Thursday, December 23, 2010


This recipe, in our family for many years, is, hands down, the best rye bread recipe ever!  (I don't even like the rye bread from the store--it seems sour to me).  But, this one takes the Blue Ribbon!  I entered it in our county fair, and it got Sweepstakes-Best-of-Show that year.  This is the bread recipe that Taste of Home featured in their Dec/Jan 2010 issue in their "Mom's Best" section, where I was the featured "Mom."  What can I say other than it is super tasty!  I don't know of anyone who has tasted it that doesn't just love it.  It is my kids' favorite bread that I make.  But you don't need to take my word for it, just try it yourself!   I give this bread, as well as my Squaw bread, which I will post tomorrow, quite often to friends and neighbors at Christmas time.  Just put it in a nice cellophane bag, tie with a pretty ribbon, and it's ready for gift-giving, along with a small decorative jar of homemade strawberry or raspberry freezer jam.  I've had people tell me they are waiting for ther 'loaf' of bread at Christmas.  It's an easy gift to make ahead and freeze, then take out of the freezer and unthaw for gift-giving.  I like it many ways, but my two favorite ways are toasted, and for sandwiches--I love cheese on it--especially Swiss cheese!  The dough is soft and pliable, and easy to work with.  I like to make mine free-standing, rolled up jelly-roll fashion, placing the dough on big school cookie sheets to bake, three to a sheet.  My daughter and mother have begun using bread tins, but I think it looks best free-standing.  One thing we all agree on, though, is that it's one of the best bread recipes we've ever made!   I know you'll love it!  When you buy your flour, be sure to buy bread flour--it does make a difference in your bread and rolls.  Also, the rye flour should be a light rye flour.  This recipe makes 3 loaves, but if you want to make six like I do, just double the recipe.  HINT:  To bake all 6 at the same time, I place 3 to a cookie sheet, raise one of the baking shelves in the oven, and bake both at the same time.  After half of the baking time, change the sheets around, putting the one on top on the bottom and vice-versa, then finish baking for the other half of the time. 

2 Cups warm water
1/4 Cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 Cup molasses
1/4 Cup shortening
1 rounded teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon caraway seeds
1 Cup rye flour
White flour (approx. 4 - 4 1/2 Cups)
1 Tablespoon yeast, softened in 1/4 Cup warm water
Combine water, shortening, molasses, brown sugar, and salt in a big bowl, or bread mixer.  Dissolve yeast in warm water and "let work" then add to mixture.  Add rye flour.  Beat well.  Add enough white flour, 1 cup at a time, to make a soft, but not sticky, dough.  Knead well, 10 minutes by hand or 2 minutes by bread mixer.  Cover and let rise 1 1/2 hours.  Punch down and divide into 3 loaves.  Roll up jelly roll style, as for French bread.  Place on greased big cookie sheet, three to a sheet as pictured, as far apart as possible.  Let rise 1 hour.  When ready to bake, you need to release air bubbles that have formed in the rye bread.  To do this, I take a long cake tester, but you could use a long needle, or anything that can pierce the dough with just a tiny hole.   I make about 15 pierces, three to a row and 5 rows, of these small piercing holes.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until nicely browned.  Remove from pans and cool on rack.  This bread freezes super well, for months!  It is good fresh from the oven, or cold from the refrigerator if you store it in there, although you don't need to.  Keep in airtight bags when storing.  Enjoy!
Susanne Holland Spicker Mother, Grandmother, Homemaker, Gardener, Teacher, Photographer

Passion is defined as the love of, or the object(s) of affection and emotion. I am passionate about family, friends, flowers, food, photography and fabulous music! This blog is dedicated to those loves.

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