"We like this homemade rye so much that I seldom buy bread anymore," writes May Ann Bonk of New Berlin, Wisconsin. "For the past 10 years, I've made this bread for our church bake sales and it always goes quickly."
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 4 cups warm water (110° to 115°), divided
- 2 cups rye flour
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons caraway seeds
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 7 to 8 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cornmeal
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 4 teaspoons caraway seeds
- In a 4-qt. glass bowl, dissolve yeast in 2 cups warm water; whisk in rye flour until smooth. Cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel. Let stand in a warm place for about 4 hours or until batter falls about 1 in. and surface bubble activity is reduced. Stir in the sugar, caraway seeds, salt, 5 cups all-purpose flour and remaining water; mix well. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a firm dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.
- Divide dough into four portions. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes. Shape into four round loaves, about 6 in. each. Coat two baking sheets with cooking spray; sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon cornmeal. Place loaves on pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
- With a sharp knife, make several slashes across the top of each loaf. Brush with egg. Sprinkle each loaf with 1 teaspoon caraway seeds. Bake at 400° for 30-35 minutes, rotating pans after 15 minutes, or until browned. Cool on wire racks. Yield: 4 loaves (8 slices each).
Originally published as German Rye Bread in Light & Tasty February/March 2002, p52
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