Friday, March 27, 2015

Swedish Rye Bread

     There seems to be a sharp division on rye bread. It's like pumpernickel. People either love it or hate it. There is no middle ground. Those people who don't like it are totally entitled to their opinions. They are however, totally wrong. Rye bread is great. Especially this rye bread. Granted, this bread will qualify as a PITA due to the 2+ hours of rising time. It's worth the wait. The recipe makes 3 loaves and the loaves freeze really well. Just wrap each loaf in plastic shrink and then in a layer of heavy aluminum foil. When you're ready, just take it out and let it get back to room temperature on it's own. This is a good, hearty bread with just a touch of sweetness. You'll love it. Or you're wrong. As always, notes and changes are in blue.

Swedish Rye Loaves
via Taste of Home Everyday Light Meals

  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 5 tablespoons butter, divided (we omitted the 1 divided tablespoon of butter for reasons that will become apparent)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 3 cups bread flour (theoretically, if you use any flour for bread, doesn't it count as "bread" flour? I hope they meant white flour, because that's what I used)
  • 2 packages (.25 ounce each) of active dry yeast
  • 3 cups rye flour
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds (omitted. The Wife is not a fan of bread with seeds)
  1. In a bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, molasses, 4 tablespoons butter and salt; stir in boiling water. Let stand until mixture cools to 120-130F, stirring occasionally.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of bread flour and yeast. Add the molasses mixture. Stir in rye flour and enough of the remaining flour to form a medium stiff dough (we used all the flour called for in the recipe and a tiny bit more). Turn out onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes (we did this entire step in our KitchenAid with the dough hook. I plan on using that thing until it explodes)
  3. Place in bowl covered with non-stick cooking spray, turning once to coat the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  4. Punch down dough, cover and let rise in again until doubled, about 30 minutes. 
  5. Punch down dough, Turn out onto floured surface and divide into three portions. Shape into loaves (I went with round loaves because it's the easiest and very rustic looking. Everybody loves that rustic looking stuff). Place on baking sheets covered with nonstick cooking spray (I used a pizza stone and everything came out wonderfully). Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes (I know! The rising times qualify this as a PITA. This is the last rise. I promise. This will be totally worth it. Unless you don't like rye bread, in which case you just wasted a bunch of time and ingredients).
  6. Cut a shallow cross across the top of each loaf to prevent uneven expansion during baking, Bake at 375F (190C, Gasmark5) for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown (our oven consistently takes 35 minutes to cook these loaves)
  7. Cool on wire racks
  8. Melt remaining butter; brush over loaves and sprinkle with caraway seeds. Cool. (Omitted)
Good times!

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