Monday, April 13, 2015

The Trouble With Tribbles - Raisin Pumpernickel Bread (Bread Machine)

Sunday - The trouble with magnolias - as if something that perfect could even cause trouble - is that the individual blossoms start to wilt and die much too soon.  Each flower is so perfect, I want them to last and last. Yesterday, while pulling into the parking lot at Publix, I noticed that all of their magnolia trees were starting to bloom - so of course I had to park the car and get a few shots.  These are, after all, my first magnolias of the season, and I was pretty excited about them.

I really wish I had stopped to take pictures of the cows and calves in the pasture on Partin Settlement Road, but there was no easy place to park the car.  Those are, in fact, tax abatement cows, which means a developer is going to start building there in the not-so-distant future.

No ducks, Muscovy or otherwise.  Since I couldn't get any pictures of water fowl - not that the Muscovy ducks are gracious about posing - they will walk right up to you and try to eat your camera - I offer the cutest canines around.

Thunder and lightning, very very frightening me ... and them.  Best ear worm of all time, by the way. Last night's noisy storming rattled my babies, especially these two - but they recovered well enough to sleep, whereas I was up every damn two hours. Not sure why, but I hated it and I hate the way I feel this morning as a result. But I think my mood will improve immeasurably when Hillary announces her candidacy.

Yes, you read that correctly. Hillary.  I've been waiting for this a long time. And now it happened and  my mood has improved - that plus a nice brunch with my mother-in-law.  Oh, and I finally got around to booking the shore excursions for our cruise.  Looking forward to the Tequila Tour - hey, oh, Jose Cuervo!  And BBC America is running a Doctor Who marathon.  If my back hadn't started to ache like days of old, the day would be practically perfect.

Today's cooking adventure involves my bread machine and that organic rye flour I picked up yesterday.  I've already made a hash of it, and have no idea if it will actually bake up into a decent, edible loaf of raisin pumpernickel, especially as the raisins were late to the party.  To incorporate them, I had to get a little creative - let's just say that dough has been punched down more times than Muhammed Ali.

Incidentally, Cory did make it back from the Ford Galaxy, safe and sound ... even brought a little friends back with him.

And Borg Tribble said, "You will be assimilated ... resistance is furry."

The bread came out rather good, despite my reservations, and has a really authentic Eastern European flavor and texture. If you have a bread machine and like to use it, I would recommend that you try this recipe.  The only problem I have - and always have when I use the machine - is the really odd size of the loaf.  I've never gotten used to baking bread vertically, and after 15 years, it may be time to invest in a newer model with a horizontal pan.

Raisin Pumpernickel Bread

In a glass measuring cup, combine:
1 3/4 cups water
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons molasses

Pour into the bread pan fitted with the kneading paddle and set into the machine.

In a medium bowl, combine and whisk together:  

3 cups bread flour
2 cups rye flour
2/3 cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons caraway seeds
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt

Carefully add the dry ingredients to the bread pan on top of the wet ingredients.  With the back of a spoon, create a shallow well in the dry ingredients, and add:

2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast

Run the machine on the whole wheat cycle, and add:

3/4 cup raisins

at the time indicated by your bread machine's instructions.  I missed the golden opportunity, which is why I had to punch the dough down, add the raisins, and restart the entire kneading cycle.  The extra punch down and kneading did not harm the bread at all.

I also soaked the raisins in boiling water for about 30 minutes, drained them very well, patted dry, and gave them a rough chop as they were extra large.  If you are using regular Sunmaid raisins, you can skip the chop, and if you just opened up a brand new package of raisins, you can skip the soak.

This is a heavy peasant bread, so slice it thin and serve it buttered along side a bowl of homemade soup.  My idea of a Nice Hot Lunch, or even a Nice Dinner.

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