If you’re following along with my carrot/apple kraut adventures, we were gifted several boxes of McIntosh apples last week, so along with making sauce, butter, and drying them I decided to make some apple/carrot kraut. I’d used apples in cabbage kraut before with fresh cranberries and loved it. Then came another off-the-wall idea from reading around in Fermented Vegetables to design a recipe to make a apple/carrot kraut cake. I did and it was good, but I couldn’t get over the fact that it just tasted like a good carrot cake, because I couldn’t taste the sour at all.
A good trick huh, ha-ha: You love that cake you just ate a big slice of?... and surprise it’s sauerkraut cake! I just pulled that trick on my daughter and her boyfriend this morning, haha. They did love the cake, and didn’t believe it was made out of kraut, which neither likes. Anything to amuse myself.
But the whole cake experiment left me wanting to taste what kraut’s like in bread, thus this recipe. So what is carrot/apple kraut like in a sourdough rye bread? It’s good, think Reuben with the kraut already in the bread. I made it a steamed bread, although I’m going to try a Boule in the oven next. Overall I was happy and will make it again, it didn’t rise as high or as quickly as my regular steamed rye loaves, but only by a bit. It rose to the top of the loaf pan, and took an hour longer to get there. My guess is that the lacto-bacteria become very active from both the levain starter and kraut, creating an acid environment that’s a little too much for the yeasts to optimally thrive. The dough is also denser with the kraut and sunflower seed additions, so the yeasts were having to work harder, and in more difficult circumstances. I could have added the kraut right before proofing with the salt, and maybe I will next time.
It’s texture is like a whole grain sandwich bread. I especially like the oats, and the way they taste toasted. I like the bits of sunflower seeds. It’s a good toast/sandwich bread, great with sharp cheese, and mustard. The two sour hits, but with different flavor profiles are worth it; the rye sour and then the kraut sour.
Overnight Ingredients 1 ½ cup/136g oatmeal ¼ cup/30g ground flaxseed 1 cup/150g gluten free mix ( ⅔ cup sorghum flour and ⅓ cup potato starch) 2 cups/240g rye flour ½ cup/100g firm gluten free levain (or firm sourdough starter) 2 cups/200g apple/carrot kraut ½ cup/65g sunflower seeds 1 ⅓ cup/315ml filtered water
Morning Ingredients 2 teaspoons sea salt 1 tablespoon honey
Evening Instructions I use a food processor for mixing, but it can be done by hand. Grind flaxseed in a spice grinder and set aside Measure oatmeal into food processor and spin until fine Add gluten free flour, ground flaxseed, rye flour, sunflower seeds spin Crumble firm levain over mix and spin for a minute. Add kraut and pulse to briefly combine Dump into a mixing bowl, add water, stir until combined, cover and let sit at room temperature 65-75F for 12 hours or until fermented.
Morning Instructions Turn large oval slow cooker to high for 20 minutes with the lid on Sprinkle salt over fermented dough Add honey and combine with your hands thoroughly Butter loaf pan, smooth batter into pan. After 20 minutes, turn OFF slow cooker and set the loaf to proof inside. It should reach the top of the pan within 2-3 hours. Pour 3 cups water into the bottom of slow cooker and set to high for 4 hours. The loaf is done after four hours, its internal temp. should be 202-205F. Turn it out of the pan and let cool completely before slicing, This bread slices well when it’s fresh. It also re-steams nicely when dried out, makes wonderful toast, freezes well pre sliced. Store in a cloth, or paper bag at room temperature.
Another interesting note: we’ve had a few fruit flies in the house with all the apples and pears. They're after this bread but not anything else baked. Which makes me feel the bread's super alive sweet, ripe and in harmony with the season.