Have you ever purchased a cookbook that you had high hopes for and then finally when time allows, you crack it open and scan the index for just the recipe you need, and then blam, disappointment! I did that recently with “The Ballymaloe Bread Book” I ordered it sometime around April and should have previewed it at the Library or Barnes and Noble first. The problem is that all of the measurements are in grams or pounds and ounces. I wish the publisher had added the American cups and teaspoon/Tablespoon measurements before releasing it to an American market. Yes, you can make the conversions yourself, but it is sketchy because similar looking ingredients have different weights. A teaspoon of sugar weighs about four grams, while a teaspoon of salt weighs six grams. Anyway, I used the recipe for “Easy Rye Bread with Caraway Seeds” from this book and it failed. So,,,,I tried it again, just on instinct and the next loaf at least did not deflate. It was actually very good so here is my adaptation if you would like an easy Rye Bread recipe….
Ingredients ~ 1 loaf yield ~
1 cup lukewarm water
¼ cup olive oil, plus extra for oiling bowl and dough
1 ½ teaspoon dark honey or molasses
1 package rapid-rise yeast (2 ¼ teaspoons)
2 cups bread flour
1 cup Rye flour
1 heaping Tablespoon of caraway seeds
1 ½ teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon melted butter
First, fill a non-reactive container with 1/2 cup of lukewarm water and the honey and then sprinkle the yeast on top and give it a little swirl with a plastic measuring spoon. Allow the container to sit for about 10 minutes and you should have a nice foamy top. This means the yeast is reacting and you will get a fabulous dough. This foamy mixture is referred to as the sponge.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl dry whisk the flours, caraway seeds and salt to combine. Then add the dry ingredients to your food processor bowl.
Then, top the dry ingredients with the additional ½ cup of lukewarm water, the olive oil, and the yeast sponge.
Then run the food processor on low until a dough ball forms.
Remove the dough ball and knead by hand to form a smooth, round ball. Put the dough in an oiled bowl and turn it over several times to coat it with the oil.
Then, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Place in a warm spot (I place my bowl inside my microwave oven – this keeps it from any temperature change when the air conditioner kicks in)
Let rise until dough has doubled in size, about one hour.
Then, pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a bread loaf pan with parchment paper.
Once the dough has risen, punch it down and shape into an oval. Press the oval into the lined loaf pan. Fold the parchment sides over the dough an even it out with a small roller if you have one.
Place the loaf pan back in the microwave to allow the dough to raise again to double it’s size.
Then, brush with melted butter and cut a slit down the middle with a serrated knife.
Place in oven and bake for 35 – 40 minutes. Remove when golden brown and you get a hollow sound when tapping on the top of the loaf.
Place on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Then, lift out of pan with the parchment flaps.
We enjoyed making Patty Melts – see recipe: