I really, really didn't want to make this bread.
But I made it anyway.
Why? Because my mom gave me this:
My mom and dad began talking about their fond memories of rye bread, especially pumpernickel rye, (which is two more breads after this one) and I caved, promising to make this bread, if.....if they would be my "guinea pig" taste testers.
This is a three day bread, not to be confused with spending ALL three days slaving over this bread.
Day one was a firm rye starter (sourdough starter, rye flour and water) ...
and soaker of coarse rye plus water.
Day two brought the dough together. It totally felt like a sticky wet clay. How to handle sticky dough? Wet your hands. Almost makes you feel like you need to break out the potter's wheel and mold something useful, like a vase or .... something. I managed to shape these into loaves, knowing that they would spreeeaaaaad out and needed some structure.
I put them into the fridge over night and here's what I woke up to:
Yup. They did spread out. Good thing I put 'em in loaf pans!
I half-heartedly scored the tops and baked them in a hot oven with steam.
The result? Not surprisingly, they barely rose. At first glance, you would think this was a banana bread, right?
Turning the bread out onto the cooling rack, I heard the long ago familiar THUNK of a 5 pound "brick" of my very first loaf of wheat bread....
My son couldn't wait to try this bread. He could smell it into the next room. After the mandatory one hour cooling period, I sliced into the bread for the obligatory crumb shot, which by the way, is very dense...
I handed a slice to my son, who slathered it with butter.
He took a bite and slowly chewed it. He glanced over at me.
"Do you like it?" I asked.
"Would you be offended if I threw it away?"
"Nope." And into the trashcan the slice went...
The rest of the bread went to my mom and dad's. Their verdict?
They LOVED it. Go figure.