Light Rye Bread –

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Somehow light rye bread, a staple of Middle-European diets, got called Jewish Rye or New York Rye in this country. It is thought that rye was originally considered a weed that would occasionally grow in the wheat fields. The stuff is heartier and more cold resistant than wheat, so it is easier to grow. Very tasty. The main problem is that rye flour doesn’t have the gluten that wheat flour does and doesn’t rise worth beans. So we add wheat flour in various amounts to get a decent bread. Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to make a 100% rye bread, but that’s not what this article is about.Now, this recipe is based on rye sourdough starter and you need to get some going before you tackle this one. See the earlier article Rye Sourdough Mysteries to see how to get the sourdough started. If you already have starter just jump right in. If you don’t, it will be about 15 days of prep before you are ready.

Most of my bread recipes are either derived from or influenced by Jeffrey Hamelman’s wonderful book – Bread. This one is no different in that respect.

This will make 2 smallish loaves or 1 larger loaf.

215g rye sourdough
680g High gluten flour
430g water
15g caraway seeds
15g salt
1 pkg yeast – regular, not instant – we want a slow rise to develop flavor.

You could use bread flour in place of the high gluten stuff. The proportion will probably be about the same. Do yourself a favor and order some of the high gluten flour off the King Arthur website, I don’t imagine you will find in your local supermarket. Your taste buds will thank you.

This makes a rather sticky dough that would be a bit unpleasant to knead by hand. Depending on the moisture content of your starter you may need to diddle the water up or down a bit. I keep my rye sourdough at 50/50 balance (100% hydration).

Add all the ingredients to the mixing bowl, Mix on first speed for 3 minutes. Mix on second speed for 3 minutes.

Rise 1 to 2 hours.

Divide the dough in half. Place into small, greased bread pans. This is a bit loose for free-form. Make it stiffer if you want free-form loaves.

Rise 1 to 2 hours.

Spray your oven before loading, after 30 seconds, and again after an additional 3 minutes. Bake at 460°F for 15 minutes then lower the oven temp to 440°F for 25 minutes.

If you have made a stiffer, free-form loaf then just before loading, score the loaves.

Makes good toast. Makes a dandy platform for strong flavored sandwich stuff.

Herself sez: A sandwich that is a joy on this bread involves some mayo, some Grey Poupon Harvest Coarse Ground mustard (yumm), some swiss cheese, some ham and some sweet pickles. Slice bread in your preferred thickness. Apply condiments and sandwich contents to bread in your preferred proportions.

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