Along with Jewish delicatessens, “Jewish” rye bread spread across the US in the early 1900s. Brought by European immigrants to New York, seeded rye bread quickly met with America’s obsession with anything stuffed between two pieces of bread. Heartier Eastern European foods like hot pastrami, corned beef, and chopped liver all needed a bread sturdy enough to not fall apart. Rye bread met this need and then some.
Seeded Rye Bread
- Stand Mixer with whisk and dough hook attachments
- Large bowl with lid, hand whisk, water spray bottle
- 1 large baking pan and 1 smaller baking pan
- Instant read thermometer
- ¾ cup Rye flour
- 3 cups Bread flour, divided
- 1⅛ tsp Instant yeast, divided
- 1½ tbsp Sugar
- 1⅓ tbsp Barley malt syrup or honey
- 1½ cups Lukewarm water
- 2 tbsp Caraway seeds (optional)
- ½ tbsp Kosher salt
- 2 tsp Vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp Cornmeal
- Make Starter – Turn on the light inside the oven.In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, combine ¾ cup bread flour, ¾ cup rye flour, ½ tsp instant yeast, 1½ tbsp sugar, barley malt syrup, and 1½ cups warm water. Whisk until very smooth at medium-high speed for about 2 minutes.In a separate large bowl, whisk together 2¼ cups flour, ½+⅛ tsp yeast, 2 tbsp caraway seeds, and ½ tsp salt. Pour directly on top of the water mixture in the mixer bowl without mixing it in. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let it ferment in the warm oven.
- Make Dough – Replace whisk attachment with dough hook. Add 2 tsp vegetable oil to the mixer bowl and mix on low speed for 1 minute to combine everything. Raise speed to medium and knead for 10 minutes. Dough should be very smooth and elastic. If it seems sticky, turn it out on a lightly floured work surface and knead in a little extra flour.Place the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl. Make sure all sides of the dough is covered. Place plastic wrap over the bowl and put back in the warm oven for 2 hours. Flip bowl over and let dough fall out onto a lightly floured work surface. Press it down gently to allow any gasses to escape and form into a flatter ball. Re-oil bowl. return dough, and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise for another 45 minutes in the oven.
- Form Bread Loaf – Turn the dough back out onto the lightly floured work surface. Gently press it down again. Form it into a rounded oblong shape. Place it on a cornmeal covered smaller baking pan. Cover it with lightly oiled plastic wrap and let it rise on the counter for another hour and 15 minutes. After 30 minutes, preheat oven to 450°F (230°C).
- Bake Bread – Adjust oven rack to bottom position and place the larger baking pan on the rack. After dough has rested for 30 minutes, preheat oven to 450°F (230°C) to get it blazing hot by the time you put the bread in.With a sharp knife or razor blade, make ½-inch deep slashes across the top of the dough. Have small bowl with few ice cubes ready. Mist the dough. Quickly place bread pan on baking tray in oven, toss ice cubes around big pan and quickly shut oven door. Bake at 450°F (230°C) for 15 minutes, then turn heat down to 400°F (200°C) and bake another 30 to 40 minutes until golden brown and an instant read thermometer inserted into the center reads 190°F. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.