Quarterfinals · Season 2

Unusual Flours

Moving on quickly to the quarterfinals!

…I’ll get back to that mille-feuille eventually…

Today’s challenge is “unusual flours”.  The contestants, at least half of them, used spelt.  I’m not really interested in buying more unusual ingredients right now, but rye is one of the types of flour that was mentioned in the beginning of the episode, and I know I have some of that, so we’re going in that direction.

My beloved husband hates rye bread…at least, that’s what he says.  I think it’s not the *rye* he hates, but the caraway seed, which is a very distinct flavor.  I know he doesn’t like anise, either.  But we both love brown bread–the kind you get from Outback Steakhouse when you are waiting for your deep fried onion to show up.  I saw that Paul Hollywood has a brown bread recipe here made with rye, beer and oats, and has “treacle” (molasses) to add a bit of sweetness and darkness to the bread.  I thought I’d give that a try to see if he’s amenable to rye as long as it doesn’t taste like “rye”.

I gathered up the ingredients–rye flour, wheat flour (they didn’t say I couldn’t *also* use wheat), the salt, yeast, water and BEER.  Yes, they call for ale, and I’m not a beer drinker, so I dig around in the garage where the “extra” beer is.  You know, when you have a party and you get beer for the beer drinkers and there’s always a few bottles left over that you and your spouse don’t drink as often as say, pineapple cider.  In this case, it’s a bottle of Elysian Men’s Room Ale.  It’s not bad, as beers go, and is a favorite of my husband’s, but these days, it’s all about the cider.

Anyway, I put it all in the mixer and let it do its thing, but it’s clearly needing hand kneading, so I throw it on the counter on a bit of flour.  Ten minutes later, my hands are still completely caked in dough.

This is a very wet dough, and I ended up adding a few extra spoonfuls of flour to it as I was trying to knead the sloppy mess.  Eventually it was turning into a dough-like structure, so I thought it was time to throw it in a greased bowl to do its thing for a couple hours.

After a couple hours, it’s looking really good!

After its first rise, you mix together 100 g of rye flour and 150 g of beer (back to the Men’s Room!  Oh darn, I had to open a second bottle!) and a pinch of sugar, then smear the paste on top of the bread, then sprinkle it with oats.

Place it on parchment paper on a pan, and it back to rise for 90 minutes.  I didn’t want to put the towel on top of the gooey topping, so I grabbed the clear glass bowl I used for the rise and tipped it upside down on top of the loaf.  Bonus:  I can see it rising!

Toss it in a hot oven for 15 minutes, then lower it to 350 for 25 minutes or so…I lost track of the time.  The kitchen smelled like beer, that’s for sure.

The bread was pretty good–it definitely had a beer flavor–and I got my husband to eat a slice, begrudgingly since he’s on a low-carb diet now.  He said it was good.  Not AMAZING!  Or WOW!  Kind of a let down.  I didn’t want to spoil it by telling him that it was also made of rye.

Ah well.  Next.

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