Black Rye Bread
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry champagne yeast
- 400 ml warm filtered water (105 – 115F)
- 1 teaspoon natural vanilla cane sugar / brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons finely ground espresso coffee
- 1/4+ cup / 70 ml black strap molasses
- 3 teaspoons caraway seeds, plus more for topping
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
- 2 cups / 150 g coarsely grated carrot (2 large)
- 1 1/3 cup / 150 g dark rye flour
- 3 1/4 cup / 15 oz / 425 g bread flour (or unbleached all -purpose flour), plus more for dusting
- Extra Virgin olive oil for kneading and oiling baking sheet
- 2 tablespoons buttermilk, water, or milk
- In a small bowl whisk the yeast with the warm water and sugar, and set aside until foamy. If the yeast doesn’t activate, try again.
- In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the cocoa, coffee, molasses, caraway, butter, and salt. Stir constantly until just melted. You want the mixture to be lukewarm when you add it to the other of the ingredients.
- Combine the yeast mixture with the grated carrot and molasses mixture in a large mixing bowl. Add the flours, and stir until you’ve got a soft, tacky, cohesive dough. Turn the dough out onto your counter and knead for about 5 minutes, or until the dough is elastic and springy. Note: you can do this step using the dough hook on your mixer.
- Shape the dough into a ball, rub with a bit of olive oil, and place seam-side down into an oiled bowl. Cover and allow rising in a warm, cozy place for 1- 2 hours or until the dough increases in size by at least half. At this point, gently press down, with a closed fist, across the surface of the dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter, and coerce into a pleasant-shaped round. Place directly on a very lightly oiled baking sheet, then cover loosely with a floured tea cloth or plastic wrap. Allow to rise in a warm place until nearly doubled in size, another hour. Uncover, brush gently with buttermilk, sprinkle with a dusting of flour, ~1 teaspoon caraway seeds, and use a serrated knife to slash an ‘X’ deeply across the dough (do your best not to deflate the loaf).
- Bake for 20 minutes at 425F / 220C. Dial back the heat to 350F / 180C, and bake for another 20-25 minutes, or until the loaf develops a structured, toasted-bottomed crust, and the loaf sounds a bit hollow when you knock on it. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 15 minutes on a rack before slicing into.
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