It’s hard to find decent rye bread at grocery stores. That is part of the reason why I undertook this rye bread recipe. When I say ‘undertook’ I mean that it takes about 8 hours to complete so it is kind of an all day project. I enjoyed the process of making the starter, kneading, and watching the dough rise. It is neat to watch the yeast in action and at some point you realize that the bread is a live organism. The amount of yeast in this recipe is less than what I normally use for yeast bread. This is why the rye has a longer prep time than other recipes.
This recipe also uses a neat trick of tossing in a few ice cubes into the oven to create a more humid environment while the bread bakes. Even though the oven is humidified, the outside of the bread is golden brown and crusty, almost like a baguette crust. The inside is soft and the aroma of caraway and rye in the kitchen is fairly intoxicating!
Caraway Rye Bread
(makes 1 loaf)
- 3/4 cup bread flour
- 3/4 cup rye flour
- 1/2 tsp instant yeast
- 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tbsp malt powder
- 1 1/2 cups water, room temperature
- 2 1/4 cups bread flour
- 1/2 + 1/8 teaspoon instant yeast
- 2 tablespoons caraway seeds, whole or ground
- 1/2 tbsp coarse salt
- 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tsp flour or cornmeal, for dusting the dough
- Combine 3/4 cup bread flour, 3/4 cup rye, 1/2 tsp yeast, 1.5 tbsp sugar, 1/2 tbsp malt powder, and room temp water in a large bowl and whisk until it reaches a thick, smooth batter, about 2 minutes.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together the 2 1/4 cup bread flour, 1/2 + 1/8 tsp yeast, caraway seeds, and salt.
- Scoop the flour onto the wet batter to cover it completely. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 1 to 4 hours at room temperature
- Add the oil and stir until the flour is moistened, about a minute. Knead the dough in the bowl until it comes together.
- Lay out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough for 5 minutes. Cover it with the inverted bowl and set aside for 15 minutes.
- Knead the dough for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Lightly oil the large bowl and place the dough back into it. Oil the top of the dough as well.
- Allow the dough to rise until doubled, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
- Flip the bowl over and let the dough fall out on to a floured surface and deflate gently. Reshape into a ball and place back into the bowl. Let rise for another 45 minutes.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured counter and gently press it down again. Shape it into a loaf and set it on lightly oiled parchment paper.
- Cover it with oiled plastic wrap and let it rise until almost doubled, about 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 450F during the last half hour of the final rise.
- With a knife, make a few deep slashes on the top of the loaf.
- Mist the dough with water and flour the top and sides lightly.
- Toss 1/2 cup of ice cubes into the pan beneath and immediately shut the door.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 400°F. Continue baking for 30 to 40 minutes or until the bread reaches an internal temperature of 190F.
- Set on a rack to cool.