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Elegant Eating from Downton Abbey: Yorkshire Rye Bread

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According to the rule of British artistocracy, if one is to serve soup for a dinner one must also serve bread. In the case of Downton Abbey, this bread must be Yorkshire Rye Bread! This make sense when one considers that this version of rye bread is also one of the most famous in the world, albeit usually referred to as English Rye Bread.

Aside from serving this at any party celebrating Downton Abbey, it is also a wonderful bread to add to your collection of great bread recipes. It is quite easy to make and freezes well (so go ahead and make both loaves). Like most yeast breads, however, it does have a few rising times.

To make this bread as they did during the Edwardian era, you will want to include caraway seeds (at the time an extravagance thus only used for dinner parties thrown by the likes of the Granthams) but you can feel free to leave them out.

Ingredients needed to make Yorkshire Rye Bread (makes 2 loves):

  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs. yeast
  • 1 Tbs. caraway seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 Tbs. corn oil
  • 2 cups rye flour
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 Tbs. water

Steps:

  1. In a large bowl whisk together 2 cups of flour, brown sugar, yeast, caraway seeds and salt. Stir in the warm water and oil. Set the bowl aside 10 minutes for the yeast to proof (foam).
  2. Into the bowl stir 1/2 cup flour to form a soft (wet) dough.
  3. Stir in the remaining flour and rye flour to form a dough (it will be somewhat stiff).
  4. Place the dough on a floured surface and knead 10 minutes.
  5. Place the dough back into the bowl. cover and let rise 1 hour.
  6. Punch the dough down (yes, put your fist into it). Divide the dough in half and form each half into a round loaf.
  7. Place each loaf on a baking pan and let rise 1 hour.
  8. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  9. In a small bowl whisk together the egg white and water (this is an egg wash). Brush the egg wash on each loaf.
  10. Place the loaves into the oven and bake 40 minutes.
  11. Remove the loaves from the oven and let cool on a rack.

The internationally bestselling cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards, "Edwardian Cooking: 80 Recipes Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals," is now in it's third printing and available worldwide in both hard cover and e-book versions. The paperback version will be released March 4, 2014.

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