me rant and rave about all these experiments that I am learning about in my class! This may be the reason for my rather sassy post.

In terms of my German Quest, I am receiving a delivery in less than two months. This delivery will be my good friend Alexander, who will be traveling in July from Hannover and I get more and more excited with each German bread that I pull out of my oven! When he gets here, we will bake pumpernickel together and I will then post on our experiences! Until my next post, I remain yours......

-DW, The Rye King

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