Braided Dark Rye
This bread is a classic, perfect for sandwiches, soups, and stews. The recipe gives instructions for a 5-strand braid, but a 3-strand will do.
INGREDIENTS | YIELDS 1 LOAF
- ⅔ cup lukewarm coffee
- 1¾ teaspoons active dry yeast (1 package)
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup medium rye flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon caraway seeds, toasted and ground
- 2–3 cups bread flour
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 1 tablespoon water
In a large bowl, combine coffee, yeast, and 1 tablespoon brown sugar. Stir to dissolve and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
Add remaining sugar, butter, and rye flour. Stir to combine. Add salt, caraway, and enough bread flour to create a firm dough. Add flour only to reduce stickiness. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead 8–10 minutes. Return to bowl, dust the top with flour, and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap. Rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
Line a baking sheet with parchment. Turn risen dough onto a floured surface and divide into 5 even portions. Shape each into a tight rope, no longer than 12″.
Lay all 5 ropes pointing toward you, and begin braiding, 1 over 3, 5 over 3, and repeat. (Lift the left strand over the neighboring 2 strands and set it between strands 3 and 4. Next, lift the right strand over its neighboring 2 strands, and set it between strands 2 and 3.) Repeat, until you have reached the end of the braid. Pinch the dough together when you get to the end. Place onto prepared pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and proof for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°F.
Combine molasses and water, and brush gently onto the top of the risen loaf. Bake until golden brown and hollow sounding, about 30–40 minutes. Cool completely on a rack.
The 5 strand braid looks cool and complicated, but it is actually super-simple. Instead of jumping one strand with each pass, the outer strands jump two. That's it!