I eat a lot of bread. Going through an entire loaf before it gets stale/moldy all by myself? No sweat. I could eat sandwiches for 3 meals a day for weeks and not complain (especially when they are smothered with homemade hummus). That whole “no carb” business that people swear by? Not for me. Ok, so you get it. I love bread.
So, as I’m trying to save money and also learn to be a master bread baker, I’ve been trying to make all said bread that I eat. Given the amount I bake and the number of recipes I read each day, this shouldn’t be a tough challenge, right? Wrong. Bread is not that easy to make. There are a lot of variables that can easily change the outcome completely. That’s why when you get the good stuff, it’s so good.
The other day I tried to make this recipe for Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Bread. I accidentally bought blueberry bagels instead of cinnamon raisin and needed a quick fix. So I immediately made the dough, and let it go for it’s first rise. This is where the first problem appeared. The dough was not rising. I think it’s because my apartment is too cold. In the winter time we keep it at 67 to keep the bills down, but this does not harmonize with bread baking. I’ve read that you can leave dough in the fridge for a day or two to rise and it actually is even better, so I tried that and it was still pretty flat. Finally, when I was preheating the oven (after I had taken the dough out and let it come to room temp), I put the pan with the dough on the stovetop above the warm oven, and it did rise quite a bit. Alas, something happened during the baking process and it deflated once again, leaving it to look more like banana bread that sandwich bread. Gah.
A few days later I got the courage to give it another try, and put together these kaiser rolls that I found from the same website, The Fresh Loaf, and guess what? They turned out great! I didn’t have malt powder on hand, so I decided to add dried dill to give it some flavor. The only issue I had was that the dill wasn’t very strong. Next time I will definitely add fresh dill as I know the flavor would be much more pungent. I also took out some white flour and added whole wheat to make them a bit healthier. The texture is nice too.
Now that my confidence is back, what will I be making next? I’m thinking bagels. Oh boy.
Whole Wheat Dill Kaiser Rolls
Adapted from The Fresh Loaf <–Find the directions here. Below are the ingredients I used.
2 1/2 cups bread or unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon dill (use fresh!)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 egg white
1 1/4 cups water