Rye Bread – Without the Bread Machine

Jun 29th

I heart yeast. It’s super fun. I’ve recently reignited my passion for toasted, lightly buttered rye bread. I’ve made french bread before and other yeast breads, but I’ve never tried rye.

In cleaning out the work kitchen for summer, I somehow ended up with like, eighty bags of rye flour. What to do? You got it, rye bread. And I don’t have a bread machine and don’t plan on getting one, so let’s do this!

If you read over this and find that it’s too time intensive, no worries; at least you might have learned something new!

Deli-Style Rye Bread- Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

Sponge:

2 3/4 c. water, room temp.

1 1/2 tsp. instant yeast

2 tbsp. honey

3 c. all purpose flour

Dough:

1 1/2 c. all purpose flour

3 1/2 c. medium or light rye flour

2 tbsp. canola oil

1 tbsp. salt

Cornmeal for sprinkling baking sheet

Glaze:

1 egg white

1 tbsp. milk

1. First we make the sponge: Mix water, yeast, honey, and flour in the mixing bowl of a standing mixer (or a large mixing bowl).

Instant or rapid rise yeast means that the yeast can be mixed with dry ingredients instead of first needing to be softened in warm water.

2. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit until bubbles form over the surface, at least 2 1/2 hours at room temp.(or overnight at room temp., which is what I did).

This dough sat, covered, at room temp. overnight. See the bubbly surface? Perfection.

3. For the dough: stir the all purpose flour, 3 1/4 c. rye flour, the oil and the salt into the sponge.

4. Attach the dough hook to standing mixer and knead dough at low speed, adding remaining 1/4 c. rye flour once the dough comes together. After about five minutes the dough should be smooth but still sticky. If you don’t have a standing mixer, knead with your hands on a lightly floured surface for at least 10 minutes.

5. Transfer dough to a well-floured work surface, knead into a smooth ball, and place in a lightly oiled large bowl.

6. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at warm room temp. until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

7. Sprinkle cornmeal on a large baking sheet.

8. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and divide in half. Press each half into a rectangle, about 12 in. by 9 inches.

9. Starting at the long side, roll up dough into a log.

10. Press seams together and place log onto the prepared baking sheet.

11. Cover with plastic wrap that you’ve sprayed with cooking spray, and let rise at warm temp. for about an hour.

12. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Whisk egg white and milk and coat the loaves. Make about six slashes with a very sharp knife, diagonally across the top (called scoring).

13. Bake in 425 degree oven for 15 minutes, then lower temp. to 400 and bake for another 15 minutes or until the loaves are hardened and golden.

14. Cool completely on wire rack.

Right out of the oven the bread was warm, chewy, and delicious! This would be great served with dinner or sliced thin for sandwiches.

Because it’s 100% natural and free of preservatives, it will only keep for several days. I made two loaves, froze one (after trying it, of course!) and gave the other one to my awesome neighbor who always picks up our packages so hoodlums don’t steal them from our front step. If freezing, double wrap in plastic then foil.

So you may have thought while reading through this that I must have been home all day waiting for dough to rise? No. When yeast dough is at warm or room temp. it will grow, happily. At fridge temp it will grow but very very slowly. If I didn’t have the time needed to rise and then move on to the next step, I just threw it in the fridge! I ended up making this over three days, moving on a step when I was home at had time. It’s just fine to do it this way!

Deli-Style Rye Bread- Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

Sponge:

2 3/4 c. water, room temp.

1 1/2 tsp. instant yeast

2 tbsp. honey

3 c. all purpose flour

Dough:

1 1/2 c. all purpose flour

3 1/2 c. medium or light rye flour

2 canola oil

1 tbsp. salt

Cornmeal for sprinkling baking sheet

Glaze:

1 egg white

1 tbsp. milk

1. First we make the sponge: Mix water, yeast, honey, and flour in the mixing bowl of a standing mixer (or a large mixing bowl).

2. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit until bubbles form over the surface, at least 2 1/2 hours at room temp.(or overnight at room temp., which is what I did).

3. For the dough: stir the all purpose flour, 3 1/4 c. rye flour, the oil and the salt into the sponge.

4. Attach the dough hook to standing mixer and knead dough at low speed, adding remaining 1/4 c. rye flour once the dough comes together. After about five minutes the dough should be smooth but still sticky. If you don’t have a standing mixer, knead with your hands on a lightly floured counter at least 10 minutes.

5. Transfer dough to a well-floured work surface, knead into a smooth ball, and place in a lightly oiled large bowl.

6. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at warm room temp. until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

7. Sprinkle cornmeal on a large baking sheet.

8. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and divide in half. Press each half into a rectangle, about 12 in. by 9 inches.

9. Starting at the long side, roll up dough into a log.

10. Press seams together and place log onto the prepared baking sheet.

11. Cover with plastic wrap that you’ve sprayed with cooking spray, and let rise at warm temp. for about an hour.

12. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Whisk egg white and milk and coat the loaves.

13. Make about six slashes with a very sharp knife, diagonally across the top (called scoring).

14. Bake in 425 degree oven for 15 minutes, then lower temp. to 400 and bake for another 15 minutes or until the loaves are hardened and golden.

15. Cool completely on wire rack.

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