If thou tastest a crust of bread, thou tastest all the stars and all the heavens." – Robert Browning
|Photo: avlxyz, Flickr Creative Commons license|
The best rye bread ever. That's quite a boast. I have to admit, this recipe is quite unique. I promised to post a rye bread recipe to complement the pastrami and mustard. When I found this I stopped looking. This recipe has one step I have never heard of in making bread. And the boast (which isn't mine).. why go further? So I am posting it as I found it, with a link back to the site.
Visit. There are many more goodies posted. Just back up to petitchef.com.
Don't be intimidated by bread. There are 3 important things:
1. Proofing the yeast. Keep it warm while it's rising. Sometimes I heat the oven at 175°F for a few minutes, or put it on the radiator. It has to be foamy.
2. Kneading. You need to knead until the dough starts to become elastic. What that means depends on the type of bread. Some is sticky when you knead, others not. Good directions will tell you what to expect.
3. Rising. It has to be warmer than a normal room. Either in a barely heated oven, or on a radiator. It should be at least 80°F. That way the yeast will keep doing its job.
If you can understand those three points, you can make your own bread. I'm going to try this recipe this weekend.
Photos are from the site. Click on them to enlarge. So, let's have at it!
Posted the 11/04/2010 19:56:00 By Top Notch Eats
Adapted from: Smitten Kitchen
The Best Rye Bread Ever
This is hands down the best rye bread I have ever had in my life. It must be completed in three major steps and does take a little bit of time, but there is no reason why you can't do it. It is such a great feeling too when you finish a loaf of bread and it comes out of the oven all hot and smelling of home.
Step one - Creating the sponge
3/4 cup bread flour
3/4 cup rye flour (bulk or natural food store)
1/2 tsp of granulated yeast
1 1/2 tbsp of sugar
1/2 tbsp of honey
1 1/2 cups of water
Mix all of these ingredients thoroughly together so they become completely incorporated. Then set aside.
Step two - make the flour mixture
2 1/4 cup bread flour
1/2 tsp plus 1/8 tsp of instant yeast
2 tbs of caraway seeds (slightly ground with a mortar and pestle if desired)
1/2 tbs of coarse salt
You can crush up your caraway seeds a little if you would like your bread to have a smoother taste and not crunchy. By using a mortar and pestle it will also release all the wonderful flavour of the caraway seeds too.
Step 3 - first ferment and rise
Then take your flour mixture and cover the sponge with it. This is a very important step. Just pour it on top completely covering the sponge mixture. Do not mix the two together. Cover with saran wrap and set aside for 3 hours in a warm spot. This step is going to allow the mixture to ferment. Which is basically just going to make your bread that much tastier.
Step 4 - kneading
Once it has risen add in 1/2 tbs of vegetable oil. Then turn it out on to you countertop and sprinkle more flour. Begin to kneed your dough for 10 minutes until it becomes very elastic. Once it is quite elastic place it back into the bowl you mixed it all in. Then invert the bowl onto your countertop and let it rest for another 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes kneed it a bit more then smooth it around with your hands until it becomes a perfectly round loaf.
Step 5 - second rise
Then place it in a lightly oiled bowl and allow the dough to rise until its doubled in size. This should take about 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours.
Then take your loaf that has doubled in size and kneed for a few more minutes. Then form back into a beautiful loaf.
Step 6 - third rise
Place the loaf into your baking vessel, cover it with a tea towel, and let it rise for another 45 minutes. I used my cast iron skillet to bake it in. It was my first time using my cast iron skillet to bake in and I was beyond happy with the results.
Step 7 - baking
Once it has completely risen make an 'X' at the top of the bread. Preheat your oven to 450°F. Bake it for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 400°F and bake it for an additional 30 to 40 minutes until golden brown all over.
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