Monday, August 31, 2009

Rye Bread

For those who do not eat carbs, I will keep you in my thoughts. But for those who do, please read on.

My husband loves rye/pumpernickel bread. And some women find it difficult to find and make a good rye/pumpernickel bread. that is how I feel about sour dough bread. That is my next flavor to attempt. One bread at a time.

Ingredients: Makes 2 loaves
2 packages active dry yeast
2 1/2 cups of warm water (just barely warm to the touch)
2/3 cup molasses
5 cups bread flour (We used unbleached white flour and for me at least, the bread was too fluffy. I was looking for a heartier bread. But the taste value was grand all the same)
2 cups rye flour
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 Tbsp caraway seeds (optional)

1 Dissolve the yeast in the warm water with the molasses. Put yeast mixture into a large metal bowl.

2 Add caraway seeds, salt, vegetable oil, cocoa powder, 2 cups of rye flour and then 2 cups of baking flour, mixing into the yeast mixture after each addition with a wooden spoon
3 Add more bread flour, a cup at a time, until the dough is not so sticky and it is too hard to mix it with the wooden spoon. At that point, spread a half cupful of flour onto a large, clean, flat surface and put the dough onto the surface.

4 Knead the dough by pressing down with the heel of your hand, stretching it, turning the dough a quarter-turn, pulling the dough back toward you and then pressing and stretching again. Knead additional bread flour into the dough until it reaches the right consistency. Knead for 5-7 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic.

5 Spread some vegetable oil around a large bowl and place the dough in it, turning it so it gets coated in the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp cloth. Let rise at room temperature until it has doubled in size, about an hour and a half.

6 Gently press down on the dough so some of its air is released.

7 Knead the dough a few turns and then divide it by cutting it in half with a sharp knife.

8 Shape each half into loaf. Place dough loafs into either oiled bread loaf pans, or onto a flat baking sheet or peel that has been sprinkled with corn meal, depending if you want to cook the loaves in pans or directly on a baking stone. Cover with plastic or a damp cloth.

This, bar none, was thee best bread my family has ever tasted. Be it alone or as a sandwich bread. There is nothing more satisfying that a good rustic bread. And that is where my heart lies...making old style breads. Those that do not fit in a loaf pan. Hand shaped and baked to perfection. (Pardon me while I get a rag to wipe the drool away).

I hope you try this bread and enjoy it a smuch as we did.

Here is the original recipe at George's Place

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