As rye breads go, this one is fairly light and soft, but it still has good rye flavor and would make a great sandwich bread.
When I saw the shaped dough in the 9x5 pan, I was a little skeptical that it would rise enough to fill the pan. It did manage to rise enough, but a slightly smaller bread pan would have been fine, too, letting the bread rise higher over the top of the pan. So, if you don't have a large bread pan, don't abandon the recipe.
I didn't use the egg glaze for this, but I think the shiny, darker brown crust would have been attractive. In general, I tend to avoid egg glazes, as breaking an egg just to glaze two loaves seems like a bit of a waste. If I did glaze the loaf, I would have sprinkled a few dill seeds on top.
What Worked: Dill and rye go together well, and this bread is no exception. The dill flavor wasn't strong, but it added a nice accent.
What Didn't: Most of the recipes mention beating the dough by hand or with the paddle of the stand mixer. It seems to be an omission, considering the next step mentions changing from paddle to bread hook.
Suggested Tweaks: I like caraway a lot - I'd add even more. I'd also be tempted to bake it as a free-form round.
Adapted from The Bread Bible by Beth Hensperger. Copyright © 1999. Published by Chronicle Books. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved
About the author: Donna Currie has been cooking for fun and writing for pay since the days when typewritten articles traveled by snail mail. When she combined those talents in a food column for a newspaper in her area, she realized that writing about food is almost as much fun as eating. You can find her on her blog, Cookistry or follow her on Twitter at @dbcurrie.
- Yield:Makes 2 loaves
- Active time: 35 minutes
- Total time:4 hours
- 2 cups warm water (105˚ to 115˚F)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons (1 1/2 packages) active dry yeast
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups rye flour
- 1/2 cup instant nonfat dried milk
- 1 tablespoon dill weed
- 1 tablespoon dill seed
- 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
- 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 3 1/2 to 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour or bread flour
- Rich Egg Glaze (optional): 1 large egg yolk or 1 large egg, at room temperature beaten with 1 tablespoon milk or cream
Pour 1/2 cup of the warm water in a small bowl. Sprinkle the yeast and a pinch of brown sugar over the surface of the water. Stir to dissolve and let stand at room temperature until foamy, about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl using a whisk, combine the rye flour, dried milk, remaining brown sugar, dill weed, dill seeds, caraway seeds, and salt. Add the remaining water, butter, and yeast mixture. Beat hard until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, with a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough is formed.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and silky, about 5 minutes, dusting with flour only 1 tablespoon at a time as needed to prevent sticking.
If kneading by machine, switch from the paddle to the dough hook and knead for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and springy and springs back when pressed. If desired, transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead briefly by hand.
Place the dough in a greased bowl. Turn once to grease the top and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Gently deflate the dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Grease two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions. Shape each portion into loaves and put in the pans. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let sire to 1 inch above the rim of the pans, about 40 minutes. Brush with the egg glaze, if desired, for a dark and glossy crust.
Twenty minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 375˚F. Place the pans on the rack in the center of the oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown and the loaves sound hollow when tapped with your finger. Transfer the loaves to a cooling rack. Cool before slicing.