1 1/2 c Beer, buttermilk, milk, or
2 tb Butter or margerine
1 ts Salt
1 tb Dry yeast
1/2 c Warm water
1 tb Sugar
2 c Dark rye flour or light rye
-flour or rye meal (rye
-flour with bran)
3 1/2 To 4 cups unbleached white
Will have a more or less sour taste, depending whether it is made with
beer, buttermilk, potato water, or milk, in that order.
Heat 1 1/2 cups liquid to lukewarm. Stir in the butter and salt. Set
aside to cool.
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water (a temperature comfortable on the
inside of the wrist) with the sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes or until
the yeast bubbles.
Stir the yeast mixture into the cooled liquid. Add the rye flour and
beat until smooth. Add the white flour, a cup at a time, stirring
after each addition until enough is added to make a stiff dough. Dust
a work surface with white flour. Form the dough into a rough ball,
place it on the work surface, cover it with a damp cloth, and let it
rest for 15 minutes. Generously butter a large bowl or pot.
Adding only as much flour as necessary to prevent sticking, knead the
bread dough until smooth, about 5 minutes. (The gluten in rye is more
fragile than in wheat. It needs a resting time to recuperate and
reform and does not need as lengthy or vigorous a kneading). Form the
dough into a smooth ball and place it in a buttered bowl, turning it
to coat all sides with the butter. Cover it and let it rise in a warm
spot until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
Punch the dough down, gently knead it for one minute, and divide it
into two parts. Form each half into a round loaf and place the
loaves in two lightly buttered 9-inch round cake pans or on a large,
buttered baking sheet. Press a hole through the center of each loaf
to give it a traditional shape if you wish. Cover and let rise until
almost doubled in size, about 1/2 hour.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. BRush the loaves with water and
gently puncture the surface all over with the tines of a fork, in a
design if you wish.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and
sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. While it is hot, brush it
with butter to glaze, and then let it cool on a rack.
Yields 2 round loaves.