Sunday, November 11, 2012

BBA Challenge #34 Pumpernickel Bread #35 Sunflower Seed Rye #36 Stollen

Over the course of one year, I baked the 42 recipes in Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice. In order. It was an excellent course in bread baking. I highly recommend doing something like this at least once.

I own a lot of cookbooks. An embarrassing amount of cookbooks. Thank goodness for Amazon Wish List and libraries, or I would be in big trouble. That being said, it was so satisfying to have finally done something like this.

This is the next installment of posts about this project.

BBA Challenge #34 Pumpernickel Bread

There is nothing really wrong with this bread. It's just that Peter presents them as if they would fill two bread pans to create traditional loaves, and as other bakers have found, they don't. 

Ultimately I ended up with two rounded loaves. 

This bread takes two days to complete. Day one is for the rye starter - a mix of 100% hydration sourdough starter plus pumpernickel flour and water. I got my pumpernickel from King Arthur Flour

Day two is for the final dough. This dough involves flour, brown sugar, bread crumbs, and a darkening agent such as cocoa powder, carob powder, instant coffee, or caramel coloring. I used Gravy Master, which is basically caramel coloring. 

For more information from other bloggers about this recipe, Google BBA Challenge #34. Want the recipe? Check out the book!

BBA Challenge #35 Sunflower Seed Rye

I know these look like two bagels, but they are actually two one pound loaves shaped into rings. 

This bread involves making a soaker of pumpernickel or rye meal and water the day before making the bread. The next day, the soaker is combined with the high gluten flour, salt, yeast, water, and 1/2 C of toasted sunflower seeds.

I toasted my sunflower seeds in a cast iron skillet (do not walk away if you do it this way, they can burn very quickly) and they added a wonderful flavor to the bread.

By the way, home made rye bread does not taste like what you would buy in the store. If you're nervous about it, start with recipes that contain no more that 1/4 to 1/3 rye. Adding just a couple of tablespoons to lean white breads is a wonderful way to work with rye.

For more information about this recipe, Google BBA Challenge #35. For great step-by-step instructions, visit The Bread Experience blog.

BBA Challenge #36 Stollen

Stollen is a German holiday bread that is filled with fruit, almonds or marzipan, is shaped like a crescent, and is heavily dusted with powdered sugar.

While the recipe calls for a mix of raisins and candied fruit soaked in rum, I skipped the candied fruit and substituted dried cranberries, blueberries, and cherries along with the golden raisins. Here they are soaking in brandy.

The dough recipe calls for milk, flour, yeast, sugar, salt, orange zest, lemon zest, cinnamon, egg, butter, and water.

After the dough has risen, it is shaped around a column of almonds and extra fruit, and has a "folded and layered look.." to quote Peter Reinhart. It was kind of like shaping a lopsided Z.

Once it's removed from the oven, it is dusted with powdered sugar.

Lots of powdered sugar.

I really liked this bread. It's great toasted with butter, and one slice is very satisfying with all of the fruit and almonds.

The recipe is posted here.

For other bakers' experiences, Google BBA Challenge #36 Stollen.

I am sharing this post with Bake Your Own Bread. Hop over there to see all of the wonderful bread posts.

BYOB 125 x 125


  1. These all look amazing...but that sunflower seed rye is calling my name right now! And I can't believe that I've never made stollen. This may just be the year that I change that ;)

    1. Thanks Heather! Definitely give them a try!


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