After another disaster at pain aux noix a few days ago.. my 2nd attempt at daily delicious's recipe (my fault, of course).. I was ready to call it quits with rye breads!
In fact, I have been psycho-ing myself over the week that rye bread or pain de campagne with cream cheese, dried fruits and nuts will forever be one of those "not-meant-to-be" things in my life, and I should just stick to store bought ones, and move on! Of course, while the mind was working on that, the heart was saying otherwise.. one more try.. one more recipe.. don't give up.. yet.
The heart knows best.. I'm no quitter.. I'm competitive.. I like to see things through to the end..and for the record, I'm a tiger aunt! Quitting is not my style (^^).
So I dug deeper on the web.. pain aux noix.. pain de campagne.. rye bread.. rye loaf.. walnut loaf.. walnut bread.. till I hit pay dirt.. with bea of la tartine gourmande's cranberry walnut bread rolls! I didn't care that the recipe uses whole wheat flour, not rye! I had such a good feeling about it.. that the "INVINCIBLE" me (^^||) just took over.. and daringly switched to rye flour instead! I had nothing to lose! (^^)
I'm so glad I did! It's SUCCESS at last! la-la-la-la-la! A few minor tweaks in bea's recipe and I have an almost-store-like rye loaf with cream cheese, dried fruits and nuts! (^^) So head on over to her blog to get her fantastic recipe!
Anyways, here's what I changed from bea's recipe.
1. Replaced same amount of whole wheat flour with rye flour.
2. Added about 50g (would have used more, but that's all I had ^^||) cream cheese, a handful of dried apricots (diced finely) and raisins, omitted cranberries. Anyways, I suggest adding more.. lots more of everything^^.
3. Dusted dough with flour instead of brushing with water before putting into oven.
4. Placed a pan of hot water (or pre-heat water bath in oven) to create steam in the oven for a crusty bread. I also threw in a few ice cubes into the oven right after putting the dough in. Remove water bath after 10-15 minutes.
5. Baked longer than 20 minutes.. the bottom was not quite done even at 30 minutes.. so bake about 50-60 minutes for a crusty top. Oh, I made a mistake and baked at 200C instead of 210C (410F) as suggested ^^||.. maybe that's the reason why it took so long.
This bread is SO-OOO GOOD!!! So very-very close to PERFECT! Or as what I hoped it to be! In fact, for a first attempt, this is as PERFECT as it gets! Crusty, chewy and oh-so flavorful! I'm the happiest person on earth, right now! Can you hear the birds singing? (^^) la-la-la-la-la..
Fresh out of the oven, it tasted exactly like the store bought ones! Beautiful wonderful scent, texture and taste! However, the crust didn't stay crusty for very long.. maybe due to the use of butter.. And covering the breads with tea cloth didn't help at all. I have wondered before how those store bought crusty breads stay hard in the shops, but once brought home it turns flat and soft too.. hmmm.. Well, something to work on. (^^)
Oh, I'm also not sure why the rolls taste different after warming or toasting. It was so GOOD on its own fresh out of the oven ~ you can smell and taste a myriad of flavors! But there's barely any, once warmed, even on the same day it was baked (?). Maybe this bread should just be very lightly warmed instead of warming/baking to crusty levels again.
Anyways, I still have a problem handling the sticky dough. And I also can't tell when the dough is too wet or just right. Though this recipe was not as sticky or wet as daily delicious's recipe, I still had difficulty rolling the dough. As you can see, my "rolls" are kinda flat when they should be round (^^||)! Maybe practice makes perfect? (^^)
Anyways, this is the best recipe ever! Thank you, bea! Happiness is.. days like this.. (^^)