Yakityak's Rye Bread Recipe

I have always loved rye bread, but until recently I have not enjoyed much success in this baking department. Rye is one of the no-gluten flours, and it seems to have a really powerful effect in reducing the rising ability of dough. I have frequently wound up with what was essentially rye flat-bread. I took an existing recipe and modified it significantly until I got acceptable results. This recipe solves the rising problem with the use of vital gluten.

I should mention that this particular dough is quite sticky. As a result, this recipe is easiest to make by machine (either bread machine or mixer) rather than by hand. I have been reluctant to play with the proportions much since I am thrilled as-it-is to have a rye bread recipe that works. The downside is that because of the stickiness, it is difficult to roll the bread into the traditional log for baking on a flat sheet, and so in its current formulation, the bread comes out best if baked in a breadpan (purists will wince). If you're feeling adventurous, you can try and add more flour to see if you still get a rising loaf. I would recommend using more bread flour vs. more rye flour, since you're less likely to alter the rising properties with bread flour.

This recipe is for a 1 1/2 lb. loaf.

1 1/3 cup water
2 tblsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups bread flour
3/4 cup rye flour
1 generous tblsp. vital gluten
1 packet quick rise yeast (proof in some of the water and sugar)
1 tblsp. caraway seeds

Preparation is the same as for all machine made breads - see tip section if you want pointers on how to use a mixer instead of a bread machine. For rye loaves, after the first rising and second kneading, it is traditional to roll out the dough flat and then roll it into a log. If you like corn meal, you can roll the log in cornmeal to coat it. The loaf is then allowed to do its final rising and baked as is on an open sheet. (350 F, somewhere between 20 - 35 minutes depending on your oven, judge by color of bread crust)

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