This moist and delicious Rye bread is done to perfection when it becomes a deep ruddy brown in color.
2 tablespoons dry yeast
1/2 cup water
2 cups sparkling hard cider or beer
1-1/4 pounds unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 pound rye flour
1 tablespoon salt
Soften 2 tablespoons yeast in 1/2 cup warm water in a large mixing bowl and stir in 2 cups sparkling hard cider or beer. Mix 1-1/4 pounds all-purpose flour with 3/4 pound rye flour and salt. Whisk the flour into the liquid, a cup at a time, until the dough is too thick to continue. Stir in the remaining flour, a cup at a time, until the dough comes together in a solid, sticky mass.
Turn the dough onto a floured surface and begin kneading. Use a gentler motion than in kneading a white-bread dough, so that the dough stretches less. The dough will probably remain sticky throughout the kneading, but do not add more flour. After 3 or 4 minutes the dough will have a limp, silky elasticity. Put the dough in a container that allows for triple expansion, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
Allow 3 to 4 hours for the dough to come to room temperature. Work out all air from the dough, then shape it into 1-pound balls or baguettes. Let the dough rise to slightly less than double in bulk, as the bread is better dense than light.
Bake in a preheated 400 degree. oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until the Rye Bread loaves are a deep ruddy brown.
Recipe makes 2 9-inch loaves.
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