Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Rye with Caraway and Molasses

Rye doughs can be a little bit difficult to work with because rye flour doesn't behave the same as wheat flour. While rye flour has gluten, it doesn't have as much as wheat flour. And rye doughs tend to be much stickier than doughs made entirely from white flour.

Because of that stickiness, some people try to add more and more flour to make it less sticky, until they end up with a dough that's very, very dense. And then you end up baking a brick.

This dough is less sticky because of the long overnight rest, but it still feels much different that a dough made entirely from white flour. This has some bread flour to help it along, but the finished dough isn't as bouncy as a wheat dough. But it should have enough elasticity so you can knead it and form it without it breaking and cracking.

I used a medium rye flour, but you can use any rye you can find - you might not have a lot of choices at your local grocery store. Because you might not be using the same rye flour I did, you might need add more or less bread flour to get the dough to compensate.

The finished dough should be firm enough to hold its shape without sagging, but not so dense that it's difficult to knead.

The long overnight rest adds a lot of flavor to the bread, and molasses and caraway add even more. if you don't have caraway, leave it out.

Rye Bread with Molasses and Caraway

2 cups (9 ounces) rye flour
1 1/4 cups water
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast, divided
1 1/2 cups (6 3/4 ounces) bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons caraway seeds

Put the rye flour, water, and 1/4 teaspoon yeast in the bowl of your stand mixer. Stir to combine, cover with plastic wrap, and let it sit for 8-12 hours at room temperature.

The next day, add the rest of the yeast, the bread flour, salt, and molasses. Knead with the bread hook until the dough is smooth and elastic. It should be tacky, but not goopy or sticky. If the dough is still very sticky, add more bread flour, as needed.

Add the olive oil and caraway seeds, and knead until both are incorporated and well distributed.

Form the dough into a ball, drizzle with a small amount of olive oil, and return it to the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until doubled in size, about an hour.

Flour your work surface  and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place a sheet a parchment on a baking sheet, or sprinkle with cornmeal.

Turn out the dough, and knead it briefly. Form it into a long oval shape, seal the seam on the bottom, and place it on your prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle the dough with rice flour (preferably) or wheat flour. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and set aside until doubled in size, about 40 minutes.

When the dough has risen, uncover it, slash it several times diagonally, and bake at 350 degrees, until nicely browned, about 35 minutes.

Let the bread cool completely on a rack before slicing.

This has been submitted to Yeastspotting.