This bread contains 1/3 rye flour, so I was getting a little nervous because Peter Reinhart was speaking of white rye flour. What the heck is white rye flour? He gives an explanation for that but I wasn’t sure how to apply that to the German flour types – the types indicate the ash mass (mineral content) – the lower the number, the less mineral content there is. Which means normal white wheat flour has small numbers (like 405 or 550, which I use for cakes and cookies) whereas darker flour has higher numbers (like 1050 – a bread flour I often use). Wholegrain flour does not have a type number because the extraction rate is 100%. Applied to rye this means that a light rye flour would be type 812 (which is used for light rye breads), whereas a heavy rye flour is type 1740 (which is used for savory breads). The only rye flour I could find at the grocerie store was type number 1150, so something in the middle which probably is not what Peter Reinhart means. I bought it anyways and thought I could blame the flour type if something didn’t work out ;-).
It’s also kind of tricky to get molasses here, I mean the real molasses. Here, people often use sugar beet syrup in baking, and not molasses. But I was able to retrieve it at a health food store known in Germany as Reformhaus.
Ok, so I got home and started making 2 doughs which were strictly speaking the same except for the liquid caramel coloring that was added to the dark rye dough. Additionally to the liquid caramel coloring I added 1 teaspoon of carob powder which I also retrieved at the health food store. I didn’t add caraway to either of the doughs because non of us really cares for this spice. I actually really dislike caraway. Mixing, kneading and proofing as always.
Then came what I think was the interesting part: the shaping. Since the recipe makes 2 loaves I wanted to try 2 versions Peter Reinhart suggested: a spiral loaf and a braided marbled rye. So first I had to divide both the light and the dark rye dough into 2 portions.
For the braid I divided the braid portion of the light rye dough into 2 pieces. I did the same with the braid portion of the dark rye dough. Then I rolled out the pieces into strands, so in the end I had 4 strands (2 light and 2 dark ones). I braided those strands using the 4-braid-method and placed the loaf on a loaf pan.
For the spiral loaf I divided the light spiral portion into 2 pieces. Same goes for the dark spiral portion. I rolled out each of the pieces with a rolling pin into an oblong, took a light rye piece and laid a dark rye piece on top, then added a light rye piece again and one more dark rye piece. Then I rolled this stack up into a bâtard, sealed the bottom and placed the loaf in a loaf pan.
I sat them aside for proofing, preheated the oven, brushed the loaves with the egg wash – and in the oven they went. I was thrilled when I took them out – both breads just looked gorgeous.
They tasted really good and I think this bread makes a really nice sandwich bread. The only weird thing is that due to the coloring we somehow expected something sweet (like it was a chocolate spiral or something) even though we KNEW that this was a bread and not a cake. I guess, we eat too much chocolate cake ;-).
I definitely would recommend making this bread. I think it makes a wonderful bring along to a party or a nice gift.