"I could see why Seinfeld would steal one of those," Husband said.
He was, of course, referring to the time Jerry stole a marble rye from Mrs. Choate in order to sneak it into the Ross house so George could replace the one his parents took back when Mr. and Mrs. Ross didn't serve it with dinner. "Shut up, you old bag!" Jerry shouted, tucking the swirled rye under his arm.
Though I would consider committing a crime in order to procure a marble rye, now I don't have to, thanks to Peter Reinhart. Which is good for many reasons, not the least of which is: should I ever be brought up on some charges related to a Good Samaritan law in New England, the prosecution won't be able to haul any marble rye-spurned old ladies before the jury to disparage my character.
The most difficult part about making this bread is getting your hands on the specialty flours. Well, it's not difficult, per se, it just involves a bit of planning. To achieve the bread's lovely dark-light mottling -- as well as the distinctive, wonderful rye flavor -- you'll need white rye flour, clear flour and caramel coloring. Thanks to the ever-stellar King Arthur Flour, these flours are only an Internet order and a few days' wait away. (For the record, Reinhart's recipe calls for liquid caramel color to dye the dark portion of the marble rye. King Arthur Flour only had the caramel powder. It worked just fine and didn't leave behind any of the bitter flavor that coloring the dough with cocoa or instant coffee would.) The day I ordered my flour I decided that I would spoil myself and load up on all the specialty flours I'd need for the remainder of the Bread Baker's Apprentice challenge. The following bounty arrived on my front porch 72 hours later. You don't necessarily have to be this ridiculous, but I'm not gonna lie: it was glorious. And yes, I lined them all up on my counter like the massive nerd that I am.
Of my two-loaf yield, I ate one marble rye right away and stashed the second in the freezer for a snowy day. The crust was shiny and rich, with a sturdy but soft crumb inside. I usually enjoy thick-sliced and dark-toasted bread, but the marble rye was very tasty cut thinly and toasted lightly. Like seemingly everything else in my life, I loved this bread even more with a little bit of fancy salted butter.
And because I baked it myself, I didn't have to fish for it out the bedroom window of my in-laws' townhouse. Hey, it's a Schnitzer's.
The Bread Baker's Apprentice challenge asks that we do not share Reinhart's recipes on the dot-com. Meanwhile, you don't need it anyway, because you've already purchased the book. (And if you haven't done so yet, go do it now. I'll look the other way and pretend you've had it all along.) The marble rye recipe starts on page 183.
I've submitted these marble rye loaves to Yeastspotting because they are so lovely, if I do say so myself.
Previously, on A Stove With A House Around It:
One year ago: layered chocolate fudge cake
Two years ago: graham crackers
Three years ago: whole-wheat spaghetti with Meyer lemon, arugula and pistachios