The November challenge on Recipes to Rival, was hosted by Temperance of High on the Hog. She chose a hearty, Old World Rye bread. I pretty much stuck to the recipe, except for (you were waiting on that, right?) using my sourdough starter instead of powdered yeast. I proofed a sponge with it overnight, then next morning, using the remaining ingredients, completed our recipe:
Old World Rye
A World of Breads by Dolores Casella, 1966
2 cups rye flour
1/4 cup cocoa
2 T yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
1/2 cup molasses
2 tsp salt
2 T caraway seed
2 T butter
2 1/2 cups white flour or whole wheat flour (I used 1/2 cup whole wheat spelt here)
Combine the rye flour and cocoa. do not sift.
Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup warm water.
Mix molasses, 1 cup warm water, salt, and caraway seed in large mixing bowl.
Add the rye/cocoa mix, the proofed yeast, the butter and 1 cup white flour or whole wheat flour.
Beat until the dough is smooth.
Spread the remaining flour on a breadboard and kneed it into the dough
Add more flour if necessary to make a firm dough that is smooth and elastic.
Place in buttered bowl and cover. Allow to rise until double (about 2 hours).
Punch dough down, shape into a round loaf and place on a buttered cookie sheet that has been sprinkled with cornmeal.
Let rise about 50 minutes.
Bake at 375 for 35 to 40 minutes.
This bread was very flavorful, with the molasses and caraway being right out front. A bit too much molasses for my taste, to be honest. The cocoa was not really evident, but I'm sure added to the depth of taste as well as the color. If you've been wondering how in the world those old German bakers got their dense, dark rye bread, without adding molasses, cocoa, caramel color, coffee grounds, etc. etc., I found a very informative post on Jugalbandi called "Devil's Fart Bread" - the true meaning of pumpernickel, just so you know. I didn't make that up. A good link to send any adolescent boys in your family.