I love bread, and rye bread is one of my favorite kinds due to its rich, earthy flavor. I found this recipe for a pumpernickel-style rye bread in my cookbook The Bread Book: A Baker’s Almanac. I highly recommend this book. It has lots of info on bread baking and good recipes. The loaf didn’t rise very high given the amount of rye flour the recipe calls for. I used Hodgson Mill’s Whole Grain Rye flour. Hodgson Mills has the best whole grain products. This bread was awesome. It was really good toasted with marmalade or with melted swiss and red cabbage.
Dark Rye Bread (Courtesy of The Bread Book: A Baker’s Almanac)
- 2 T dry yeast
- 2 c warm water
- ½ t sugar or honey
- ¼ c blackstrap molasses
- ¼ c maple syrup (or 2 T honey and 2 T unsulphured molasses)
- ¼ c butter, softened
- 1 T salt
- 2 T cocoa
- 1 T caraway seeds
- 3 – 4 c unbleached white flour
- 3 c rye flour, preferably stone-ground
1. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water with the sugar or honey. Let sit until bubbly.
2. Add the blackstrap molasses, maple syrup, butter, salt, cocoa, and caraway seeds and beat well.
3. Add 3 cups of the white flour and beat 2 minutes with an electric mixer or at least 200 strokes by hand.
4. Add the rye flour and mix until the dough leaves the sides of the bowl.
5. Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead until it is smooth and elastic. Sprinkle with a little more white flour if it remains too sticky to handle. When it becomes elastic, stop kneading even if it remains a little clingy to your fingers.
6. Put the dough in a buttered bowl; turn to coat all sides. Cover with a damp towel and let rise until doubled in bulk.
7. Punch the dough down, turn it out onto the board, and knead a few times to press out air bubbles. Cut in half, cover with the towel, and let rest 10 to 15 minutes.
8. Shape the dough into two round or oval loaves and put on a greased baking sheet that’s dusted with cornmeal. You may cut a cross or other design in the tops with a sharp knife. Brush the tops of the loaves with melted butter, cover with the towel, and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled in size.
9. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until the bottoms sound hollow when tapped. Cool on a rack.
Makes 2 loaves