This recipe makes one loaf. It is a variation of a basic batter bread recipe. This is a dense loaf of bread that is perfect for sandwiches. For a lighter textured loaf use less of the rye flour, such as 2 cups white flour to 1 cup rye.
• 2 ¼ teaspoons dry yeast (one package)
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• ¼ cup warm water (baby bottle warm)
Dissolve the sugar in the water in a small bowl. Sprinkle the yeast on top and stir with small spoon until the yeast dissolves. Sit the bowl with the yeast in it in a warm place for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the yeast mixture has become bubbly and is twice the volume.
• 1 cup boiling water
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1 or more tablespoons molasses or brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 2 teaspoons of caraway seeds (optional)
Boil the water in a small pan with the molasses or brown sugar, butter, salt and caraway seeds. Hint – Remember to wipe the edge of the bottle or jar of molasses with a wet paper towel before closing or you may have a problem getting it open again. Pour the boiling mixture into a large bowl. Cool the mixture to lukewarm.
• 1 egg, beaten, in same small bowl used for the yeast mixture.
• 1 ½ cups of white flour
• 1 ½ cups of rye flour
Add the yeast mixture to the liquid mixture in the large bowl. Beat 1 egg in the same small bowl the yeast mixture was in. Add the beaten egg to the other ingredients in the large bowl. Stir.
Add 1 ½ cups of flour, I add the white flour first, stirring well until the batter is smooth (about 25 strokes for cake batter smooth). I use a wire whisk for this. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir in the 1 ½ cups of rye flour. Mix well and make sure all the flour is incorporated. Cover the bowl with a towel or pot lid and sit it in a warm place until the dough is double in bulk. I sit it on the back of the stove top on top of an inverted pie tin and turn on the oven to 120 degrees.
Uncover the bowl and stir down the dough (about 25 or more strokes). I knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about five minutes or until most of the stickiness is gone. Add additional flour about a tablespoon at a time. Then I form the dough into a loaf. Or you can just spoon the dough into a greased pan and let it rise. This recipe was based on a batter bread recipe I devised. I like the texture of this loaf better if I knead it a bit.
If you want the loaf to look like a store bought round artisan loaf bake the dough in a 9 X 2 inch round cake pan instead of a smallish loaf pan. If you intend to toast the bread slices bake it in the loaf pan. It makes the best grilled cheese sandwiches you’ll ever have. Grease the pan of your choice. You can dust the cake pan with a bit of cornmeal if you wish so it seems more store bought. Slash 1/4 inch deep cuts diagonal across the top of the loaf in a few places. Cover the dough in the pan and let the loaf rise until just about ½ to 1 inch above the top edge of the pan. Sit it at the back of the stove top as before. When the dough is just about right turn up the oven temperature to 375 degrees.
Bake the loaf in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for 50 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
Take the loaf out of the oven and remove it from the pan. The loaf should pop right out if the pan was well greased. Rub the top crust with butter. Allow the loaf to cool completely on a baking rack before slicing. Store in a plastic bag or wrap in plastic wrap. The loaf can be frozen.