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Monday, October 29, 2012

Marbled Rye Bread


This Friday evening turned out to be cold and rainy.  Paul and I had planned on making a soup or stew for dinner, popping a big bowl of popcorn, and then cuddling under a fleece blanket with Matthew to watch a classic Disney movie.

Instead, we spent four hours in the Emergency Room listening to our little guy scream and wail as several Doctors tried desperately to dislodge an almond from his right nostril.

There are many, many stories of kids sticking foreign objects up their noses.  Almost anyone you meet has a story about how their kid had shoved a bead, a pea, or a button up their nose.  This scenario has been the subject of multiple sitcom episodes as well, all ending with the well-meaning parent completely flipping out and taking their child to the hospital.  Whenever I heard a story of this nature, I always laughed along while secretly thinking in the back of my mind: "My kid will never do anything that stupid."


Well, kids will be kids.  And my child proved to be no different than that strange little kid on the sitcom.  While eating a snack, he somehow found half of a whole almond and shoved it as far up his little nasal passage as it would go.  And then proceeded to scream bloody murder.

Paul and I rushed to his aid, for his cries sounded a little more desperate than his usual whines.  Plus, he was turning a wonderful scarlet color...so that was a major hint that something was wrong (as parents, our deductive reasoning skills are spot on!).

There was a very clear bulge near the corner of his right eye and he was frantically clawing at his nose.  His eye was already bloodshot from the pressure the nut was causing.  Paul and I pinned him down on the carpet, grabbed a flashlight, and could just see the end of the nut (it was clearly a nut!) far up his nose.  With a pair of tweezers, and while trying to hold down our flailing child, I managed to move it a bit further down, but could not quite grab a-hold of it to pull it out completely.  We didn't want to cause any further damage, so we packaged up our wailing child and headed off to the nearest Urgent Care clinic.

Once we got there, the Doctor tried to expel the object by initially having us plug the unclogged nostril while giving him a strong puff of air through his mouth (aka mouth-to-mouth resuscitation style).  Yeah, that worked well.  It made Matthew freak out even more and failed to move the nut an iota.  Then, the Doctor had us pin Matthew down again (with the help of three other nurses) and he tried to take it out.  However, he succeeded in only shoving the nut further up, to the point where it was no longer clearly visible.  With a shaky voice, he told us to head over to the ER, claiming: "I'm so so sorry, but that thing is just impossible to get out!"  He had a reason to be nervous.  Paul was getting ready to sue his a**.

At the ER, the Doctor and four nurses tried to use an aspirator and tweezers to extract the nut.  This only resulted in poor Matthew bleeding profusely from his nostril and screaming so hard that he blew out multiple capillaries in his face.  A nice bruise was also starting to form around his eye.  Poor baby.  Despite his pain, he still managed to squeak out a couple of Tigger squeals:  "Whoo-hoo-hoo-Hoo!"  Always showing off, even while traumatized.

Finally, an ENT was called in to do the job.  A skinny, 20-something-year-old, fresh from medical school, he actually reminded me a lot of a friend from college.  And he knew what to do.  He snaked a little wired tool normally used for cleaning out ears and was able to pop it out in about a minute flat.  All other attempts had taken much, much longer.  We should have called that guy in sooner.

Paul and I were so relieved that this whole thing was over (Paul in all honesty could not stop giggling...it's a weird little way he copes with the after-effects of stress), that we swung by the store to pick up a quart of ice cream for Matthew and some sandwiches for dinner as sort of a celebratory ending to the whole ordeal.  And we made sure to pick out an ice cream that did not contain nuts.

Our poor little patient...


In honor of Mr. Matthew, I have a nut-free recipe to share today for Marbled Rye Bread.  Basically, it is just a light-colored rye dough rolled with a dark-colored rye dough to produce the characteristic swirl effect.  This bread is so easy to make and results in two large, delicious loaves.  Perfect for Reuben sandwiches, tuna melts, or simple ham-and-hot mustard sandwiches.  Delish.  The recipe comes from Peter Reinhart, whose books have taught me more about bread than I ever thought possible.  He calls every recipe a "formula"...I love it!  Makes me feel as if I am back in the lab again.


Marbled Rye Bread
adapted lightly from The Bread Baker's Apprentice

For the Light Rye:
1 1/2 cups white rye flour
3 cups unbleached flour or bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 3/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds (optional)
1 tablespoon molasses
2 tablespoons butter, shortening, or oil (I used oil)
1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons water, at room temperature

For the Dark Rye:
1 1/2 cups white rye flour
3 cups unbleached flour or bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 3/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds (optional)
1 tablespoon molasses
2 tablespoons butter, shortening, or oil (I used oil)
1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons water, at room temperature
2 tablespoons cocoa powder dissolved in 2 tablespoons water

To make the light rye, stir together the flours, salt, yeast, and caraway seeds in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Add the molasses, fat of choice, and 1 1/4 cups water.  With the paddle attachment, mix until the dough starts to gather all the loose flour and form a ball, about 1 minute on low speed.  Add the additional 2 tablespoons of water only if needed.  Switch to the dough hook and continue to knead on medium-low speed for 4-6 minutes, or until the dough feels supple, pliable, and a little tacky.  The dough should not be sticky.  Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer to the dough to the bowl, rolling it to coat with oil.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

To make the dark rye, stir together the flours, salt, yeast, and caraway seeds in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Add the molasses, fat of choice, 1 1/4 cups water, and the dissolved cocoa powder.  Mix with the paddle attachment until the dough gathers into a ball, adding the additional 2 tablespoons of water only if necessary.  Switch to the dough hook and continue kneading on medium-low speed for 4-6 minutes, adding sprinkles of flour if necessary, until the dough feels supple, pliable, and a little tacky.  Lightly oil another large bowl and transfer the dough to it, rolling it around to coat completely.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

Allow both doughs to proof at room temperature for approximately 90 minutes or until they double in size.

Turn each dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.  Divide each dough into 4 even-sized pieces (for a total of 8 pieces of dough, 4 dark and 4 light).  Roll out each piece with a rolling pin into a rough oblong about 5 inches wide and 8 inches long.  Take a light rye piece and lay a dark rye piece on top, then add a light rye piece, then one more dark rye piece.  Roll the stack up, pressing on the seam as you roll, until you have formed a rough batard shape.  Seal the bottom seam tightly by pinching.  Repeat with the remaining dough to form two marbled loaves.

Place each loaf in a greased loaf pan.  Mist the top of each loaf with spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap.  Proof at room temperature for 60-90 minutes or until they nearly double in size.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with the oven rack on the middle shelf.

When the loaves have proofed, bake them for 45 minutes, rotating them 180 degrees after 20 minutes for even baking.  The loaves are done when the internal temperature of the loaves reaches 190 degrees.

When they have finished baking, remove the loaves from the oven and immediately remove them from the baking pans.  Allow to cool the loaves completely on a wire rack before slicing and serving.

Enjoy!



1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness what a story! Your poor baby, and poor you! On another note, I have made that bread and love it. Yours is stunning.

    ReplyDelete