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Molasses-Rye Bread

I did not feel like going to the store for a loaf of bread. So I kneaded a molasses-rye dough for 10 minutes. The store was looking better and better as each minute passed. But this will, wihtout a doubt, taste better!

I started with the Honey Rye Bread recipe in my trusty Country Breads of the World cookbook by Linda Collister and Anthony Blake...and made some changes. Surprise! Not really...I can't follow a recipe to save my life.

2 T unsulphered molasses
1-1/3 C hot water
1 T dry active yeast
3 C white whole wheat flour
1-1/2 C dark rye flour
1/2 t Hawaiian red alaea salt
1 t fennel seeds
extra molasses for finishing

Dissolve molasses in hot water, stirring well. Add yeast and let it bloom for 5 minutes. In the meantime, blend the flours, then make a well in the center. Pour in the yeast mixture and gradually mix in the flour to make soft but not sticky dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead thoroughly for 10 minutes. Return dough to a bowl and cover with a damp dish towel. Let rise for 2 hours.

Punch down the dough to deflate it. Press dough into a rectangle then roll it tightly. Place into a prepared loaf pan with the seam-side down. Let rise for a second time, this time for 1-1/2 hours. Slice slits in the to of the bread, drizzling molasses into the cuts. Sprinkle with red salt. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and bake for about 35 minutes - till the crust is brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.

This bread is best eaten within the week.


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