Sunday, June 23, 2013

Light Rye Bread

I originally got the idea to try a rye bread from my girlfriend. I don't have any preference either way for rye, but I figured it was a chance to break away from the French breads I have been doing the past few weeks. What I ended up with was, by far, the best and most delicious bread I have ever baked!

At the beginning of this month, one of the key bread baking utensils I did not own was a bread knife. After some research and learning, I decided to purchase the Pure Komachi 2 Series Bread Knife. One of the reasons I went with a cheaper knife is because several people I talked to mentioned that it was very difficult to sharpen a bread knife, so it didn't make sense to spend tens or hundreds of dollars on a really nice knife.

I am pleased to write that the knife I bought is working great and I couldn't be happier with it so far.

The added bonus? This knife looks pretty slick!

On to the recipe I used this week. One of the oddities of the recipe I used was the caraway seeds were marked as optional. Now I'm not sure about the rest of you, but when I think about a good rye bread, I think about that wonderful aroma and spice that comes from the caraway seeds. So I modified the recipe to make the seeds not optional. Enjoy!

Light Rye Bread
(yields 1 loaf)

2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/4 cups of warm water
1/3 cup molasses
2 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached Bread flour, more for kneading
1 cups rye flour
1 Tbsp caraway seeds
1 Tbsp salt
1/8 cup cocoa powder
1/8 cup vegetable oil, more for coating

Combine and dissolve the yeast and molasses in the warm water. Pour the yeast mixture into a large bowl. Add caraway seeds, salt, vegetable oil, cocoa powder, rye flour and 1 cup of bread flour, mixing into the yeast mixture after each addition with a wooden spoon. Add more bread flour, a half cup at a time, until the dough is not so sticky and it is too hard to mix it with the wooden spoon.

Spread some bread flour onto a large surface and roll the dough onto the surface. 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 the dough for 5-7 minutes, adding bread flour into the dough until it reaches the right consistency.

Spread some 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 and a damp cloth. Let rise at room temperature until it has doubled in size, about an hour and a half. Gently press down on the dough so some of its air is released. Knead the dough a few turns and place the dough into an oiled bread pan. Cover with plastic and a damp cloth. Let rise again, for about 45 minutes, half as long as the first rising.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Put the dough in the oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until done. The bread should sound hollow when tapped.


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