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Russian Rye Bread

Rye bread Russian bread  food photoRussian Rye Bread is a very dense, flavorful, peasant bread.  It is great toasted slathered with butter as it comes from the toaster.

If not using a scale, the flour should be stirred in its container.  Dip the measuring cup into the flour to overflowing and sweep it off with the back of a knife.

This recipe calls for dark molasses, but do not use blackstrap molasses as it is too strong.

Here are some additional notes.    Use a paddle to mix – not the dough hook.  Because the dough is so heavy and thick, the hook just goes around in circles and doesn’t pick up the flour easily.  I switched back and forth and decided the paddle was the best for this recipe. The finished dough will be somewhat tacky and that it as it should be.  This is not the “smooth as a babies bottom” type of dough.  It is rustic and bumpy due to the caraway seeds and the coarseness of the rye and whole wheat flours.

Professional bread bakers use “proofers” that are temperature and humidity controlled to insure  the breads rise predictably.  Because Russian  Rye Bread is so dense and it is made with rye flour that has no gluten, it is a difficult dough to rise.  So, I came up with a home version of a proofer.  I put about an inch of really hot water in a 9×13 inch pan and place it in the bottom of the turned off oven about 10 minutes before the bread goes in.  I leave the hot water in for about 30 minutes after I put the shaped bread in.  Remove the water.   The bread will continue to rise in the warm, moist oven.

Because this bread has cocoa and molasses as well as rye bread, it can burn easily on the bottom.  By double panning, the heat is slowed down and a burned bottom is avoided.

This is one of my youngest son’s favorite breads.  Whenever we talk about breads I make (and I make a lot), Russian Rye always comes up.

We photographed this on a treasured apron hand made by my maternal grandmother.  I can’t imagine being able to do such fine, detailed work.  I thought you might enjoy seeing a close up of it.Rye bread Russian bread  food photo

1 tablespoons caraway seed
1 tablespoons salt 7/8 cup boiling water (1 cup less 2 tablespoons)
1/3 cup dark molasses
2 tablespoons cocoa
3/4 cups buttermilk
1 packages active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (90 to 100 degrees)
3 cups rye flour (420 grams or 15 ounces)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (210 grams or 7 ounces)
2 teaspoons butter, melted

Combine the caraway seed and salt in a large bowl.  Rye bread Russian bread  food photoPour  the boiling water over and cool slightly.  Rye bread Russian bread  food photoStir in molasses and cocoa;Rye bread Russian bread  food photo then the buttermilk.  Cool to lukewarm.

In the meantime, dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup warm water.  Rye bread Russian bread  food photo

Rye bread Russian bread  food photo

Combine with the above mixture in a mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment after it has cooled to lukewarm.

Add 1 1/2  cups of rye flour Rye bread Russian bread  food photo

Rye bread Russian bread  food photo

and mix until well combined.  Add the remaining rye flour and the whole wheat flour.  Beat until well mixed, starting on low and graduating to medium.   Beat at medium speed for 3 minutes to develop the gluten.

Shape into a ball, Rye bread Russian bread  food photocover with a towel Rye bread Russian bread  food photoPlace on a greased baking sheet or on parchment paper and let rise until double – about 1 to 1 1/2 hours*.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Brush tops and sides  with butter.  Rye bread Russian bread  food photoDouble pan** Rye bread Russian bread  food photoand bake for 35 to 45 minutes. Cool on a rack.  This bread freezes very well.

*To make a proofer out of your oven, place a 9×13 inch pan in the bottom of your oven.  Rye bread Russian bread  food photoPour 1 inch of really hot water in the pan.  Put it in the bottom of the oven about 10 minutes before adding the bread.  Place the bread in the oven on its baking sheet.  Leave the hot water in the oven for about 30 minutes, then remove it.  Leave the bread in the oven to continue rising.

**Double Panning – Place the pan with the bread on a second pan the same size. This slows down the heat to the bottom of the loaves and prevents burning.  Molasses, honey, brown sugar and cornsyrup burn easily in the oven.  Double panning helps prevent this.  The bread should be placed in the middle of the oven.

 

Rye bread Russian bread  food photo

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