this post is sponsored by bob’s red mill. thank you for supporting the partnerships that allow brewing happiness to grow and exist. xoxo.
For a long time in my life I thought that bread was too hard to make. I watched other bloggers making beautiful loaves, and just thought, “nah that’ll never be me.” I watched Paul Hollywood yell at people about their second rise and bake time, and I got intimidated. I’m not an incredible baker, so I just assumed it would be hard and I’d spend the rest of my life buying bread.
But once I really started to get intimate with the bread making process (by way of experimenting with challah and ultimately making my Maple Pumpkin Challah) I realized that the process wasn’t as scary as I thought. I mean, for starters, it’s pretty much just 5 ingredients: flour, water, yeast, sugar and salt. You can make almost any kind of bread with a few variants of those simple ingredients.
I also learned that bread is way more foolproof than you think it is. Sure, you might not create the *perfect* loaf the first time, but it’s BREAD. It’s still good even when it’s bad. And the more you make bread the more you start to understand its intricacies. I like to think that bread talks to me. It tells me when it’s ready, it tells me when it’s done being kneaded. The more you start to make bread, the more familiar you’ll become with the way bread talks.
Now that I’ve convinced you to make bread, let’s talk about the specifics of RYE BREAD….
What makes rye bread rye bread?
- Rye flour. (More specifically, Bob’s Red Mill Organic Dark Rye Flour)
- Caraway seeds. These are the seeds that give rye bread its distinct flavor. This recipe calls for just 1 1/2 tsp of caraway seeds, if you like a more intense caraway flavor, I suggest bumping that number up to 2 tsp-1tbsp.
- Bread flour. (I used Bob’s Red Mill Artisan Bread Flour, ’cause it’s the best.) You need bread flour as opposed to all-purpose flour, in order to combat the denseness of the rye flour. The higher gluten content helps to make the best bread ever.
Seeded Rye Bread
This Seeded Rye Bread is healthy-ish, full of flavor and texture and crunch, and basically foolproof. It's the perfect sandwich bread to make at home!
- 1 cup Bob's Red Mill Organic Dark Rye Flour packed
- 2 cups Bob's Red Mill Artisan Bread Flour packed and divided
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
- 3 tbsp coconut sugar (sub cane sugar)
- 2 tsp active dry yeast
- 3 tbsp raw pumpkin seeds divided
- 3 tbsp raw sunflower seeds divided
- 1 1/4 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup neutral oil, like grapeseed or avocado oil
- 1 tbsp cornmeal
Add warm water and oil to the bowl and mix with a spatula until a wet, shaggy dough forms.
Flour a surface with remaining 1/2 cup bread flour. Add dough to the surface. Begin to knead dough, sprinkling flour over the top to keep if from sticking to your hands. Knead for 5-7 minutes, or until the flour has nearly all folded in to the dough and it is no longer sticky.
Lightly oil a large bowl and add dough to the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 2 hours at room temperature. It should double in size.
After 2 hours, punch down the dough and form it into a ball. Sprinkle remaining 1 tbsp of pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds onto the top of the dough and gently press it in. Reform the dough into a ball.
Line your bowl with parchment paper, large enough for the edges to reach over the top of the bowl. Sprinkle the bottom of the parchment paper with about 3/4 tbsp cornmeal. Place dough seed side up into the parchment-lined bowl. Cover with a cloth towel and let rise for 1 hour.
30 minutes into the second rise, begin to preheat your oven to 450. Heat your empty dutch oven or loaf pan inside the oven while the oven preheats.
After 1 hour of rising and 30 minutes of preheating, transfer your dough (and parchment paper) to your heated baking dish. If using a dutch oven, cover with lid for the first 30 minutes of baking, then remove the lid for the final 15-20 minutes. If using a loaf pan, bake on middle rack for 45-50 minutes.
Let cool on a cooling rack COMPLETELY before slicing in to the bread.
What makes your rye bread different?
- Mostly, seeds. I’ve added (raw) sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds (gotta use raw, because the roasted will burn!) The seeds add texture, crunch, and a great crust on top. Plus seeds can be great to help balance your hormones, so why not have more of them in your life?
- I also use coconut sugar instead of cane sugar, which doesn’t make a huge impact health-wise and changes the flavor none. But it is lower on the GI scale than cane sugar, so that’s plus? But honestly, you can use either.
Do I have to let the bread rise twice????
YES. Just yes. The gluten and yeast will be under developed and you’ll get a weird, dense loaf of bread. Bread isn’t hard to make, but it does require patience.
Do I really have to let it cool completely before slicing it?
AGAIN, YES. Because the rye flour is so dense, if you slice in to it immediately it will be slightly gummy on the inside. Letting it cool allows the perfect texture to form, and you’ll have the best sandwich bread waiting for you.
From kneading bread to watching it rise, I’ve found the process of making bread both magical and healing. It is such a basic food that can be adapted in so many ways once you master it. In a lot of ways I find it connects me back to myself and my kitchen. I HIGHLY recommend you try it. Plus in the era of processed goods that we currently live in, it’s so nice to know exactly what is going in to your bread. It’s nice to know that it’s wholesome ingredients (bless up for Bob’s Red Mill and their high quality products) that won’t leave you feeling nasty.
So, ENJOY. (PS. Rye bread is especially delicious when toasted and turned into an open face sandwich.) xo.