Tuesday, March 19, 2013

on the range {week 11}: rye bread and dukkah

{On the Range} is my weekly series where I discuss what we're doing, reading, and eating. It's a little bit 52 project and other photo projects, and a little bit {Did you Read?} and {In the Ranger Kitchen}.

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."
On The Range
March 11 - 18, 2013


  • Vivi asked me a tough question this week, which prompted us to gather a bunch of books from the library. Currently we have a few about nutrition, taste, the brain, and why we make so many funny bodily functions (sneeze, cough, blink, yawn, burp, etc.). It's been fun to see the learning in action.
  • Speaking of learning, she arrived home from school a few days ago to announce that she knew all of the names of the planets, including "Mahs," "Jupitah," and "Satuhn." I laughed and took her to YouTube to commence some un-learning of the names.

My week...

  • It always strikes me as funny that Bostonians are so gung ho about St. Patrick's Day. I guess it's one of the only holidays where people are given free license to get drunk and be obnoxious a-holes, which is a beloved pastime up here. Only kidding!





rye bread

2 1/2 c. bread flour (not self-rising)
1 1/2 c. dark rye flour 
2 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. active dry yeast
1/2 c. warm water (110-115 degF)
1 c. whole milk, room temp.
2 Tbs. olive oil
3/4 c. finely chopped onion (optional)
2 Tbs. whole caraway seeds (sometimes I do half fennel seeds)

Add rye flour, 1/2 c. bread flour, sugar, salt, and yeast to a large glass or ceramic bowl. Mix together with a whisk. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, add milk, oil, and water and incorporate with flour until the mixture resembles a thick batter. Add onion and caraway seeds, then slowly add remaining bread flour, 1/2 c. at a time, until you can turn out the dough onto a floured surface. 

Knead the dough aggressively for 5-10 minutes until your arms burn, the dough is no longer sticky, and it springs back when poked. Allow the dough ball to rest on the counter while you rinse the large bowl, then oil the bowl and add the dough to it, flipping it to coat it in oil. Cover with a tea towel and allow the dough to rise in a warm, draft-free location until it has doubled in size, about 2 1/2 hours. My trick for getting bread to rise in the New England winter is to preheat the oven to 180 degF while I'm kneading, then turn it off. By the time I'm finished kneading, the oven is usually down to about 80 degF. I put the bowl in the oven, covered with the tea towel and topped with a digital thermometer, then I keep an eye on the temperature. If it drops, I use a heating pad to bring it back up to 80 degF.

Punch the risen dough down and put it back on your floured work surface. Let it rest while you gather the remaining supplies. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and then sprinkle it with fine cornmeal (course-ground cornmeal is too crunchy and will make the bread an odd texture; if this is all you have, skip it completely); alternatively, you can use a pizza peel/baking stone instead of a baking sheet if you have one. Shape the dough into whatever form you desire; you can make small rolls, 2 medium baguette shapes, or 1 large loaf for sandwiches, which is my preferred shape. Cover again with  a tea towel and let rise for 40 minutes to an hour, until the dough has doubled again in size. Sprinkle the top of the dough with flour and make five slashes with a sharp or serrated knife.

Preheat oven to 425 degF. To make a crunchier crust, you can either spray water into the oven after putting the loaf in and immediately shut the door, or you can heat an iron skillet and pour hot water into it as you put the loaf in. Bake for 15 minutes at 425, then turn down the oven to 375 degF and cook for another 20-25 minutes until the crust is a golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. If, like me, you don't trust those methods of telling bread-doneness, you can also insert a thermometer in the bottom of the loaf; it should be 190-200 degF. Allow the loaf to cool completely before slicing, as the bread continues to cook after being taken out of the oven.


I came across this spice blend at Trader Joe's and decided I could make my own at home. After consulting a few recipes online, I gave it a whirl. I like that it feels impossible to mess up, and the possible variations are endless. Hazelnuts are the traditional nut used, but I didn't have any so improvised with pine nuts and almonds. Pistachios also seem like a wonderful idea.

1 c. pine nuts (see note above)
1 c. almonds
1/4 c. sesame seeds
1 Tbs. coriander seeds
1 Tbs. fennel seeds
1 Tbs. cumin seeds
1-2 tsp. black peppercorns, coarsely crushed (to taste)
1/2-1 tsp. salt (to taste)
up to 1 Tbs. red pepper flakes (optional, if you like it extra spicy)
1 tsp. dried mint (optional)

Toast nuts on a baking sheet in either the oven or toaster oven for 5-10 minutes until golden brown and smelling good. Be careful not to burn them! Burning can happen quickly, so they should be watched closely. Heat a small skillet over medium heat; toast the seeds for 5-8 minutes until fragrant. Toss with nuts and remaining ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until coarsely ground and combined. Do not over-pulse, or you will end up with nut butter.


sarah saad said...

افضل شركة تنظيف خزانات ومنازل وشقق بالمدينة المنورة شركة غسيل خزانات ومكافحة حشرات بالمدينة المنورة ونقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة مؤسسة صفوة المدينة
شركة غسيل خزانات بالمدينة المنورة

sarah saad said...

شركة نقل عفش واثاث
شركة نقل عفش
اهم شركات كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام كذلك معرض اهم شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام والخبر والجبيل والخبر والاحساء والقطيف كذكل شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة وتنظيف بجدة ومكافحة الحشرات بالخبر وكشف تسربات المياه بالجبيل والقطيف والخبر والدمام
شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام
شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام


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