My Step Dad George’s favorite bread is Rye Bread. He doesn’t really like sliced bread and likes to have rye bread around to slab some soft cheeses and pate on in the morning for breakfast. He recently moved from Chicago (where he had a whole host of European markets to get his favorite things at for a good price) to St. George, Utah. He has had the hardest time finding rye bread anywhere. They recently watched our dog who was healing from a cruciate knee ligament repair and then drove her back to us. As a way of saying thanks, I found this recipe for Deli Rye bread and had it warm out of the oven waiting for him when they arrived. He loved it! And I made my husband a tuna fish sandwich for lunch on this rye bread and he loved it too.
- 2 1/2 C King Arthur all-purpose flour (or any brand of bread flour)
- 1 1/2 C rye flour (dark is best but any grade will do)
- 1 Tbsp caraway seeds
- 2 1/2 tsp instant or rapid-rise yeast (I use saf-instant yeast and it cut the rising time in half for almost every step)
- 1 2/3 C plus 1/2 C water
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tsp molasses
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 tsp cornstarch
- Whisk all-purpose flour, rye flour, caraway seeds, and yeast together in bowl of stand mixer. Whisk 1 2/3 C water, oil, molasses in liquid measuring cup until molasses has dissolved.
- Fit stand mixer with dough hook; add water mixture to flour mixture and knead on low speed until cohesive dough forms and no dry flour remains, about 2 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let dough rest for 20 minutes.
- Add salt to dough and knead on medium-low speed until dough is smooth and clastic and clears sides of bowl, about 5 minutes.
- Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and knead by hand to form smooth, round ball, about 30 seconds. Place dough seam side down in lightly oiled large bowel, cover tightly with plastic, and let rise until doubled in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
- Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and gently press into 8 inch disk, then fold edge toward middle to form round. Cover loosely with plastic and let rest for 15 minutes.
- Adjust oven racks to middle and lowest positions, place baking stone on upper rack, and heat oven to 450 degrees. Line overturned rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and dust lightly with rye flour. Gently press and stretch dough into 12 by 9 inch oval, with short end of oval facing edge of counter. Fold top left and right edges of dough diagonally into center of oval and press gently to seal. Fold point of dough into center of oval and press seam gently to seal. Rotate dough 180 degrees and repeat folding and sealing top half of dough.
- Fold dough in half toward you to form rough 8 by 4 inch crescent-shaped loaf. Using heel of your hand, press seam closed against counter. Roll loaf seam side down. Tuck ends under loaf to form rounded torpedo shape. Gently slide your hands underneath loaf and transfer, seam side down, to prepared sheet.
- Spray sheet of plastic with vegetable oil spray and cover loaf loosely. Let loaf rise until increased in size by about half and dough springs back minimally when poked gently with your knuckle, 45 mins to 1 1/4 hours.
- Place empty loaf pan on bottom oven rack. Using shark paring knife or single-edge razor blade, make six to eight 4 inch-long, 1/2 inch deep slashes with swift, fluid motion across width of loaf, spacing slashes about 1 inch apart. Pour 2 C boiling water into empty loaf pan in oven.
- Slide parchment and loaf from sheet onto baking stone. Bake until deep golden brown, 25-30 minutes, rotating loaf halfway through baking. Transfer loaf to wire rack.
- Whisk cornstarch and remaining 1/2 C water in bowl until cornstarch has dissolved. Microwave, whisking frequently, until mixture is thickened, 1-2 minutes.
- Brush top and sides of loaf with 3 Tbsp cornstarch mixture. (This is to soften the crust just a little so it works better for a deli sandwich–George likes crusty bread, next time I may skip this step). Let cool completely, about 3 hours, before slicing and serving.