I swear I really did try to make a great loaf of bread. I wanted to make something incredibly tasty and pay homage to New York. I came across Smitten Kitchen’s New York Deli Rye. Perfect! I was willing to put in the 8 hours it would take, but sadly never got to that point. The bread involves one fermentation stage and two rises. There isn’t actually 8 hours of hands on work, really about 30 minutes, you just need to be home and around to keep checking on your bread. I set aside my Saturday and was ready.
I made the sponge and covered it with the flour mixture and let it sit ferment for 4 hours as instructed. The sponge was supposed to bubble through the flour a bit but after 4 hours it looked like this.
I was still hopeful! After mixing the dough with my KitchenAid, following the recipe EXACTLY, I let it sit and rise for two hours so it could double in size. And this is what I got.
I think it might have actually shrunk a bit. I don’t know if my yeast was dead or not, but after investing 6 hours of waiting, this loaf of rye wasn’t going to happen. But I still wanted bread, and I’m not one to give up too easily. I wasn’t about to attempt another bread that needed to rise so instead I decided on a breakfast like loaf. I had a recipe sitting out for Maple Stout Quick Bread from Cooking Light. I wasn’t really feeling the maple sweetness but beer sounded good. I mean, why not make everything with beer? I had some extra pumpkin puree in the fridge too from when I made granola the other day so figured we were going with Pumpkin Ale Bread.
So yes, the title might be deceiving. I did make fresh bread, just probably not the bread you were hoping for. I still consider the recipe a victory and am sure you’d agree after trying it. I ended using Brooklyn Brewery’s Oktoberfest in the recipe but I think next time I would opt for a stout or porter.
Pumpkin Ale Bread (loosely adapted from Cooking Light)
- 1 c all purpose flour, plus extra to coat pan
- 1 c whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 tbsp butter, softened, plus extra to coat pan
- 3/4 c sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 c ale (stout or porter would work best)
- 1 c pumpkin puree
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour loaf pan. Mix all dry ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a third small bowl whisk vanilla, ale and pumpkin until smooth.
Beating at low speed, add flour mixture and beer mixture alternatively to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
Scrape batter into loaf pan. Tap pan against table to evenly spread batter and remove any air bubbles. Bake for 60-80 minutes or until toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes, then remove from pan and let cool completely.
- October Unprocessed: Fresh Pasta (brooklynlocavore.wordpress.com)
- October Unprocessed, Day Sixteen – Quick Yeast Bread Recipe (eatdrinkbetter.com)
- My Favorite Use for Day Old Bread (brooklynlocavore.wordpress.com)
- Barm Brack – Irish Halloween Bread (blogotheirish.wordpress.com)