Getting Carried Away Making Rye Bread

“I had to make some kind of pun!” she said wryly.

Caraway rye bread, also known as Jewish rye, was something I grew up on, and I just make my first loaf. It has a nice crunchy crust and soft interior studded with flavorful caraway seeds. It’s delicious hot out of the oven or toasted buttered.

It’s delightful toasted and topped with avocado, cucumbers, tomato, red bell pepper, and lox.

I used the Joy of Cooking recipe as a guide, then added my own touches.

Ingredients:

1 cup warm water

1 Tb sugar

1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)

2 Tb olive oil

1 Tb caraway seeds

2 cups unbleached white flour or bread flour, divided 1 1/2 and 1/2 cup

3/4 cup rye flour divided 1/2 and 1/4 cup

1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt

1 – 2 Tb dry polenta or cornmeal

Instructions:

In a large bowl, add sugar to warm water and stir until dissolved. Sprinkle yeast on top of the water and place in a warm place with a dishtowel on top for 15 minutes until the yeast is foamy.

Add olive oil, caraway seeds, 1 1/2 cups white flour and 1/2 cup rye flour, and stir well for one minute. Gradually add 1/4 cup rye flour and 1/2 cup white flour, stirring until dough is moist but not sticky.

Sprinkle a pastry board with half white flour and half rye flour. Knead the dough for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic, adding more flour as needed to the pastry board. Roll dough into a large ball.

Oil a large bowl and roll the dough around the bowl so that it is covered with oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise for 30 to 45 minutes, until doubled in volume.

Transfer the dough to the pastry board and knead it until smooth and elastic again. Oil a 6 cup (8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch) loaf pan and form the dough into a loaf shape. Sprinkle some polenta (or cornmeal if that’s all you have) on the pastry board and roll the dough over it so it’s covered with polenta. Place the dough in the loaf pan and loosely cover it with plastic wrap in a warm place. Let it rise for 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 450′ and place dough in when it has doubled in volume. Set the timer for 10 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 350′. Bake for 30 minutes more. Place pan on a rack and run a butter knife around the sides of the pan to release the loaf, then turn it upside down to cool.