Once again, I was skeptical, and once again, I was proven wrong. When I read this recipe, or "formula," as Peter Reinhart calls it, I thought no way; this will never work - not enough gluten - it won't rise; it will be too heavy, and on and on. Well, rye flour doesn't have a lot of gluten, but it did rise - not as well as its cousin, white flour, but rise it did.
The final loaves were not the typical looking baguette. Heavier and denser than the baguette made using white flour, I carefully cut a thin slice and tasted it, and it was okay - just okay. But then I remembered bread's old friend, cheese. I cut a thin slice of a New Zealand Cheddar, and put it on top of the bread. The affinity of the bread and the cheese is one of those mysterious twists when the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Alone, the bread is okay. Alone the cheese is good. But combining the two makes a happy explosion of flavor and texture in the mouth - one that is not to be missed.
The Finished Loaves
Risen and Ready for the Oven
In the Oven
And There They Are