Monday, November 23, 2009

Whole Grain Rye Bread

Whole Grain Rye Bread
from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Printable Recipe

Hands-on time: 5-10 minutes

Rest time: 2 hours on the counter in a lidded but not air tight container
The dough can be used immediately after the first rising or up to seven days refrigerated. According to the authors, the flavor will be better if you wait for at least 24 hours of refrigeration before baking.

Shaping and second rising: 90 minutes, if the dough has been refrigerated, or 40 minutes if fresh.

Baking time: 30-35 minutes

Makes 2 large loaves

2 ½ cups whole wheat flour
2 ¾ cups rye flour
2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1½ tablespoons granulated yeast, or 2 packets
1 tablespoon kosher salt (increase or decrease to taste)
1 ½ tbsp caraway seeds plus some for sprinkling on top crust
¼ cup vital wheat gluten
4 cups lukewarm water

Mixing and storing the dough:
1. Whisk together the flours, yeast, salt, caraway and vital wheat gluten in a 5-quart bowl, or a lidded (not airtight) food container.

2. Add the water and mix without kneading, using a spoon, a 14-cup food processor (with dough attachment), or a heavy-duty stand mixer (with paddle). You might need to use wet hands to get the last bit of flour to incorporate if you're not using a machine. (Ruth’s note: it really takes no effort to use a spoon in the storage bowl, so no need for extra cleaning)

3. Cover (not airtight), and allow the dough to rest at room temperature until it rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately 2 hours.

4. The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, though it is easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 7 days. The flavor will be better if you wait for at least 24 hours of refrigeration before baking.

5. On baking day, dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1-pound (grapefruit-size) piece. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go.

6. Elongate the ball into a narrow oval. Allow the loaf to rest, loosely covered with plastic wrap, on a pizza peel prepared with cornmeal or line with parchment paper for 90 minutes (40 minutes if using fresh unrefrigerated dough).

7. Thirty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 450°F/220°C, with a baking/pizza stone on a rack in the center of the oven. Place an empty metal broiler pan or cake tin on any other rack that won’t interfere with the rising bread.

8. Just before baking, use a pastry brush to brush the loaf's top crust with water, and then sprinkle with additional caraway seeds. Slash the loaf with ¼” deep parallel cuts, using a serrated bread knife.

9. Slide the loaf directly onto the hot stone, or place the silicone mat or parchment paper onto the preheated cookie sheet if you don’t have a pizza stone. Pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiler pan and quickly close the oven door. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until richly browned and firm. If you used parchment paper, a silicone mat or a cookie sheet under the loaf, carefully remove it two-thirds of the way through the baking and bake the loaf directly on the stone or oven rack for the last third. Smaller or larger loaves will require adjustments in resting and baking times.

10. Remove the bread from the oven and allow it to cool on a rack before slicing and eating.

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