Rye bread is a unique bread that makes a meat and cheese sandwich taste very special! A staple bread in delicatessens, this is a favorite savory baked good that we buy rather than make ourselves. That's what I'm discussing today: how to make your own rye bread!
The recipe I'm giving is for "Swedish Rye Bread". This recipe is one I got from a lady named Maria Baker, who lives in Illinois. Shesaid that this was a bread that her mother would bake and that on cold, snowy days, she would have a buttered slice with a glass of cold milk. She went on to say that her favorite part of the bread was the end portion and that if her mother wasn't looking, she would slice the other end of the loaf, which upset her mother!
Rye flour is sometimes hard to find but it is available in larger grocery stores and perhaps even health food stores. This is a light-textured loaf and has the traditional flavor of caraway seeds, but also contains anise seeds. Both of these can be found in the spice section of many stores. The two seeds give this bread an interesting flavor.
Not a hard bread to make, it three rises and one rest period between. I've discovered that it's these rises that give this bread the light, tender texture that it has. It's not often that a bread recipe calls for three rising periods, but this is what this one calls for. There's little kneading in this one, too. This can be formed into two traditional loaves or made into round loaves, whichever suits your preference. Have some soft butter ready when it comes from the oven and enjoy yourself! Or, wait until it cools and make a deli sandwich! Either way, it's wonderful eating!
Though the Swedish are known for their baking, the Irish have a special bread recipe, too. "Irish Soda Bread" is an easy and tasty quick bread from the wonderful country of Ireland. To get this recipe, follow this link:
When the weather gets cold and damp, pull out this recipe and enjoy the warmth that a loaf of freshly-baked bread can provide!
SWEDISH RYE BREAD
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1 teaspoon anise seeds
- 1 tablespoon shortening
- 1 envelope dry yeast
- 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups rye flour, stirred
In a small saucepan, combine water, sugar, salt, caraway and anise seeds and shortening. Bring to a boil and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool until lukewarm. Combine with yeast and turn into a large bowl. Beat in the all-purpose flour. Cover and let rise 1-1/2 hours. Stir dough down and add the rye flour, mixing to a stiff dough. Turn out onto a floured board and knead for about 2 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise to double. Punch dough down, knead for 1 minute and divide in half to form into desired loaves. For loaf pans, shape each half of the dough into a loaf and place in 2 greased 8x4 inch pans. Cover and let rise to double. Bake at 375 degrees for 35-45 minutes.
For round loaves, grease a baking sheet and sprinkle with about a tablespoon of cornmeal. Shape halves of dough into rounds and place on the sheet. Flatten dough slightly. Let rise to double. Just prior to baking, brush tops of loaves with a mixture of 1 unbeaten egg white and 1 tablespoon cold water. With a sharp knife, slash each loaf 2-3 times diagonally. Bake as directed above.
Yield: 2 loaves