Rye Bread with Caraway Seeds

It’s been raining relentlessly here in Portland, like you can’t even believe record-breaking-rainfalls and all of that. So it’s a good time to bake. I’ve been wanting to make Rye Bread for some time now and this came out better than I’d hoped for. It’s based on the no-knead method, although not as airy as the original, this bread is fairly dense with an incredible crisp and chewy crust. And of course the caraway seeds add a wonderful flavor to the rye. I’m trying to make bread more often, simply because of how easy it is and tastes so good. I’m looking forward to experimenting with different grains and seeds, so you will most likely see more bread posts here in the coming months.

Rye Bread with Caraway Seeds

  • 8 oz rye flour
  • 12 oz bread flour
  • Generous 1/4 teaspoon dried, instant (rapid-rise) yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 15 oz water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon caraway seeds

In a large bowl combine flours, yeast, salt and caraway seeds. Add water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal (you can rest dough on parchment paper as well, it’s less of a mess) Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger. (This rye version didn’t double in size, maybe 1 1/2 in size)

At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450°F. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.