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RAPID-RISE RUSSIAN RYE BREAD

 

Ingredients for 2 loaves:

3 cups stone-ground rye flour

4 cups bread flour

2 cups Grape Nuts cereal

3 tablespoons caraway seeds, crushed

1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed

2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon sugar

3 packages Rapid-Rise yeast

1-1/2 cups water

1 cup strong coffee

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces

1/4 cup dark molasses

1 tablespoon finely grated onion

1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped

Glaze:

1/2 cup cold water

1 teaspoon cornstarch

 

Directions:

Combine flours in a mixing bowl.  Assemble bran cereal, seeds, salt, sugar, and yeast in the workbowl of an electric mixer.  Stir 5 cups of the flour into the cereal mixture.  Mix well with the paddle attachment.

 

Combine and heat water, coffee, vinegar, and molasses in a saucepan.  Add the grated onion and chocolate, stirring until the liquid reaches 130 degrees.

 

Pour the hot liquid into the mixer bowl stirring with a dough hook as a dough forms.  Begin adding from the remaining supply of flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and clings to the hook.  Continue kneading until the dough is firm and elastic.  Turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface.

 

Kneading and first rise: Finish kneading the dough by hand to achieve a smooth elastic shape.  Fold the dough into a ball and place in an oiled rising bowl, turning to coat it the entire surface.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest to almost double, about an hour.

 

Shaping and second rise: Punch the dough down and divide into two loaves.  Shape each by flattening it into a rectangle, and letter folding twice, turning the dough ninety degrees between folds.  Roll the second fold under and draw down the corners to make a ball.  Place the ball on a bake sheet or an oiled 8" glass pie plate is rack baking.  Liberally coat the sheets with cornmeal if loaves will be transferred to a stone.  Let the loaves rise again, another 45 minutes.

 

Baking and glazing: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Bake the rye loaves for 45 minutes.  Turn them over and bake another 5 minutes.  During this time dissolve the cornstarch in water and bring it to a simmer while stirring.  Cook one minute and take off the heat to cool.  Turn the loaves right side up and brush the top and sides of the loaves with the cornstarch solution.  Return them to the oven for another 2 minutes.  Cool on a rack