Rye provides great health benefits and is an important source of dietary fiber, magnesium and vitamin B1, among other things. I do like to keep rye flour in my cupboard, reminding me that I should add a dash of this goodness to whatever I decide to make. I use it regularly as the binding ingredient in flatbread (unless I make gluten free flatbread).
The gluten in rye is less elastic than the wheat gluten, so many rye bread recipes add wheat to make the bread less dense. I found this recipe in a bread baking book that I have neglected for some time. It is a fairly straight forward baking process – and the result reminds me of bread I’ve had when visiting countries like Germany, Denmark, Austria and, presumably – Poland.
Polish Rye Bread
2 cups rye flour (225 g)
2 cups unbleached white bread flour
2 tsp caraway seeds
2 tsp salt
1 tsp dry yeast/active dry yeast (20 g fresh yeast)
2/3 cups lukewarm water (140 ml)
2/3 cups lukewarm milk
1 tsp honey
whole wheat flour for dusting
- Mix all the dry ingredients (hold back on white bread flour) in a bowl, including the yeast if you’re using dry yeast, and make a well in the the middle.
- Heat the liquid to approximately 104 F/ 37 C and stir in the honey (dissolve the yeast in the milk and honey if you’re using fresh yeast, then add the water)
- Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix well, then knead for 8-10 minutes until the dough is smooth, elastic and firm.
- Cover the dough with plastic* and leave to rise for (at least) 3 hours, expect longer time if you’re using active dry yeast like I did. (I left the dough to rise for 5 1/2 hours) It should be double size when ready.
- Bring the dough out on a lightly floured surface and knock back, knead carefully and shape an oval loaf.
- Place on a greased baking tray and dust with whole wheat flour. Leave to after rise for about 1 hour (Recipe says 1 – 1 1/2 hours, but my bread was definitely done after rising after 1 hour.
- Slice carefully two cuts along the top of the loaf with a sharp knife or razor blade before baking at 425 F (220 C) for 30-35 minutes.
- Cool on a rack.
This bread should be cut in fairly thin slices and tastes great with a good chunk of cheese or cold cuts. It is fairly solid, but a very tasty bread, the long rising time and the caraway seeds enhance the distinct sweet flavor of the rye.
* The recipe says to cover the dough with lightly oiled cling film when rising – which is a common way of covering a bread dough. Personally I find that a bit messy, so I prefer to cover the bowl with a plastic shopping bag which will leave enough room for the dough to grow without clinging to the plastic. Often I sprinkle a little white flour on top of the dough before covering the bowl. The flour serves the same purpose as the oil – it prevents the dough from sticking to the plastic.
I'm Currently living in Florida, USA, but I'm Norwegian born and bred. At the moment I enjoy baking bread and blogging about it. I enjoy blogging in general, because I like writing. But I'm trained as an illustrator, originally ... in England. One day I'll write a book. About bread. And illustrate it myself. Maybe. Life will see.