Rye BreadPosted: 10/20/2011
For me there is nothing more comforting or homier than fresh-baked bread. I love the way it makes the house smell as it’s baking, but more than that, I can’t wait to slather butter on hot, crispy bread right out of the oven.
This rustic rye bread is one of my all-time favorites. A couple thick slices of this bread with hot corned beef, cole slaw and spicy mustard, and it’s better than any deli I’ve been to.
I don’t know why more folks don’t bake their own bread. It’s really very easy, and not all that time consuming. Once you start making your own bread and you taste the difference between homemade and commercial bread, I guarantee you won’t buy store bought bread again. Really.
Rustic Rye Bread
From Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day
- 3 cups water (105-110 degrees F)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons caraway seeds, plus more for sprinkling
- 1 cup rye flour
- 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- cornmeal for sprinkling
- cornstarch for cornstarch wash
- Mix the yeast, salt and caraway seeds with the water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix in the remaining dry ingredients just until everything is incorporated. Scrape the bowl down and cover with plastic wrap. Allow dough to rest in a draft-free spot for 2 hours. After the dough has risen, you can use it immediately, or store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
- Dust your hands with flour and cut off 1/4 portion of the dough (about 1 lb.) Dust the piece with flour and shape it into a ball, or you can elongate the ball into an oval shape if you choose. Allow it to rest and rise on a cornmeal covered surface such as a pizza peel if you will be using a pizza stone. I highly recommend using the pizza stone as it gives the bread a lovely, crispy crust. Or you can let it rest on a cornmeal covered baking sheet for 40 minutes.
- After the dough has rested for 40 minutes, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F with the stone in the oven and an empty broiler try on the rack underneath the one you are baking on.
- Using a serrated knife, slash 3 diagonal cuts across the top of the loaf. Make the cornstarch wash by combining 1/2 teaspoon of cornstarch with a small amount of water in a small microwaveable bowl to form a paste. Add 1/2 cup of water and whisk. Place in the microwave for about 60 seconds. Using a pastry brush, paint the top of the loaf lightly with the cornstarch wash and then sprinkle on some caraway seeds.
- You can bake the loaf on the cornmeal covered baking sheet, or you can slide the loaf directly onto the heated pizza stone. After putting the bread in the oven, pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiler try below and quickly close the door. Bake for 30 minutes until crust is a deep, golden brown. I use a digital thermometer to check that the inside internal temperature of the bread is at least 195 degrees F. Allow to cool completely before slicing.
Makes 4 – 1 pound rye breads