Crusty Rye Bread

My first post is about something many people now think of as being unhealthy: Carbs. In truth, carbohydrates are a very important source of quick-burning energy and overall satiation. You just have to eat the right carbs to stay healthy--things like whole grain pastas and breads, brown rice, and of course, lots of fruits and vegetables to get a variety of vitamins and nutrients. Carbohydrates rich in refined sugar and white flour are much less good for you, so enjoy them in moderation.

Moderation is what this blog is all about. Eat healthy most of the time, but splurge when there's something you really want. When I worked as a weight loss consultant, I told my clients that eating one 'bad' thing will not affect their weight. It's a factual and comforting thought, isn't it?

So, with that in mind, let's move to yesterday's creation: Crusty Rye Bread, courtesy of Cooking Light. It was a cold and dreary day here in Urbana-Champaign. In other words, it was bread bakin' weather.

Crusty Rye Bread
1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
2/3 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees)
1/2 cup rye flour - medium
1/4 cup bread flour

2 cups bread flour
1/2 cup rye flour - medium
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons bread flour
Cooking spray

1. To prepare sponge, dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Lightly spoon 1/2 cup rye flour and 1/4 cup bread flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add these flours to the yeast mixture, stirring with a whisk. Cover and let stand in a warm place (about 85 degrees--my oven top gets really warm when the oven is on, so I placed it there), free from drafts, for 2 hours.
2. To prepare bread, lightly spoon 2 cups bread flour and 1/2 cup rye flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add these flours, 1/2 cup water, caraway seeds, and salt to sponge; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth.
3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes); add 2 tablespoons bread flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands.
4. Shape dough into a round loaf; place loaf on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 1 1/2 hours or until dough has doubled in size.
5. Preheat oven to 425.
6. Uncover and pierce loaf 1-inch deep in several places with a wooden pick. Bake at 425 for 30 minutes, or until loaf is browned on bottom and sounds hollow when tapped. Let stand 20 minutes before slicing.

Yield: 12 servings
Serving Size: 1 slice
Calories: 131 (5% from fat), Carb: 26.7g, Protein: 4.3g, Fat: 0.7g
Exchange: 1 1/2 starch servings

This was awesome bread! It is, as the name says, incredibly crusty bread. I got a little worried, because it was difficult to serrate my way through the crust. But inside, the bread was moist, dense without being too heavy, and lightly flavored! I would suggest adding more caraway seeds if you like more rye-flavor (which I will remember for the future).



Nino said...

As the fortunate recipient of at least half of this loaf, I can confirm that it is indeed completely insanely awesome.

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