It's been awhile since Nancy and I have had a chance to Twitter bake together but we found occasion yesterday after her daughter Allison made and posted Dan Lepard's Cucumber Pickle Juice Rye Loaf. It caught my attention because, well because it had the word "pickle" in the title and that's all it takes to pique my interest as I am all about a good pickle always.
Dan Lepard is the author of our much beloved and much baked Milk Loaf Bread, of which I must be entitled to some sort of award by now for making it the most of anyone other than possibly Dan Lepard himself. What can I say, it's a hit around here for sandwiches, toast, and grilled cheese. We never tire of it.
While the Pickle Bread is of a completely different nature, very dark, dense, and made with toasted rye flour, I wanted to give it a try for Ruben sandwiches so Nancy and I worked on it together, with Allison's tweeting her experience, opinions, and advice as well, and came up with a nice and interesting experiment.
I say experiment as it is good, but I didn't care for it with Rubens, preferring a softer rye for those instead. That said, Mark really liked this for Ruben sandwiches and thought it was just great. A good thing because Nancy and I were twittering the whole day about how the bread was not rising as we had envisioned it would, etc.
In the end, I prefer to have one thin slice of this bread with just a little cheese on it. It is great with the pickle flavor and that I did love. I just didn't care for so much bread in my mouth and the need to chew it quite so much...that's why a thin slice works better than a thicker one loaded with all the Ruben ingredients, i.e. corned beef, sauerkraut, cheese, as you have to have a thick slice of bread to handle all that. You can make it and be your own judge.
The dough is fun to work with and it makes a really cute little loaf. (The recipe says to divide it into two loaves but on Allison's advice, I made it into one loaf as she felt the little ones were maybe just a little too little. My loaf was about six inches in diameter when it came out of the oven. No discernible rise at all, despite several hours of encouragement otherwise.)
I was most excited about learning some new techniques with this bread, especially using toasted flour as I had never toasted flour before using it and I wasn't sure how that would go and what that would taste like. Turns out that it is quite easy to do, smelled wonderful, and tasted very nice...sort of a deeper richer nuttier type of flavor with a more brownish color to it. Now I can say I have done that...and used pickle juice for the liquid in a bread!
The bread definitely tastes like dill pickles and is delicious! I might actually make this again when I have pickle juice enough saved up (it takes 1-1/2 cups of it). It was a fun day. Here's the link to the bread recipe so you can give it a try in your kitchen, especially on days like this one (photo below) where it's a good thing to just stay inside and bake while looking outside at all this snow coming down...I think we had another five inches yesterday...I've sort of lost my excitement over it all (okay, I never really had any excitement over it all) and am ready for my green grass, blooming flowers, and leafy trees. Soon.