"This recipe is made by the direct-dough method, as opposed to the sourdough method preferred for onion rye and deli rye. The dough is enriched with shortening, uses commercial yeast and has a 65% hydration level."
- 3 c. (12 oz.) whole rye flour
- 6 c. (27 oz.) unbleached bread or clear flour
- 3 tsp. (0.76 oz.) salt
- 3-1/2 tsp. (0.38 oz.) instant yeast
- 3 tsp. (0.34 oz) caraway seeds, optional
- 2 tbsp. (1-1/2 oz.) molasses
- 4 tbsp. (2 oz.) shortening
- About 3 c. (22 oz.) water at room temp., plus 4 tbsp.
- Extra rye flour for adjustments
- 1 egg, whisked with 1 tbsp. water until frothy
Stir together the flours, salt, yeast, and caraway seeds in a 4-quart bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer).
Add the molasses, shortening, and 2 c. water.
With paddle or dough hook attached, mix on low speed until the dough gathers all the loose flour and forms a ball, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup of water and continue to mix for 1-2 minutes, adding the additional 4 tbsp. of water only if needed.
With dough hook attachment, knead on low speed for 2-3 minutes.
The dough should feel supple and pliable, a little tacky but not sticky. Adjust water or flour if necessary.
Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise at room temperature for 90 minutes, or until doubled in size.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured counter, divide and shape into loaves or boules.
Mist the loaves with spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Proof in loaf pans or proofing baskets at room temperature for 60-90 minutes, or until the loves are nearly double in size. (Most ovens do not hold 2 sheet pans at once, so if you are using sheet pans, put 1 of them in the refrigerator instead of immediately proofing the dough. The dough can then be proofed and baked as much as 2 days later.)
Preheat the oven to 350°F with the oven rack on the middle shelf. For the egg wash, whisk together the egg and water until frothy and brush the loaves evenly but gently with the mixture. Slash the dough with a lame, if desired.
Bake for approximately 45 minutes (the time will vary depending on the oven and whether you are baking freestanding loaves or in a large or small loaf pan). You may need to rotate the pan(s) 180° after 20 minutes for even baking. The internal temperature of the bread should be 195°F, and the loaves should make a hollow sound when thumped on the bottom.
When the loaves have finished baking, remove them immediately from the pans (if using) and cool on rack for at least 1 hour, preferably 2 hours, before slicing and serving.
Bakers generally use clear flour when making rye bread. The recipe above works fine with regular bread flour or high-gluten flour, but by all means use clear flour if you have access to it.
I forgot to put the egg wash on the dough before I baked the boules. The bread in the photos would be crustier if I'd remembered that step. If you want the bread crustier yet, try baking at 400°F for 35 minutes.