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No-Knead Caraway Rye Bread

TexLaw

Fussy Evil Genius
This is the bread that I posted up in the "What's Cooking" thread.

There's no magic to it, really. It's just something I adapted from the gazillion no-knead recipes. The major difference from this recipe and what you might find in a lot of books or website recipes is the proportion of rye. Just about everything I found used a very small amount of rye, from around 10-20%. That's not good enough for me. This still has plenty of good texture. When I bake, I use my kitchen scale to measure almost everything in grams (it's so much easier, especially when I want to scale the recipe), so keep in mind that YMMV if you prefer to deal with volumes.

This makes about 3 1/2 pounds of dough, enough for 3-4 loaves. You can scale it, or you can just mix it once and then bake what you want or knead over a couple of weeks or so. You can make this days ahead, if you like, and bake when you're ready.

No-Knead Caraway Rye Bread

(for dough)

-680g lukewarm water (just shy of 3 cups)
-10g yeast (or 1 packet)
-20g kosher salt (~1.25 tbsp) (you can vary a bit for flavor, but only a few grams either way; 1-1.5 tbsp), plus enough to sprinkle on top
-15g whole caraway seeds (1.5 tbsp), plus enough to sprinkle on top
-400g rye flour (I use dark rye flour)
-500g bread flour (or first clear, if you have it)
-cornmeal or parchment paper

(for glaze) (vegan option below)

-1 egg white
-1 tsp cold water

(for baking)

-1 cup water

1. Mix water (for dough), yeast, salt, and caraway in a large bowl or a stand mixer bowl until the salt is dissolved.

2. Mix in the flour, with a stiff spoon, dough whisk, or paddle attachment for the stand mixer, until the all flour is incorporated but without kneading. This is super easy with the stand mixer. If you use a spoon or dough whisk, it may take some real work, as this is not a batter but a loose dough.

3. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise for about 2 hours at room temperature (it's not terrible critical to be precise, but don't overdo it).

4. Put the dough in the fridge in a container you won't need for a while. Leave it for at least a few hours, overnight, or days and days.

---When you are ready to bake

1. Get a small bowl of cool water handy.

2. Liberally dust a peel or overturned baking sheet with cornmeal or place a sheet of parchment paper on top.

3. Dust the top of the refrigerated dough with four and take about a 1 lb portion of dough from the container (about the size of a mid-size or large grapefruit). It's easiest to use kitchen shears (or just large scissors) to cut away the dough you want.

4. Dust the removed portion with more flour and quickly shape it into a rough ball by pulling down the sides of the dough while rotating the glob in your hands. This should only take a few motions--no need to be perfect here, and you're trying to deflate the dough as little as possible.

5. Quickly (and fairly gently) shape the ball into an oval loaf on the dusted peel or parchment paper (again, does not need to be perfect, and deflate the dough only as little as necessary). If the dough is too sticky, wet your hands with water from that bowl you have handy. Dust the top of the dough with flour and cover with a clean dish towel (plastic wrap probably will stick).

6. Preheat oven to 450F with a baking stone inside (if you have one, or a heavy baking sheet if you don't). Also put in a metal baking pan on another rack that will not interfere with the loaf. Let the stone continue to preheat for at least 20 minutes after the oven reaches its temperature.

7. Let the dough warm and rise in a relatively warm, non-drafty place until it gets close to room temperature, typically 45-60 minutes, but time may vary depending on the size of the dough, temperature of your refrigerator, and temperature of your home (may be as much as 90 minutes).

8. Whisk together the egg white and water (for glaze) and push it through a strainer. Once the oven and dough are ready, brush the glaze over the exposed surface of the dough.

9. Slash the glazed dough with a razor blade, baker's lame, or very sharp knife. Make three slashes across the width of the loaf, a little diagonally--each about 1/2 inch deep. Sprinkle the top with as much caraway and kosher salt as you like, but be fairly careful with the salt (it can get very salty very quickly).

10. Slide the dough onto the stone (or baking sheet), pour the 1 cup of water (for baking) into the baking pan, and quickly close the oven. If you use parchment paper, you can take it out from under the loaf after around 10-15 minutes in order to get a better crust on the bottom.

11. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the interior temperature of the loaf is 200F. (I check the temperature after 30 minutes, and it's usually right at or even a little over 200F. If it's under, I just turn off the oven and let the loaf sit in there for a few more minutes, and that usually does the trick.) A larger loaf probably will need more time.

12. Remove to a cooling rack and let cool completely. As this loaf contains a lot of rye, it also benefits from a long rest (even overnight).

If you want a vegan loaf, you can replace the glaze with a cornstarch wash. For a cornstarch wash, mix 1/2 teaspoon of cornstarch with a little bit of water to form a paste. Add 1/2 cup water and whisk with a fork. Microwave it for about 30-60 seconds on high or otherwise boil until the mixture appears glassy. Let it cool. If you don't want to go through any trouble at all for a glaze, you can just use water, but the caraway and salt won't stick very well.

There is no need to use any ground caraway in this recipe. With all the resting/rising time before baking, plenty of flavor gets into the dough. Of course, if want more caraway flavor, grind up 1/2 tablespoon or so and add it in. If you don't like caraway as much, don't add as much or leave it out altogether.
 

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That looks and sounds delicious! I absolutely love tuna salad on rye bread, and may have to make a loaf of this for a cheat meal next Spring. Thanks for the recipe.
 

TexLaw

Fussy Evil Genius
Golly. I just realized that I got a little mixed up between this and my biscotti (which I also recently made). When shaping the loaf, it's perfectly fine to lightly flour the dough and your hands if need be. Putting some cold water on your hands is fine, too, but it might get a little messy. No big deal, either way.
 
It seems like a LOT of work but I've seen your finished product in that other thread and I'm sure it is WELL worth the effort. I won't know for sure until you mail me a loaf though..... ;)

Thanks for the detailed guide. Rye bread is most excellent. What do you put on yours? Reubens?? Limburger cheese and onions? -- I don't endorse trying that one, lol. I tried it and was traumatized. Limburger is just awful.
 

TexLaw

Fussy Evil Genius
It really isn't that much work. There are a lot of steps, but none of them take much hands on time, and timing is very flexible.

Recently, I used half of the dough from one batch to make a larger sandwich loaf, and that worked very well. I believe I baked that one for around 45 or 50 minutes.
 
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