Rye Bread Recipe ( Boule )
Here’s a relatively easy recipe for rye bread. The rise times aren’t as long as the French Bread recipe I posted a few weeks ago and again you can shape the bread in any shape you like including 2 large boules, a few batards, or you can place them in loaf pans. Either way you slice it, this rye bread is going to make any type of sandwich taste many times better. The rye flour and the caraway seeds give it a nutty, bitter flavor but the sugars in the bread balance that out with a honey aftertaste. I was kind of sick of baking white bread anyways.
Eastern European Rye Bread Recipe
1 packet of active dry yeast (I like Red Star QUICK·RISE™ Yeast)
2 3/4 cup of tepid water (80F)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon of salt
1/4 cup of Crisco vegetable shortening (or you can use butter)
3 cups of rye flour
2 tablespoons of finely ground caraway seeds (use a coffee grinder)
1 1/2 tablespoons of caraway seeds
3 1/2 – 5 cups of high-gluten flour, or plain unbleached all-purpose flour
Take a large bowl and coat the sides with butter. Pour 1/2 cup of the water and add the yeast and a pinch of the sugar and mix and let stand for about 5 mins to activate. Pour remaining water into the large bowl, add the remaining sugar, salt, shortening/butter, and after the 5 mins has passed the creamy yeast mixture. Use a large sturdy wooden spoon and stir in the 3 cups of rye flour, the ground caraway seeds and the whole caraway seeds. Then add the regular flour 1/2 cup at a time till it’s difficult to stir by hand. Grease hands with a light coat of olive oil and then dump the mixture onto a floured work surface and knead the dough. Continue to add the flour to dough to keep it from sticking to the surface. It will never be completely elastic as the rye flour makes it quite sticky. Knead for at least 15 mins by hand. This can be a bitch, but continue on with more and more flour if necessary.
First Rise: Form the dough into a ball and coat with a light layer of olive oil. Then place the dough back into the mixing bowl and cover with a towel. Let rise for until twice the volume (about 1.5 hours).
Second Rise: Deflate and turn it over and form into a ball and let it rise again for 45 mins to 1 hour or until it doubles in volume.
Shaping and Final Rise :
Slice dough in half and flatten. To shape, tuck the dough on itself to stretch the outer skin. Rotate the bottom of the ball on the work surface to further tighten the ball. Finally use the tips of your fingers and tuck the bottom edges of the dough ball and pinch to seal the bottom. Place on a prepared floured baking sheet.
Cover with a lighlty floured towel and allow to rest till dough doubles in volume. (30 mins)
Baking The Bread
Place a shallow pan on the very bottom of your oven. Fill up a container with 2 cups of cool water with a few cubes of ice. Heat oven to 425F. Now you have to work quickly.
1 large egg white
1 teaspoon of cold water
Caraway Seeds (optional)
Coarse Sea Salt (optional)
Mix the eggwhite and water and using a pastry brush, coat the top sides of the dough. Sprinkle with caraway seeds or salt. Then take a sharp knife and slash a cross on the top of the boule. Quickly follow that with 2 shorter slices at the quadrants.
1) Quickly pour the water into the pan and close the oven door to trap the steam.
2) Open and place the baking sheet with the bread dough into the oven and quickly close the door.
Bake for 30 mins, then reduce the temp to 375F and bake for 10-15mins longer or until the internal temp is 200F. Allow to cool for 20 mins before enjoying. For long term storage, allow to cool a few hours ,then seal in a ziplock bag and freeze.