Catch Her in the Rye

Day 2 of California’s Shelter-in-Place order and Bake #2 for “DeDe Bread.” Today I made two identical loaves of rye bread. One was delivered to my local family, and the other is currently being consumed by Quality Assurance Department.

Day 3’s plan is to make a replicate of today’s loaf plus a crusty loaf made in the Dutch Over. Before either loaf is delivered to likewise Shelter-in-Place friends and family the QA Department will be sampling a slice or two.

Homemade Rye Bread

INGREDIENTS
4 ½ tsp (16 g) packages active dry yeast
2 ½ cups warm water (just barely warm to the touch)
2/3 (225 g) cup molasses
2 tbl caraway seeds (optional)
1 tbl salt
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 tbl Rye Bread Improver
2 cups rye flour
5 cups bread flour

METHOD

  1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water with the molasses. Put yeast mixture into a large metal bowl.
  2. Add the caraway seeds, salt, vegetable oil, cocoa powder, 2 cups of rye flour and then 2 cups of bread flour, mixing into the yeast mixture after each addition with a wooden spoon.
  3. Add more bread flour, a cup at a time, until the dough is not so sticky and it is too hard to mix it with the wooden spoon. At that point, spread a half cupful of flour onto a large, clean, flat surface and put the dough onto the surface.
  4. Knead the dough with a Kitchen-aide bench mixer using the dough hook. Add more bread flour in small amounts until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Once the sides of the bowl are fairly clean then knead 8 minutes.
  5. Let the dough rise: Spread some vegetable oil around a large bowl and place the dough in it, turning it so it gets coated in the oil.
  6. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp cloth. Let rise at room temperature until it has doubled in size, 1 to 1 ½ hours.
  7. Gently press down on the risen dough so some of its air is released. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, knead the dough a few turns and then divide it by cutting it in half with a sharp knife.
  8. Shape each half into loaf. Place dough loafs into either oiled 8×4-inch bread loaf pans, or onto a flat baking sheet or peel that has been sprinkled with corn meal, depending if you want to cook the loaves in pans or directly on a baking stone. Cover with plastic or a damp cloth.
  9. Let the loaves rise: Let the bread rise again, this time not doubling in volume, but rising by about half of its volume, about 30 to 45 minutes, half as long as the first rising. The dough should be peeking over the top of the loaf pan if using a loaf pan.
  10. If you are using a Dutch Oven or baking stone, place it in the oven and preheat oven to 350°F for at least half an hour before baking.
  11. If baking in a Dutch Oven pick the dough up by the corners of the parchment paper and place the dough and parchment paper into the Dutch Oven or directly on the baking stone. Score the loaves a few times on the top of the dough right before putting it in the oven. Be careful, the Dutch Oven or baking stone will be hot.
  12. Put loaves in the oven. If you have a mister, mist the dough with a little water the first 10 minutes of baking. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until done. The bread should sound hollow when tapped.

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