Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Buttermilk Onion Rye Bread

Buttermilk Onion Rye Bread
by Diana Horst

I love to bake bread. You could say I’m slightly dough obsessed. My husband would say it’s more like I’m possessed.

Since this is an Oktoberfest challenge, rye bread immediately came to mind. Back in the day, I worked at a bakery that sold an onion rye that was to die for. It was my husband’s preferred snack with a cold beer. Screw peanuts, Doritos and the like. Jeff liked a hunk of fragrant onion rye and a couple wedges of cheese with his beer.

Jeff happened to be in Germany when I made this bread. So my co-workers got to devour a couple of loaves. Our friends at Marx Foods sent us a care package to play around with, so one of the loaves got brushed with dill pollen butter as soon as they came out of the oven. The plain loaf went well, but the dill pollen loaf was gone in a flash.

This bread is awesome for sandwiches and toast. We just had it at work simply spread with veggie cream cheese. Add a slice or two of garden fresh tomatoes and cracked pepper over the cream cheese spread rye and you have a heavenly lunch! Or a snack or breakfast; enjoy!

2 cups buttermilk
1 Tablespoon honey (I like orange blossom)
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 cups rye flour
2 teaspoons wheat gluten
2 1/3 cups bread flour
4 Tablespoons melted butter, divided
2 teaspoons salt
3 Tablespoons dried minced onion
4 Tablespoons caraway seed, divided
1 teaspoon Marx Foods Dill Pollen
Cornmeal for dusting peel or baking sheet

Place the buttermilk, honey and yeast in stand mixer bowl. Add the rye flour and mix until moistened using the paddle attachment. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes to hydrate the rye flour. Add the wheat gluten, bread flour, two tablespoons of the melted butter, salt, dried minced onion and tablespoons caraway seed. Mix at medium speed for about 6 or 7 minutes. Scoop out dough and place into an oiled 9”x13” plastic container. Cover it tightly. Let the dough rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Now we’re going to do the first of three “stretch and folds.” I think our very own Donna Currie explains it quite well over on Serious Eats.

You can also watch this video on YouTube of Peter Rheinhart demonstrating the technique.

Wait 15 minutes after the first stretch and fold and then do it again. Repeat. After the third stretch and fold, cover the container tightly and place in the fridge overnight.

The next day, pre-heat the oven to 475 degrees with a baking stone on the middle rack if you have a stone. Don’t worry about it if you don’t, the bread will still be wonderful baked on a sheet pan.

Remove the dough from the fridge and let it warm up at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Divide the dough in half on a lightly floured surface. Shape into oval logs and place on a peel or a baking sheet dusted with cornmeal. Sprinkle caraway seeds over each loaf and press them in lightly. Slash tops of the loaves diagonally three times with a sharp knife. Cover the loaves with a clean tea towel or paper towels. Let them rise for 30 minutes.  

Slide the loaves onto the stone or place the baking sheet in the oven. After 5 minutes, turn the oven down to 400 degrees. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the loaves sound hollow when you thump them.

Remove from the oven. If you feel like some dill flavor, mix 1 teaspoon dill pollen with 2 tablespoons of melted butter and brush over the loaves. Cool.

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