TheBetterHalf fancies himself as some sort of sandwich artist. He’s even called himself a sandwich architect. And I can’t argue with him – he makes a great sandwich! I need to find a good recipe for a hoagie roll (any suggestions welcome!), but in the meantime I decided to make him some rye bread for pastrami sandwiches! This recipe turned out so well. The bread has a delicious light rye flavor and I love the addition of caraway seeds. The texture is so soft, but still sturdy enough to stand up to a sandwich.
I definitely recommend using a stand mixer to knead this dough. It is a very sticky dough, so if you do it by hand you might be tempted to add too much flour. Also, note that the King Arthur recipe calls for vital wheat gluten, an ingredient that I happened to have on hand when I went on a King Arthur flour buying binge! It is definitely a random ingredient, but I was very happy with the rise of this bread.
Recipe from King Arthur Flour
1 cup (227 grams) lukewarm water
1 cup (106 grams) white rye, medium rye, or pumpernickel flour
4 teaspoons (14 g) sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1/2 cup (113 grams) sour cream or Greek yogurt
1 to 2 tablespoons (7 grams to 14 grams) caraway seeds, to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/3 cups (280 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons (25 grams) vital wheat gluten or King Arthur Rye Bread Improver, optional, for best rise
In a medium-sized mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water, sugar, rye flour and yeast, mixing with a rubber spatula to form a soft batter. Let the mixture rest, covered, for 20 minutes.
Add the remaining ingredients, and knead the dough together until it’s fairly smooth. I did this in a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, and kneaded for about 6 minutes. The nature of rye dough is to be sticky, so don’t be tempted to add too much flour.
Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover, and let it rise until noticeably puffy, 60 to 90 minutes.
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.
Cover the loaves with plastic wrap sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, and let them rise until they’re noticeably puffy, about 90 minutes. Towards the end of the rise, preheat the oven to 350°F.
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.
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.
Remove the loaves from the oven, and transfer them to a rack to cool.
Yield: 1 large loaf or 2 smaller loaves.