Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sandwich Rye Bread

This month here at the Eat’n Man, we’re gonna work ourselves up to building the perfect Reuben Sandwich.  And were gonna do that by making all of the major components ourselves.  Well, okay, we’re not gonna corn our own beef, but we’re gonna do what good delicatessens do and make our own Russian Dressing and our own rye bread. 

I have to admit (full disclosure here) that growing up I was never a fan of rye bread.  But of course, growing up in Texas, I was in a delicatessen-starved region, thus I don’t believe I ever had an example of ‘good’ rye bread to try.  In fact, the first rye bread I ever tasted was on a sandwich I was served in a 1970s-era airport lounge here in Texas.  So, not to impugn 1970s-era airport lounges, but I can’t imagine they were bastions of gourmet goodness.  In fact, they probably rate just above school cafeteria cuisine. 

But, once I grew up and traveled to New York City and had me a Reuben Sandwich on some properly-made, properly-baked, just plain proper rye bread, I was hooked.  The bread was moist and slightly chewy, with a hint of an exotic taste that wasn’t overpowered by too much caraway.  And, that’s the bread that this recipe’ll yield ya.  It’s a slightly modified version of one from the nice folks over at King Arthur Flour.  Let’s get baking:

Sandwich Rye Bread: 

2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup dill pickle juice
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2  teaspoon caraway seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons dill seeds
1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
3/4 cup instant mashed potato flakes
2 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/3 cups pumpernickel flour

Dissolve the yeast in a couple ounces of the (lukewarm) water with a pinch of sugar. Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes.

Combine the dissolved yeast with the rest of the ingredients and mix until dough forms.  

Yes, that’s right.  There is instant mashed potato flakes in this.  And pickle juice.  Now, before you run me up on charges for having mashed potato flakes in the cupboard, I assure you I only use them in bread baking as a substitute for dedicated potato flour.  (they work fine for this).  I’m not using them to make my mashed potatoes.  You can read how to do that here.  Oh, and the pickle juice, it just adds a unique and exotic flavor that is right at home in this loaf. 

Knead the dough for a few minutes until it gets slightly stiff.  Probably about five minutes.

Place dough into a greased bowl, cover, and let the dough rise about one to one and a half hours.

Punch down the dough, then shape it into a log. Place the log in a lightly greased rectangular loaf pan. Press it to the edges of the pan, then flatten the top.

Cover the pan with greased plastic wrap and let the loaf to rise until it has risen about 1" to 1 1/2" over the edge of the pan, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Using a lame (as pictured here) or a sharp knife cut slits in the top of the loaf about 1 to 1 1/2 inches apart. 

Bake for 20 minutes. Cover lightly with foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes. When done the bread will have turned golden brown and delightful.

Allow it to cool completely on a rack before slicing.

Until Next Time,

Hope you get a rise out of this one, 


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