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Rye-Bread-1-Jan-08

Page history last edited by milnewstbay@yahoo.ca 12 years, 5 months ago

 

U.S. Army Rye Bread (and other recipes)

1 Jan 07

 

On a whim a while back, as part of an order of CD-ROM's I ordered containing military manuals, I bought this CD full of US military recipes (latest revision was 1999).  Little did I know that I'd eventually become a food nut, looking at this artifact with an entirely different set of eyes.

 

The CD is full of .pdf files containing recipes that (I assume at one point) were used to feed American troops en masse.  And I DO mean en masse - the recipes are for batches of 100 servings.  Need to whip up "s**t on a shingle" (creamed chipped beef on toast) for a company?  Need a whole swack of sweet and sour collard greens?  How about Brussell Sprouts Superba for 100 of your nearest and dearest? It's all there among the 1,000+ recipes.

 

In fact, this past summer, when I was at a loss on how to make plain old potato salad, I used this recipe scaled down to 25% size to serve about two dozen at a backyard BBQ with a respectable (if not dazzling) potato salad.

 

In keeping with my latest obsession with baking bread of all kinds, I tracked down this recipe for 15 pounds of rye bread dough, and wondered:  what would it be like shrunk down to, say, a 750 gram single loaf?

 

The good news in this case is that most of the recipes (especially for the baking) have the weight of the ingredients, making it dead simple to translate the formula to baker's percentages.

 

So, according to the rye recipe, with the help of a calculator, here's the baker's percentage formula:

 

 

Flour, all purpose
70
Flour, rye 30
Water  60
Salt 3
Shortening  3
Sugar 2
Yeast  1
Caraway seeds  0.5
TOTAL 
169.5

 

 

Based on the formula, here are my totals for a 750g loaf

 

 

Flour, all purpose
310g
Flour, rye 133g
Water  265g
Shortening  13g
Salt  13g
Sugar  9g
Instant yeast  5g
Caraway seeds  3g

 

While the original recipe calls for "blooming" the yeast before mixing it in with the rest of the dry ingredients, I thought I'd try the easier technique of mixing all the dry ingredients, then adding the wet ingredients, mixing and kneading.

 

The dough was a LOT drier than other doughs I've been kneading, but still managed to get smooth enough after ten minutes of manhandling.

 

Proofed it in the oven for about an hour or so, punched it down, formed it and let it proof again in the loaf pan (in the oven, quick proof for about 90 minutes).  Egg/milk wash, slit across the top, and into a 500 degree oven for a total of 22 minutes.

 

The results?

 

 

 

 

Very good crumb for sandwich bread (even bought some pastrami for a buddy of mine coming over to try it out), and the 750g loaf was the PERFECT size for the loaf pan.  What surprised me was the lack (to my tastebuds) of a heavy rye flavour - the caraway is there, but it doesn't taste all that different from a whole wheat bread in the background.  This was also the case the next day, when I toasted a slice. 

 

Still, a success, even if my loaf isn't going to yield 100 portions, six loaves, 3 pans, 2 slices per portion.

 

As for the CD, I'm a believer in the concept that if a cookbook can yield even 1 or 2 intriguing recipes or ideas, it's worth the buy.  Based on that standard, if you're at all interested in food esoterica, the disk is well worth the $20 plus shipping.  You can also find some of the recipes on the U.S. Army's Quartermaster Corps web site here.


 

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