Baking, Bread Hoarders Anonymous, Breads, Featured
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Bread Whore ~ Perfect Caraway Rye

I’m really a simple guy in a lot of ways… it doesn’t take a lot to make me happy.  But perfection in the grand order of things is one of them. You don’t see it a lot; small perfections are elusive and fleeting. But if you slow down just enough to take it all in, you can catch all those bits that classify as Perfect.

  • A perfect pair of shoes… the kind that feel magnificent as soon as you take them out of the box.  The ones, whether socks or commando – dirty or shower fresh, your feet are absolutely at home.
  • A perfect day… Where first thing in the morning there is such a crispness to the air, you don’t know if you want to jump out of bed as not to miss a second… or snuggle deeper into the covers to make it last as long as possible.
  • A perfect loaf of rye bread… Loaded with caraway seeds, it’s a delicate balance of softness, chewiness, structure and flavor. One that adds pedigree to a ham sandwich.. a crown to a Reuben, and a crust that crackles & crunches when toasted.

And that – is a tall order. Back when we ran the German Deli there was a bread supplier that had such a wondrous loaf. I have no idea who made it. The rye came in a plain, clear poly bag (I recall faint yellowish lettering on the wrapper… I think it only said RYE BREAD) It was all those things above, and I have never found, or made, a comparable Rye….. until now.

Working with rye flour can be (and most often times is) a beast. It wants to be wet and sticky; it wants to suck down to your work table;  it wants needs to break your dough hook. Although it is fairly forgiving needing very little kneading (rye has extremely low gluten) and a coarse texture, it can be managed with the help of a high gluten flour (bread flour) and dairy conditioners to give you a practically perfect, sandwich worthy, Reuben coddling, soft-boiled egg dipping toast –  loaf.

Plate Fodder Fool-proof Caraway Rye

Serves 12
Prep time 2 hours, 45 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 3 hours, 30 minutes
Meal type Bread, Breakfast, Lunch
Misc Freezable

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Warm Water (Under 110 degrees)
  • 1/4 cup Molasses
  • 1 tablespoon Instant Yeast
  • 1 cup Rye Flour (Whole Meal)
  • 2 1/2 cups Bread Flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 cup Buttermilk (Whole)
  • 1/4 cup Cottage Cheese (Full Fat)
  • 2 tablespoons Caraway Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Nutritional Yeast Flakes
  • 2 teaspoons Oilive Oil (Plus 1 (one) additional teaspoon to oil Bowl)

Directions

Step 1
Add the water, molasses and yeast to a small bowl and allow to proof for 10 minutes.
Step 2
Add all the other dry ingredients to a stand mixer fixed with a dough hook. Add the yeast mixture and mix on low to combine. Add the cottage cheese and buttermilk.
Step 3
Increase the speed to 2 (or your preferred dough setting) and knead for 6 minutes. The dough should be solidly sticking to the sides of the bowl. Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil and continue mixing for 6 more minutes.
Step 4
Oil a large bowl with the remaining oil, scrape the dough into bowl and roll around to coat lightly. Cover and allow to rise 1.5 hours... or, until well doubled in size
Step 5
Turn your dough onto a lightly floured table, deflate and form into a tight ball - turning and tucking the sides under as you turn. Sprinkle a little rye flour on a sheet pan and place the formed loaf. Cover and allow to rise another hour.
Step 6
The last 15 minutes of proofing, preheat the oven to 450. Make 3 diagonal slashes across the top of the loaf about 1/2" deep.
Step 7
Lower the oven temp to 350, spritz the loaf and the interior of the oven with water and place the sheet pan on the center rack
Step 8
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, rotating the rye 1/2 way through. Place on a wire rack to cool completely before cutting or storing.
Step 9
NOTE - Fresh out of the oven, your loaf should be very hard and hollow sounding when tapped. It will soften up as it cools.

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