Sunday, October 25, 2009

Swedish Rye Bread

I've been wanting to try this recipe for a while but never have rye flour on hand.

The original recipe, from The Secrets of Jesuit Breadmaking, called for 1/2 cup molasses. I don't have it on hand and didn't want to go buy a bottle just for this recipe. Strangely enough, The Spouse (who has been trying his hand at brewing beer) brought home a large bag of barley malt. So I made the executive decision to try subbing the barley for the molasses. I think it made for a faster rise time for the sponge (either that or the fact that my stove has been running for hours on other projects) and the initial rise, so that's something to be aware of. I listed the times I used for the bread in the recipe below.

Swedish Rye Bread

1 tbsp active dry yeast
2 cups warm water, divided
1 cup scalded milk
1/4 cup barley malt
1/4 cup organic sugar
5 cups rye flour, divided
1 tbsp butter, melted
1 tbsp caraway seeds
1 tbsp salt
1 cup unbleached flour

To make the sponge:
Combine the scalded milk, barley and sugar, stirring until dissolved. Let cool to lukewarm.

Combine the yeast and 1/2 cup of the warm water in a very large bowl. Stir until the yeast is dissolved. Add the milk mixture and remaining 1 1/2 cups of water. Gradually add 2 1/2 cups of the rye flour and beat for 3 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk - about 2 hours.

To make the bread:
Add the butter, caraway seeds and salt to the sponge. Beat vigorously, gradually adding all the unbleached flour and enough of the rye flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bow - about 10 minutes.

Turn out on a lightly floured surface. Knead for 8 to 10 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic, adding flour as necessary to prevent stickiness.

Lightly oil a large bowl. Place dough in bowl and turn to coat on all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk - about 1 hour.

Grease two loaf pans. Punch dough down and add to loaf pans. Cover with a tea towel and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375. Place pans in the oven and bake 45 minutes or until done. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

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