Late last fall, I was chatting with a local farmer about all the bread I make and how sometimes I end up with more than I can use. His eyes lit up—he said he loves homemade bread, and he'd love to sample mine. Then we made a deal to trade bread for vegetables—a win-win for both of us, right?
When we had this conversation last fall, I didn't get around to trading since I'd already stocked up on all my fall vegetables, but this spring when the farmers' market was back in swing, I was there, bread in hand. I walked out with lettuce and spinach.
Some weeks I've got more bread than I need, but this time I wanted a loaf for myself so I didn't bake a separate batch for my farmer friend. Instead, I made a larger-than-usual batch, yielding two loaves of a light seedless rye. You can make one larger loaf and bake it a little longer, or two loaves with enough to share.
- Yield:Makes 2 loaves
- Active time: 35 minutes
- Total time:3 hours
- 4 ounces (1 cup) rye flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 11 1/4 ounces (about 2 cups) bread flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
In the bowl of your stand mixer combine rye flour, yeast, water, sugar and gluten. Stir to combine and set aside for 15 minutes - it will be very bubbly. Add the salt and bread flour, and knead with the dough hook until the mixture is smooth and elastic. Add the olive oil and continue kneading until the olive oil is completely incorporated.
Form the dough into a ball, drizzle with a bit of olive oil to coat, and return it to the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Flour your work surface and preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Sprinkle 2 small baking sheets (or one large one) with cornmeal Turn the dough out and knead it briefly. Divide the dough into 2 pieces and for each into a ball or log (your choice). Place the dough on your prepared pans, seam side down. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
When the loaves have doubled, slash as desired and bake until golden, about 30 minutes. Let the loaves cook completely on a rack before slicing.