Roll, Pinch and Tuck
I'm making pumpernickel bread today. Seriously, me! Making pumpernickel bread. I'm pretty darn excited. But I'll remain calm. No biggie...just frickin' pumpernickel bread!!! I've made bread before, but it is still a daunting process. And this is a bread I've eaten, but never made. I just watched the video and Lauren Groveman makes it look pretty easy.
The ingredients seem so un-bread like....like instant espresso, unsweetened chocolate and prune lekvar to name three. I know, right....prune lekvar?? What the freak is that?? Google to the rescue. Prune Lekvar is just a prune jam. Thank you, Mr. Google.
So I looked high and low for this Prune Lekvar. No luck finding it. But that's okay. I just make my own. It is just prunes and a liquid heated up and cooked until the prunes are softened and then pureed to a nice consistency. I muddled my way through it. You know the old saying, 'when life doesn't give you lekvar, pout a little and then make it yourself'...or something like that.
I made the lekvar the night before I was going to make my bread. Thought I'd save a little time.
So this morning I am ready and able to get this bread making process under way. And an hour earlier than I had thought (yay to falling back in time...just not in a cool Dr. Who way).
Here are my prunes. I used about 2 cups of chopped prunes, 4 tbsps of lemon juice and the zest of the lemon.
I should have bought ground caraway, but instead, only bought whole caraway seeds. This wouldn't be an issue if I had a spice grinder. As it was, I tried to grind the seeds with my mortar and pestle...that didn't go so well. I'm pretty much just using all seeds rather than anything ground. Sigh.
The boiling water and espresso powder are blended together in a small pot.
Hopefully that is a good sign, and not the sign of the Apocalypse.
The yeast and rye flour get added to the earlier mixture.
After about 3 cups of bread flour, my arms have given up. Seriously!! Lauren Groveman has arms of steel!! She really made stirring the bread flour into the mixture look so easy. Argh...my arms are less Popeye more Olive Oyl.
Enough of that.
I tossed it all onto the counter and kneaded as much of the flour in as I could. This really wasn't any easier than stirring the flour into the mixture. The recipe does indicate that a mixer can be used for this process, but my KitchenAid isn't up for that challenge.
This is my "smooshing the dough together" test. It should hold its shape and then slowly let go. It passed. (This makes more sense if you've seen the video.)
This will sit in a warm place for about two hours, or until it doubles in size.
This then gets punched down and deflated.
Here we are, after an hour. Nice.
Each half gets rolled out. And then the magic happens. Yes, let's call it magic. And please keep that in mind when you see things happening to the bread.
This next step seems wrong. But I did it just like the video. (That probably doesn't make it any better.)
I'm tucking in the ends! Yeah, it seemed wrong.
Here I go...picking up a knife again. I think I did better this time.
But I did it! I made pumpernickel bread! And I gotta say, I'm pleased with the results. Head on over to Tuesdays with Dorie and see how everyone else did with this pumpernickel.