Start the night before to have fresh bread for lunch. Overnight Rye Bread can be made with a sourdough starter or a quick starter.
Although I thoroughly enjoy baking bread, I don’t do it as often as I would like. In a perfect world (the one where I can eat as much as and whatever I’d like) I’d bake bread several times a week and eat it every day. But in the real world, when it’s just me and my husband at home we try to eat pretty light and keep the carbs to a minimum, at least on weekdays. When our son is home from school it’s great for many reasons. Not the least of which is that I can bake as much as I like without the guilt.
The other day my son asked me to pick up some pastrami and brown mustard for sandwiches. While in the store I decided to also get Swiss cheese and sauerkraut so he he make himself a Reuben sandwich, and a good Reuben needs good rye bread.
I grew up in New Jersey and being so close to New York it was easy to find a good deli and fresh rye bread. Where I live now, not so much. So I decided to make a loaf of rye bread rather than buy the less than great bread in my local grocery.
As usual the base of the dough was my beer mash starter. If you don’t have a starter follow the changes in the “notes” section of the recipe, or better yet, make a starter for yourself.
I mixed the dough the night before so that it would be ready for lunchtime the next day. Also, allowing a long slow rise overnight will give you a bread with fantastic texture and taste.
For some breads, like a baguette or pizza crust, I purposely do not knead all the air out of the dough between rises. I like to keep the open and irregular crumb for a more rustic texture. Since this was going to be a sandwich bread I kneaded out the air after each rise for a more even crumb.
When I took the cold dough out of the refrigerator in the morning, I kneaded it a bit to redistribute the yeast and sprinkled in the caraway seeds. I then set the bowl over a larger bowl of warm water to warm up the dough and kick-start the final rise.
After I took this big beautiful loaf out of the oven, my son (who is a very discerning eater) said it was the nicest bread I’ve ever made. High praise for sure.
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