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deli style rye bread

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Deli style rye bread

Rye breads with a high percentage of rye flour are commonly made with sourdough starter, rather than yeast. Rye contains far less gluten than wheat and so it doesn’t want to expand as much, lazy sod. Rye dough will not rise high and proud, forming gluten steeples inside but wants to sprawl and spread; and just chill, producing lots of sugars.

In order to give it a kick up the backside and make it resemble a proper loaf, we usually sour it – and it does like to ferment a lot, what with all those sugars. So if you want to make one of those ‘proper’ rye breads with considerable content of rye flour, go for sourdough. Some very enlightening rye notes here.

But this isn’t full-on rye – I call it rye, deli style, but it only really has a small addition of rye flour, for the taste. And so it rises quite nicely on yeast and it’s friendlier to those who are a bit scared of sour starters. It makes the most beautiful cold beef sandwiches and toasts like heaven.

  • INGREDIENTS
  • 310g (2 cups) strong bread flour
  • 155g (1 cup) light rye flour
  • 2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 10g fresh or 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 300ml (1¼ cup) warm water
  • 2 tbsp. runny honey
  • 2 tbsp. groundnut or sunflower oil
  • For the glaze:
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 1 cup water
  • coarse salt
  • extra pinch of caraway seeds

METHOD
Place the flours, caraway seeds, salt and yeast in a large bowl or in the bowl of a standing mixer. Stir the oil and honey into the water and pour into the flour mix. Mix it into rough dough using the mixer’s dough hook attachment or a large wooden spoon. Leave the dough to rest for 20 minutes.

Now knead the dough with the mixer dough hook at medium speed or by hand on a floured surface until it’s smooth and elastic, clears the sides of the bowl or stops sticking to your hands.  Leave it to prove in a warm place for 1-1 ½ hour until doubled in size.

Risen rye dough

Preheat the oven to 230C/450F/gas 8. Line a 30 x 20cm (or larger) baking tray with parchment and sprinkle it lightly with flour.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Pat it gently into a 20cm or so square.  Fold the top half to the centre, then fold its corners on top, like ears. Turn the dough round 180 degrees and do the same with the other side. Now fold in half stretching the outer surface and seal the seam. Place the loaf, seam side down, in the prepared tray. Cover with oiled cling film and prove for 30-40 minutes.

Shaped rye deli loaf

When it’s appreciably risen, slash 3 times across the top and transfer into the oven. Immediately turn the heat down to 190C/375F/gas 5. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

In the meantime make the glaze: in a small pan dissolve the cornflour in the water. Bring it to the boil and simmer until it thickens and becomes clear.

Remove the bread from the oven onto a wire rack (with the parchment, so that you don’t make a mess) and brush, hot, with the glaze all over the top and sides.

Sprinkle with salt crystals and extra caraway. Let it cool completely before slicing.

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