We've been waiting all week to cook a package of corned beef, and it smells so delicious in the slow cooker. To go with it, I decided to make some good old American rye bread today, in addition to the soda bread. I used another of Beatrice Ojakangas' recipes from Great Whole Grain Breads.
To make 2 round loaves, the ingredients are:
1 package active dry yeast (but I used 2 packages, or 4 1/2 teaspoons)
2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons caraway seeds
1 Tablespoon dark brown sugar (but I used two!)
2 teaspoons salt
2 Tablespoons softened butter
2 cups dark rye flour
2 1/2 to 3 cups bread or all-purpose flour (I used 2 1/2)
Milk to brush the top of the loaves
More caraway seeds for the top of the loaves
Yeast bubbles in warm water if it has a little food source, in this case the brown sugar. If it does not bubble after 5 minutes, the yeast may have been old, or the water too hot. The bubbles make the bread rise.
I mixed in the two cups of rye flour with the dough hook of the mixer and then scraped down the bowl with a spatula:
I added the white flour a half cup at a time while mixing with the dough hook. Here is what it looked like after 1 cup:
It was still a little sticky after 2 cups:
But after 2 1/2 cups, it pulled away from the edges, so I didn't use the additional 1/2 cup.
I put the dough in a greased, non metal pan to rise. I greased it with just a bit of cooking spray, then I sprinkled the dough in the bowl with a bit of flour before pulling it out and shaping it into a ball. Sprinkle the top of the dough with flour so it doesn't stick to the dishtowel it should be covered with as it rises.
Put the dough in a warm place for about an hour, or until it is double in size. I used a warming drawer, but the oven works well, too, if you turn it on as low as possible, let it heat a few minutes, then turn it off and put the dough in. Or you could put a big bowl of hot water in a cold oven next to the dough.
After about an hour it looked like this:
After punching down the dough, I shaped it into two round loaves, and put those on parchment to rise, covered with a clean cloth. After about half an hour, the loaves were twice as big, so I brushed them with milk and sprinkled caraway seeds on top. Preheat the oven to 375 F (200 C) and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until they sound hollow when tapped. Cool on a rack.