- Hands-on time:
- 10 mins. to 20 mins.
- Baking time:
- 35 mins. to 40 mins.
- Total time:
- 3 hrs 25 mins. to 4 hrs 20 mins.
- 1 large loaf or 2 smaller loaves
This seeded light-colored, soft rye bread is delicious for deli sandwiches — corned beef on rye, anyone?
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 1 cup white rye, medium rye, or pumpernickel flour
- 4 teaspoons sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1/2 cup sour cream (low-fat is fine; please don't use nonfat)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons caraway seeds, to taste
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 1/3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or First Clear Flour
- 3 tablespoons vital wheat gluten or King Arthur Rye Bread Improver, optional, for best rise
- Note: Thanks to reader feedback, as of February 22, 2013, changes have been made to this recipe to create a less sticky dough, one easier to work with and shape; and to ensure the bread doesn't sink in the center after baking. The amount of water has been reduced from 1 1/4 cups to 1 cup; and the amount of rye flour has been decreased from 1 1/4 cups to 1 cup, with the amount of all-purpose flour increasing from 2 cups to 2 1/3 cups. In addition, the sugar has been decreased by 2 teaspoons. Thanks, as always, for your good feedback.
- 1) In a medium-sized mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the water, sugar, rye flour and yeast, mixing to form a soft batter. Let the mixture rest for 20 minutes; this allows the rye flour to absorb some of the liquid, making the dough easier to knead.
- 2) Add the remaining ingredients, and mix and knead the dough together — by hand, mixer or bread machine — until it's fairly smooth. The nature of rye dough is to be sticky, so don't be tempted to add too much flour.
- 3) Place the dough in an oiled bowl or large (8-cup) measure, cover, and let it rise until noticeably puffy, 60 to 90 minutes.
- 4) Gently deflate the dough, knead it briefly, and shape it into two smooth oval or round loaves; or one long oval loaf. Place them on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.
- 5) Cover the loaves, and let them rise until they're noticeably puffy, about 90 minutes. Towards the end of the rise, preheat the oven to 350°F.
- 6) Just before they go into the oven, spritz the loaves with water, and slash them about 1/2" deep. The oval loaves look good with one long, vertical slash; the rounds, with two or three shorter slashes across the top.
- 7) Bake the loaves for 35 to 40 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center reads 205°F to 210°F. The single, larger loaf will bake for 45 to 50 minutes. If the bread appears to be browning too quickly, tent it lightly with foil after 25 minutes of baking.
- 8) Remove the loaves from the oven, and transfer them to a rack. While still warm, brush them with melted butter, if desired; this will keep their crust soft.
- Yield: 1 large loaf or 2 smaller loaves.
Tips from our bakers
- Don't throw away that dill or sour pickle juice! It's a great substitute for the water in this recipe. Depending on the saltiness of the juice, you'll want to cut back the salt in the recipe to 3/4 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon.