My latest attempt at rye bread turned out much better than others, I am happy to report! (Did I ever confess that I'm not all that good at making rye bread? It's usually far too heavy.) However, this time, I seem to have got the mix of flours, the kneading time and the rising time - and no doubt the congruency of the stars and/or the weather and my mood had something to do with it - pretty well spot on.
I made a single loaf:
1 Tbsp yeast
1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1-1/2 cups rye flour
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp wheat gluten
1 tsp fennel seeds
3/4 tsp aniseed
1 Tbsp molasses (mixed in with a little of the water)
water - oh I dunno, about 1-1/2 cups I think
I did the usual things - put the yeast to rise in the right degree of warmth of water with a little flour and a pinch of sugar until it showed it was going to work. I sifted together the dry ingredients and then (I tend to do breadmaking backwards, and if I try to reverse it and do it in the conventional way I get a flop) added the yeast mix to the dry ingredients and added the water and molasses and then more water, mixing it with my hands, until it looked as if it was starting to form a good kneadable dough.
I turned the glom of flour and water etc. onto a lightly floured board and kneaded it for 10 minutes, let it rest for 10, then kneaded it for another five. (I always time all this, because I either cheat the time or I forget how long I've been playing with it - I get mesmerized by kneading bread!)
When it was beautifully smooth etc, it went into into a lightly oiled/sprayed bowl and was covered with a cloth for 1-1/2 hours, at which time it had doubled in size. I punched it down, kneaded it a bit more and formed into a loaf and set it in its pan, covered again, to rise for around another hour - it had doubled again, or nearly so. Baked for 40 minutes or so at 375F.
But I swear it all has to do with the moisture in the air, outside and inside, the temperature of the kitchen, etc. etc. - and the mood of the breadmaker and/or the yeast.
I have yet to make a rye sourdough. That's another challenge.
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