Sunday, April 26, 2020

Comforting Homemade Rye Bread Amidst Virus Mayhem

Hi from our house, in what used to be a bustling city. The devastation that SARS-CoV2 has wreaked is unimaginable, worldwide and disturbing. With such insurmountable unknowns and all the whispers around us, we are all looking for a little comfort. 

I find comfort with the calm spirit of my husband, the gratitude that I feel and then record in a little jar, video chatting with friends and developing new skills like bread baking. 

I feel very reluctant though to put this on Facebook or Insta because with the unprecedented unemployment rate, people are struggling with feeding themselves and their families. I guess I feel sort of guilty and that it may be in bad taste? But I have donated both time and money to food banks.  Maybe you could donate to help people who may be going to bed hungry here or here, too?

I am thankful everyday for my job (I love it!) and the means to run around all over Sacramento trying to find the barterable commodity that is yeast. It took 3 weeks and every search possible to finally find yeast so I could learn to make bread. Phew! In my wildest imagination, I never thought yeast would be in shortage.

The bread baking adventure was spearheaded by Bu who is a very accomplished baker and pizza dough maker. But I wanted to give it a whirl too.

Bulent uses a recipe a friend shared with him (The 21 Hour Bread), but I found one at Jenny Can Cook, that was faster (I struggle with impatience). You can see Jenny baking this bread here. I built on her recipe and my bread turned out pretty good with the tweaks which included Caraway Seeds (usually Rye Bread has Rye flour but I don't have any on hand and didn't really give a hoot anyway). I have also made a walnut loaf with toasted walnut pieces using this same recipe.

Keep reading for the recipe of this delicious, fast bread loaf. You can do it! If you try it, will you comment on the Facebook post that this is attached to? I would love to hear about it!

Fresh from the oven.

The crust was perfection.

It was in the oven for 30 minutes and then another 15 but the subsequent times I have made it, I skip the second bake.

Toasted, with butter - the best way to see if I was successful!

Quick No Knead Rye Bread (4 hours total!)

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp. yeast (any kind will do!)
  • 1 tsp. salt (for flavor)
  • 2 tsp. Caraway seeds
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  1. Add all dry ingredients to mixing bowl
  2. Add water that has been heated to between 120 and 130 degrees fahrenheit. (You'll talk to yourself here and say it's too dry, but trust me, it's not. In Jenny's recipe (link above) she says 1 1/2 cups water but my dough was WAY too wet and stick which made forming it a real mess and then the bread loaf looked more like a puffy pancake than a loaf of bread.)
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise on the counter for 3 hours.
  4. After the initial rise, flour your work surface - it's time to shape your dough. Put your dough on a freshly floured surface and shape it into a bread round - this will go into the hot dutch oven.
  5. Line a clean bowl with parchment paper and put your shaped dough in the bowl. Cover with a towel.
  6. Heat the oven to 450 fahrenheit. Use an oven safe temperature gauge so you can get it just right. Put a dutch oven in the oven to heat as well. 
  7. Once the oven has reached the baking temperature, put your shaped dough (on the parchment) into the dutch oven. If you're feeling fancy, score the bread dough - there are some really cute designs you can attempt and it dissuades a weird rupture.
  8. Bake 25-30 minutes. Jenny's recipe calls for a second baking uncovered for another 15 minutes, but since I have removed some moisture, this recipe doesn't need the second uncovered baking. 
  9. Enjoy!

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