We love dark rye bread though we usually make it without the caraway seeds. This deli-style rye is one of our favorite sandwich breads. It can be made either in loaf pans or free-standing.
Rye flour does not have the proteins required to make gluten and rye recipes must rely on wheat gluten. You can go up to 50% rye in a recipe by adding wheat gluten but we like to keep it less than that. This recipe has only 36% rye and with extra gluten added, can make a light, open bread.
2 1/2 cups water at 110 degrees
1 7-gram packet of instant yeast
4 cups high-protein bread flour
2 1/4 cups dark rye flour
1/4 cup dry buttermilk powder
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup molasses
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup wheat gluten
1 teaspoon conditioner
1 1/2 tablespoons caraway seeds (optional)
1. Grease a large bowl for the dough and 2 large loaf pans (9 x 5). If you are going to make hearth loaves, grease a baking sheet and sprinkle it with cornmeal.
2. Measure the flours into a large bowl by whisking the flour so that it not packed and then spooning it into the measure followed by leveling the top with a straightedge. Add the gluten and stir to combine.
3. Put about 1/3 of the flour in the bowl of your stand type mixer equipped with a dough hook. Add the yeast. Add the water at the indicated temperature. With the dough hook, run the machine for thirty seconds to mix the water with the flour to create a slurry. Add the rest of the flour. Add the salt, the optional caraway seeds, the molasses, and the vegetable oil. Mix at medium speed for about three minutes or until the gluten has formed and the dough is elastic. The dough should be soft but not too sticky. To reach the right consistency, you may need to dribble a little extra water (maybe one tablespoon) or flour as the dough is kneading. Place the dough in the prepared bowl and cover it to keep the dough from drying while it rises. Let it rise until it doubles.
4. Gently deflate the dough and form two loaves either as free-standing loaves on a baking sheet or sandwich loaves for your bread pans. Cover the loaves and let them rise again until the dough is soft and puffy, about doubled in size.
5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the bread for about 35 minutes. The time will vary depending on your loaves, the pans, and your oven. The bread should make a hollow sound when thumped on the bottom. The internal temperature of the loaves should be 190 degrees.
6. Remove the loaves form the pans and let them cool on a wire rack. Cool completely, or nearly so, before slicing.