I'll sometimes shape half of the dough into a round loaf, hollow it out after baking and fill it with dip for parties.
- 4 to 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2-1/2 cups rye flour
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed or aniseed, crushed
- 2-1/4 cups water
- 1/4 cup shortening
- 1-1/2 teaspoons molasses
- Melted butter
- In a large bowl, combine 2 cups all-purpose flour, rye flour, brown sugar, yeast, orange peel, salt and fennel seed. In a saucepan, heat the water, shortening and molasses to 120°-130°. Add to dry ingredients; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining all-purpose flour to form a soft dough.
- Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-1/4 hours.
- Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Shape into loaves. Grease two 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pans and sprinkle with cornmeal. Place loaves in prepared pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
- With a sharp knife, make three shallow slashes across the top of each loaf. Bake at 375° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks. Brush with melted butter. Cool. Yield: 2 loaves.
Originally published as Light Rye Sandwich Loaves in Best of Country Breads 2000, p40
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