Why start my journey with Rye Bread? Because there is nothing like a fabulous slice of rye toast with eggs in the morning or with peanut butter as a quick afternoon snack. I love pastrami on rye and tuna is simply to die for. Have no fear, this is such a simple and basic recipe. It takes very little hands on time, but time, it does take. My theory, all good things come to those who wait. The recipe is from the cookbook, Artisan Bread In Five Minutes A Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois. I did a little research and found an adjusted recipe to make the loaf a bit lighter, which is how I love my rye bread. Enjoy!
Note: This recipe makes 4, 1 lb loaves. I cut the recipe in half.
3 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 Tablespoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 Tablespoons fine sea salt (I used pink Himalayan)
1 1/2 Tablespoons caraway seeds, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 cup Rye flour
6 cups all purpose flour
cornmeal for dusting
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 cup water
In a large bowl, combine the yeast, salt, caraway seeds, and water.
Add the flours and mix. Add more water, if needed.
Cover with a tea towel and let rest for 2 hours. (I actually let mine rest for 5 hours)
After the resting period, the dough is ready for immediate use or it can be refrigerated. I personally love letting dough refrigerate overnight. It is easier to work with and I just have a sense that it loves that extra time to rest.
When the time comes and you are ready to bake, take a quarter of the dough (in my case, I took half) and knead, shaping it into a rounded rectangle. Sprinkle your baking sheet with bit of cornmeal and place your loaf on top. Cover with a tea towel and let rise for an hour. It will not rise that much, but will during baking.
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees, placing a shallow dutch oven or broiler pan on the bottom rack.
When the loaf is ready to bake, boil some water in a tea kettle, slice the top of your loaf with a sharp knife, brush the top of the loaf with the cornstarch/water mixture and sprinkle with the extra caraway seeds.
Put the loaf in the oven and carefully pour the boiling water into the dutch oven or broiler pan. Quickly shut the oven door so that the steam does not escape. Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is slightly golden. I love to tap the loaf, if it sounds hollow, it’s done!
Note: I love using a pizza stone!