This is a Czechoslovakian Family Rye Bread Recipe from my extended that I have adjusted some.
The slide show shows the hand written recipe, which indicates the level of rudimentary ingredients available at the time of penning. The first time I made it, it was very light. My Grandmother, who is 104 this month, identified that indeed ( BTW) "everyone knows" that one of the cups of water is supposed to be COFFEE". And so, I was all the wiser next time. Also, please note that the handwritten recipe includes NO baking temps or times. I suspect it was prepared out on the prairie in a wood burning stove at some point.
Usually, healthfood stores are the best option for buying Rye Flour. There is dark and light flour, which will determine to some degree the color of the bread.
You' need to determine if you wish to use caraway seeds for garnish or Oatmeal. I used both. Whole caraway seeds can be difficult to find in OKC stores. Buy for Less grocers seems to always have it.
Rye Bread Sponge
In a large ceramic or wooden bowl mix the following
1 and 1/2 pkgs of dry yeast
2 3/4 cups of warm water ( some people use whole milk for a richer bread)
2.5 cups of Rye Flour ( I used dark)
1.5 cups of Plain All Purpose Flour, I used Shawnee Flour
Mix the above ingredients and keep in a warm place until it begins to foam.
Add 1 cup of strong black coffee (The type of coffee you select contributes to the layered dark flavor.)
4 Tbsp melted dark baking chocolate. (same for this Reasors has some great chocolate selections)
2 Tbsp Salt
2 Tbsp Sugar ( I used Turbinado. You could probably use Molasses)
2 Tbsp Butter
4 Tbsp Whole Caraway Seeds ( These can be hard to find, Buy For Less often has them in stock).
8 additional cups of flour ( I used 1 soy and the remainder white)
The stir the above additional ingredients into the sponge, until it pulls away from the side of the bowl, adding flour gradually as you go. Incorporate the flour in increments, and by the end of the kneading it should all be in and you might need more.
Knead the bread dough on a wooden surface if possible, or cloth. Both well floured. You can look up kneading patterns on the internet, but most people press the dough forward to stretch it, and then fold it back over itself again, turn and do the same thing in the other direction....
Put the dough back in the bowl, now oiled.
Cover with a damp cloth and put in a draft free place.
This should easily rise within about 1.5 hours but could take as much as 3.
Punch down and break into two parts, form into loaves of desired shapes.
Let rise again, covered in a draft free place after placing loaves on a greased cooking sheet. If you wish to slash the top, or put a decoration like salt, rolled oats or whole caraway this is when to do that, prior to the last rise.
This rise is usually the shortest of the bunch.
400 degree oven for 15 minutes, and drop to 350. This will bake for another 35 or 45 minutes again. It can be tested by tapping the bottom of the loaf to see if it sounds hollow. That usually means it is done, if the crust browness matches the desired color.
Bread needs to cool before slicing. I cool it under a dishtowel, as this allows the crust to form, but does not make it tough.
Makes great sandwiches, then toast and finally with garlic salt and butter can become homemade croutons as garnish for soup or salad.