Homework 2--Whole Grain Porter Rye Bread (Zingerman's bread class II part 3)

After practiced the country wheat bread this was my second bread I tried to make at home. This actually was not in one of the three breads we made in the class. It was a bonus recipe using porter as one of ingredients. It was 100% whole grain again. After learning three awesome whole grain breads I really wanted to give it a try. I believed that it will be a wonderful bread just like the other three.

For making this bread I needed to get all the ingredients first. I have a quite a bit collection of different flour. Of course, most of bread ingredients like yeast, sugar and sea salt, etc. are fully stocked in my pantry. However, the main ingredient of this bread, porter, is definitely not on my stocking list. Simply to say that I don't drink any alcohol at all. Worst of all I didn't even know what was porter. After searching at Whole Foods and Costco I finally found this kind of beer at Meijer.
As soon as I got all the ingredients in hand the game began. Telling the truth this bread dough wasn't too hard to knead. In fact it's very similar to the other bread, multigrain bread, from the class. My house's temp was pretty low, 55F (this bread was also made in winter). So, I did the same way as making country wheat bread to place finished dough into a cooler with a jar of boiling water for 45 minutes. At the end of 45 minutes, it was hardly to tell any growing or not. I still gave it a fold, and then put it back to cooler with boiling water for 1 hour this time. Finally, it grew a tiny little bit. Because I was running out of time I couldn't wait any longer. I needed to move on. 

After final shaping I placed it on the lid of ferment container covered with cornmeal. Then, I put it back to cooler. Due to previous slow fermentation I thought it'll take a while to rise to the size ready to bake. So I didn't preheat the oven as I used to. As soon as I checked the dough it was almost ready to be baked. I had less than one hour to bake the bread, but needed about 25 minute to get oven fully preheated. According to the recipe, the baking time is 30 to 40 minutes. I knew I'll be late to pick up my kid, but I didn't want to put the dough into the fridge and bake it after I came home. I had a lot of bad experience at this kind of situation. This was the first time I made this bread. I wanted to follow every step like recipe described as close as possible.

I quickly scored the bread, and sprinkled some rye flour on the top (I forgot to sprinkle the flour first). As soon as the oven was ready I slide the bread into the oven and baked as the recipe directed with the tips from the class. I only baked it for 30 minutes (no time to bake it longer). The tapping sound from the bottom of the bread seemed hollow. I didn't have time to check the internal temp.

On the way between school and home I was so anxious about the result of the bread. Believe or not the bread actually turned out great. The texture was moist and soft, and the crust wasn't hard and thick even it looked dense. Because of the porter the whole bread smelled wonderfully and full with beer aroma. Since we didn't make this bread in the class I don't know that I can count it successful or not. However, there was one thing for sure: I couldn't stop just eating one slice. Not just myself but my whole family loved this bread. 

Who say the whole grain bread has to be dense and hard to chew? All four breads prove that the whole grain bread can be as yummy as white bread.

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