Mellow Bakers September 2010: Another Trilogy

I’m proud of myself – it’s only September 6th, and I have made all three September breads for the Mellow Bakers already. I’m kind of compensating for August where I made only 1 out of 3.

Sourdough Rye with Walnuts

Everything started with a disaster: I killed my starter  while making the sourdough rye with walnuts. I fed the starter for 2 days, and then I mixed 2,5 tsp of it with 4,8 oz whole-rye flour and 4 oz water to get the sourdough called for in the recipe. I really should not have started baking that afternoon, because the  night before had been horrible (my kids were up at 1:30 am and 4 am, and I couldn’t really go back to sleep), but anyway, I did start baking… And I didn’t notice anything. Only when I started shaping the loaf I was like: what’s that bowl over there? And I realized, that instead of mixing the sourdough with all the other ingredients I had mixed the remaining starter (which was quite a lot) with everything else. Oh well…. The result was very yummy, though. Not as heavy on the rye side as it is supposed to be, but indeed very delicious.

Soft Butter Rolls

This recipe was an absolute flop. My expectations were high because I really liked the BBA Soft Rolls and the Modern Baker Challenge Dinner Rolls. Putting everything together was really easy and I decided to make 12 knotted dinner rolls and 6 hamburger rolls. For the hamburger rolls you divide the dough into 2,25-ounce pieces, preshape rounds, let the rounds relax for about 5 minutes and then roll each piece into a disk about 3 1/2 inches in diameter. This was weird because the disks were really flat and I couldn’t imagine them puffing  up enough to resemble hamburger rolls. And yes, I was right, instead of hamburger rolls I had ufo-like disks. The dinner rolls weren’t much better, either. Making the knots was not a problem at all, but for some reason they didn’t resemble knots anymore after the second rise. I just could have shaped balls… Flavorwise, the rolls were very disappointing: the crumb was dense and they were super dry.  How did Hamelman come up with the name SOFT butter rolls? They were everything but soft!!! Definitely not a keeper recipe! Abby and her family didn’t like this recipe either.

Cheese Bread

Here comes a winner. This bread is absolutely delicious and sooo easy to prepare. I was a little sceptical because Ulrike from Küchenlatein didn’t like this bread and said it was a little bitter where the cheese poked out. Thus I decided to adapt the recipe a little bit: instead of using the Parmesan cheese half grated and half cubed, I grated the whole amount and added it to the dough. That was a good decision because my bread wasn’t bitter at all and my whole family extremely loved it. I baked one bread right away and retarded another one in the fridge. That one was as good as the first one.

So, what am I going to do the rest of the month? Maybe I give the sourdough rye with walnuts another try – this time with the correct ingredients. And I’m trying to build up a new starter. Wish me luck!

8 responses to “Mellow Bakers September 2010: Another Trilogy

  1. Wow, I am so impressed that you are finished with all three already!!! And I’m kind of glad that you didn’t like the rolls either (is that weird?) – you’ve given me hope that it’s the recipe rather than something I did! Our walnut rye is proofing right now . . . I hope it’s tasty. And I’m nervous about the cheese bread (we don’t generally like breads with Parmesan in them), but yours looks and sounds so good that it makes me excited to try it! Good luck reviving your starter! I finally took Paul’s advice and dried some out, just in case . . . . . .

  2. Hi – I’m impressed too! Good luck building a new starter, it is the right time of year to do it, I reckon. Might follow you and grate all the cheese for the cheese bread, good tip! I hate cheese bread usually, big lumps of stringy cheese and gaps above them in the bread, but yours looks excellent🙂

  3. Great job! Sorry to hear about the butter rolls, I’ll keep that in mind. I just made the walnut one again today – because last time I forgot to add the walnuts!

  4. Wow, you’ve been busy! I’m sorry to hear that the rolls didn’t work out for you. The cheese bread sounds delicious. Here’s hoping I’ll find time for some Mellow baking this month. =)

  5. Yay for you having this all baked in the first week!!
    too bad you didn’t like the rolls, I thought they were good. Funny how the outcome of a recipe can differ so much.
    Happy baking in the rest of the month too!!!

  6. Congratulations on baking them all already!

    I am tempted to try the cheese bread with your modifications, not sure how it will be in my electric oven, but… I guess it’s worth a try.

    I might have to make half the recipe…

    Disappointing soft rolls – too bad, at first I thought those would be a good option for me….

  7. Pingback: Soft butter rolls and (rye sourdough with walnuts) | Zeb Bakes

  8. Ciao ! Your breads look great ! I’m so sorry about the rools which I made but weren’t bad…
    I’ii have to grab some rye to make the rye with walnuts soon

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