"The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude." Julia Child

Saturday, March 16, 2013

rye bread

If, like me, you're enjoying the last few days of winter, pair this fabulous rye bread with soup. Or, take advantage of the crusty outside and soft crumb to make a delicious sandwich.

Yield: 2 small loaves
820 calories per loaf
Active time: 20 minutes
Total time: 5 hours

1½ cups high gluten flour
1½ cups rye flour
2 teaspoons yeast
1½ teaspoons salt
1½ teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted at room temperature
1 cup lukewarm water
¼ cup maple syrup, molasses, or agave nectar

1. Combine the water, yeast, and a pinch of salt. Set aside for 10 minutes, allowing the yeast to ferment. See step 4 of "semolina bread" for detailed before and after fermentation photos.

2. In your stand mixer bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and “stir”.

3. Add the maple syrup/molasses/agave nectar and butter to the yeast mixture and stir.

4. Slowly add the wet mixture to dry mixture, continuing to “stir” until a loose dough forms.

5. Increase your stand mixer speed to 2 or 3 and knead until the dough becomes smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. The dough will be a little dry, but you should add more water if it is too dry and staying together.

6. Turn the dough out onto your counter top and knead by hand a few turns, shaping the dough into a ball.

7. Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until it has doubled in size, about 2 hours.

8. Turn the dough out onto the counter top, deflate, and shape into a square-shaped ball.

9. Re-grease your bowl and place the dough back inside, cover with plastic wrap, and allow it to rise for about 1 hour.

10. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter top, deflate, cut into two, and form into loaves or a shape of your choosing.

11. Place the loaves onto a parchment lined baking sheet and let rise for about 90 minutes.

12. At least an hour into the final proof, preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

13. Brush the loaves with an egg wash, desired toppings, and score (if desired).

14. Arrange a water bath and bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees, turning the oven down to 400 for the remaining 30-40 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. (See step 9 of “carb, glorious carbs!” for more information on water baths.)

Original recipes found here and here

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