Friday, March 14, 2014

Long little rye loaves

When I made a recipe for "chopped" chicken livers from the book 50 Shades of Chicken, I decided to make some rye bread to go along with the livers. That's how my mom served chicken livers (although she didn't make her own bread) and that's how a favorite restaurant in Chicago offered them.

You could certainly make this bread as one large loaf rather than long loaves, but this shape is better for appetizers, which was my intention.

You could also split the loaf lengthwise for sandwiches. Corned beef season is coming soon - how about corned beef on rye?

Or a reuben.

Dang, now I want corned beef!

Long Little Rye Loaves

2 1/4 teaspoons yeast*
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups (9 ounces) bread flour
1 cup (4 1/2 ounces**) dark rye flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cocoa powder*** (optional, for color)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons caraway seeds

Combine the yeast, sugar, bread flour, rye flour, and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer. Knead until it is becoming elastic. Add the oil and caraway seeds and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic, and the caraway seeds are well distributed in the dough.

Cover the bowl and set aside (in a warm spot, if your house is chilly) until the dough is doubled in size, about an hour.

Flour your work surface lightly and turn out the dough. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or sprinkle with cornmeal. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Divide the dough in half, and form each half into a log about 13 inches long. Place the logs on the prepared baking sheet, leaving space between them so they don't join when they expand.

Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap, or, if you have another sheet of the same size, use that as a cover.

Set the dough aside to rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.

Remove the plastic wrap. Slash the loaves as desired and bake at 350 degrees until nicely browned (this is hard to tell if you used the cocoa powder), about 25 minutes.

If you like,  you can spray the loaf with water when you first place it in the oven and after about five minutes of baking.

Let the loaves cool completely before slicing.

*I had 1 1/4 teaspoons of Red Star Platinum yeast left from my bread machine experiment, so I used that, plus 1 teaspoon of active dry yeast. You can use whatever you happen to have on hand.

** Depending on the rye flour you buy, one cup might weigh more or less than 4 1/2 ounces. If you have a scale, weigh it. If you don't have a scale, you might need to add a little flour or a little water if your flour weighs more or less than mine.

*** It doesn't matter if the cocoa you use is regular, Dutch or dark. This is just for color.