This recipe is for all those bakers out there wondering if they will ever like rye bread. If you are like me and just can't get to liking rye bread because of the strong caraway seed taste, this bread is for you. The nice thing about making things from scratch is that you can change things depending on your preference.
I honestly cannot remember if there ever was caraway seeds in this recipe someone gave me. I've been making it so long this way, I heartily enjoy this lovely dark rye bread sans caraway. This is a wonderful dark pumpernickel bread which lends itself to baking as a round bread giving lovely oval slices.
Old World Black Bread
2 cups warm water
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
Stir together separately, then add to yeast mixture:
2 cups rye flour
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
1/2 cup rolled oats (optional)
1/4 cup carob powder
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup molasses
Let everything stand for 10 minutes. Add:
2 cups whole wheat flour (or 2 1/2 cup spelt flour)
Add additional whole wheat flour as needed until you have a stiff dough. Knead vigorously for 10 minutes, or until dough is moist, but not sticky. Allow to rise until double (about 1 hour) in a lightly oiled bowl covered with a slightly damp thin towel (I like flour "sack" towels for this).
Punch down and shape into round or oval loaf and place on (oiled or lined with parchment paper) cookie sheet. You can, at this point, lightly "dust" your loaves with additional rolled oats, if desired, and press gently. Then slash with a sharp knife an "X" (about 1/2 inch deep) on top of a round loaf before rising. Or two to three parallel slashes across an longer oval loaf before rising. Let rise 45 minutes.
Bake at 350 degrees F for about 45 minutes or until it sounds hollow when loaf is tapped on the bottom. Yields one 22 oz. loaf.