Saturday, September 20, 2008

Rye Bread

I'm not the biggest fan of rye bread, but I think that's because I don't care for caraway seeds which often seem to be in or on rye breads. But one of my bakery customers asked if I made a rye bread so I thought I would explore some options. I settled on this recipe, adapted from The Chez Piggy Cookbook. It is tender with a nice crust and is caraway seed-free (though you can feel free to add some). Although this recipe takes a little time, the taste is well worth it.

Makes 2 loaves
DAY ONE (morning) Soy Milk Sour
- 1 1/2 cups soy milk at room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup rye flour

1. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl and let sit at room temperature.

DAY ONE (evening) Starter
- 2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- soy milk sour from above
- 2 cups white bread flour
- 1 cup rye flour

1. Dissolve yeast into water. Add to milk sour, then mix in flours. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.

DAY TWO Finished Loaf
- rye starter from Day One
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 2 tbsp vital wheat gluten
- 3 cups white bread flour
- soy milk for brushing

1. Bring starter to room temperature (stick in a warm place for an hour or so). Add in the rest of the ingredients. Turn onto a well floured surface and knead. The dough will be stickier than a normal bread dough (but not gloppy), so don't add too much flour.
2. Place in a bowl, cover, and let rise for an hour, or until doubled in size. Punch down with floured hands, divide in two, and place in loaf pans. Let rise until almost doubled. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
3. Slash the loaves down the centre with a razor blade. Gently brush with soy milk. Bake for 15 mins. Reduce heat to 375, and bake for 20-25 mins, until loaves are golden and sound hollow when tapped in the bottom.

Tonight I made a mountain of Reuben Sandwiches with this rye bread. Man, were they ever good.