Instructions

  1. Pour the orange juice over the currants and let them soak while you measure out the remaining ingredients.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the water, beer, molasses, yeast, orange zest, butter, salt, ginger, and seeds. Add the rye flour and mix thoroughly. Pour the orange juice from the soaked currants into the mixture, keeping the currants aside for the moment. Add the all-purpose flour 1 cup at a time, mixing until the dough absorbs the flour thoroughly. If you’re mixing by hand, set 1/2 cup of flour aside to use to flour your board and your hands as you knead. Mix in the currants.

  3. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 1/2 hours, or until puffy.

  4. Deflate the dough, shape it into a ball, and place it in a greased 8" round cake pan. Tent the loaf with greased plastic or your favorite reusable wrap, leaving plenty of rising room. Let it rise it for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until it's puffy but not quite doubled. Toward the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 375°F.

  5. Uncover the risen loaf and brush it with the beaten egg. Cut a 1/2"-deep cross in the top. Bake the loaf for 40 to 45 minutes, tenting with foil after 20 minutes to keep it from browning too quickly. 

  6. When the center of the bread reaches 190°F when measured with a digital thermometer, remove it from the oven, tip it out of the pan, and place it on a rack to cool.

  7. Store, well wrapped, at room temperature for three days; freeze for longer storage.