01 November 2008
hearty rye bread
Ooooh, rye bread. One of my favorites. This recipe uses dark rye flour, blackstrap molasses, and a bit of cocoa powder to make an especially hearty loaf. Paired with the pumpkin seeds, which become perfectly toasted while the bread is baking, the result is a rich and complex flavor that can best be described as . . . addictive.
I based my rye bread recipe off of this one, but I changed it a little bit, so I'm rewriting it with my changes and with instructions for making it without a bread machine.
Dark Rye Bread:
makes one loaf
1 1/4 cups warm water, divided
4 tablespoons agave, divided
2 1/4 dry active yeast
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups rye flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon caraway seed
2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds for topping
Proof yeast with about 1 teaspoon of agave in 1/4 cup of water. Set aside for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine dry ingredients. After about 10 minutes, the yeast mixture should puff up. Add it to the flour mixture, and also add additional water, oil, and 3 tablespoons agave. Mix until well combined and then knead for about 8 minutes. Place in a well-oiled bowl and cover with a wet tea towel or cling wrap. Set in a warm place, away from drafts and allow to rise for about 1.5-2 hours, until dough size has doubled.
Punch down the dough and shape into a loaf. Place loaf onto a baking sheet; then, using a small, sharp knife, make a clean incision about 1/2" deep across the top of the loaf. Cover the loaf again and allow to rest 30 minutes - 1 hour; meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 F. Just before you put the bread into the oven, lightly brush the top of the loaf with the remaining tablespoon of agave. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and then place in the oven.
Bake for about 40 minutes. The color will be dark because of the molasses, rye and cocoa, but don't take the bread out too soon. Measure the internal temperature of the bread (it should be at about 190F) to make sure it has fully cooked. If after 40 minutes the bread isn't quite fully cooked, you can turn off the oven and leave it in for a couple minutes longer, allowing the residual heat to finish cooking the loaf.