Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Jewish Rye Bread (seeded) Lots of steps but not much work involved in each of them. About 5 hours from start to finish, it's worth it for these delicious, rich, dense, flavorful loaves


I love rye bread.  I find it obnoxious to pay 4 times the cost of most breads in the grocery store for  a small loaf of Jewish Rye.  I looked in a bakery not too long ago and they wanted 7 SEVEN! dollars for ONE loaf of rye bread.  oh, I think not.

I make a ridiculous amount of bread.  I supply me and some of my friends with loaves of it.  I have a friend with half her freezer dedicated to my bread!  *cool*

Anyway, I figured how hard could it be to switch out from white loaves of Italian, french, hard, soft, crusty, crunchy, rolls, baguettes, sweet, salty, sourdough, croissants, brioche or pretzels?  I kind of have mastered the world of yeast.

I scoured old books as well as the Net for recipes and ideas and methods and after all of it, I came up with this alchemied version of Jewish Rye bread.

There are a lot of individual steps but each step only takes moments of time so if you're going to be at home, then you may as well make these loaves.

TRACY'S SEEDED JEWISH STYLE RYE BREAD

This recipe has one additional rise which adds incredible flavor but also adds an hour to the time.  It's worth it, trust me, I wouldn't mess with you on this one.

OK, so this is a little convoluted.  TRUST me.  Read it all before you go ahead but it's not nearly so involved or obnoxious as it looks :)

FIRST MIX:
In the bowl of the kitchen aid, combine:

3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup rye flour
1/2 tsp yeast
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon brown sugar (lightly packed)
1 1/2 cup water

SECOND MIX
In a small bowl, combine

2 cups all purpose flour (slightly heaped)
1 tsp yeast
2 Tablespoons caraway seeds (or a little more if you're a real fan)
1 heaped tsp of kosher salt

ADDITIONAL

2 tsp vegetable oil
salt water for spraying
ice for steam in the oven

Combine FIRST MIX in the bowl of your kitchen aid mixer and stir with a spoon till it's smooth.  Combine the SECOND MIX in a small bowl and just mix with your fingers till combined.

THEN, carefully sprinkle the dry mix OVER the first (wet) mix.  DO NOT COMBINE.  Cover and leave it until the first mix erupts out through cracks in the dry mix over it.  Weird but a really standard method for this sort of bread.  Mine took about an hour.
   

So, when it's all oozy, add 2 tsp of vegetable oil and take it to the machine like all the other breads.  The only extended time is the first bit of waiting for the liquid to proof.

I mixed it with the dough hook by hand before I hooked it up to the machine.  Let it mix for a bit then crank it on high and let it knead for you.  It should clear the sides of the bowl and pull up from the bottom.  You can add up to 1/4 cup more all purpose flour but wait at least 5 minutes into the kneading before you do.
   
Beautiful, clearing the bowl and the bottom.  The dough is SLIGHTLY sticky and very soft.  We want it that way.  Dump it onto a lightly floured board and knead it a few times to feel really involved. We want smooth and soft dough. When you press your thumb in, it should spring, slowly and happily back up.
   
Lightly oil the top and put it into a bucket with a lid to rise.  We want it to double.  Mine took 20 minutes to do this! WOW!  Happy dough!
   
Gently tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently flatten it.  Pull the top down and roll it into a log about the size of a snake that would make you run, screaming.  Cut it into two pieces and put it on a cornmeal coated sheet pan.  Cover it with a towel or greased cling film or a tin and leave it.  Mine doubled in about 20 minutes.
  
Spray the loaves with salt water and slash the tops.  Put them in a 450 degree preheated oven for 15 minutes.  I throw ice cubes on the bottom of the oven floor to create steam with all my loaves and I did for these as well.  I think you should as well.

After 15 minutes, lower the heat to 375 and transfer them to a stone and bake for another 30 minutes or until they sound hollow when you knock on them.  Transfer to a rack and wait, painfully, for them to cool completely.

   

The moment of truth:

Shatteringly crisp crust.  Tender dense but soft crumb.  Flavorful.  Richly floral with caraway. I've nailed it completely and totally.  THIS may be the most successful bread I've ever made.
 the knife shatters the crust and cuts through the soft crumb beautifully.

No tearing, the smell of the caraway is amazing.

The crust is so perfectly even.  The flavor of this stuff is amazing.  The texture and crumb is more than I ever thought I could ever ever produce.
 

I'm delivering the second loaf to a friend who will test for me to see if it really IS as good as I think it is.  In the mean time, seriously, go make this, now.

/enjoy


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