Welcome to my blog! I’m a microbiology and molecular genetics graduate student who also happens to like cooking food. Studying cell biology and molecular parasitology is fun but you can’t eat your experiments after you’re finished, unlike cooking (well, most of what I make anyway). The posts may not always be pretty but I’m happy to share my culinary adventures with you, and hope you will enjoy reading about them.
For my very first entry, I’d like to introduce to you what is affectionately called “Toxo Bread.”
Mmm… Toxo Bread
…what’s Toxo Bread? (No, it’s not Toxic Bread.)
It all started when I got a copy of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois. As my friends and I were flipping through some gorgeous colour photographs in the middle of the book, one of my friends suddenly stopped at the Deli-Style Rye and exclaimed, “Oh my gosh, it’s Toxo Bread!” The caraway seeds on the loaf of rye had an uncanny resemblance to Toxoplasma gondii tachyzoites, and so Toxo[plasma] Bread was born.
What the heck is Toxoplasma gondii? Wikipedia or Google it. Better yet, click here.
(Formerly known as Deli-Style Rye)
The first loaf of Toxo Bread was made from Day 3 dough, shaped as an elongated loaf and left to rise overnight in the refrigerator. It was baked at 450F with steam for the first 10 minutes + 22 minutes without steam. It had a nice, open crumb like so:
I brought the loaf in to the lab the next day and wish I had taken a photo of what happened. When my PI and I finished our meeting and came out of his office, it was like stumbling on a [food] murder scene: caraway seeds scattered all over the counter, a used knife (!) and a crumpled Post-It note that read, “Toxo Bread! a.k.a. Deli-Style Rye – help yourselves.” There were no crumbs left. That’s right – no crumbs.
Toxo Bread II
Toxo Bread encore une fois
That night I baked another loaf of Toxo Bread, but shaped as a boule (free-form round loaf) this time. Now that I’ve actually had the chance to taste it, I think it was good but could use a higher proportion of rye flour and the addition of whole wheat flour. Maybe that would make it more rye-ish? There’s definitely a long way to go before I beat Klinger’s rye haha.