Monday, December 3, 2012
A few weeks back, I had a desire to make a sour dough starter to initiate my own homemade bohemian rye bread. As mentioned in previous posts, this experiment has failed for a few reasons, so I went to option number two – using dry yeast. I scoured the internet in pursuit of Bohemian rye bread recipes and found one here at cooks.com. I was disheartened that there weren’t any pictures nor testimonials next to this recipe, but the recipe appeared to be easy to follow and used a combination of rye flour and all purpose flour. Since I was a young child, I enjoyed a good Czech or German rye bread at restaurants and have been in pursuit of trying to imitate some of those good table breads. I like Bohemian rye bread because it is lighter in appearance and density (not too heavy on the rye grains) and it works well as pre-meal offering and partners well with soups or with assorted meats and cheeses. This rye bread recipe I found adds in the European accent of caraway and fennel seeds. I skipped the fennel since I don’t have any in stock.
This bohemian rye bread process is simple from start to finish when I used this recipe. The ingredients are easy to find and bread can be made in a matter of about three hours (Proofing time included). I made my bread in two stages since I only have one baking stone (and that is my preferred cooking surface for homemade breads). A greased or lined cookie sheet will suffice. The first baked rye bread loaf was a huge success and rose much better than bread number two, which was a little flatter when finished baking. The bread had a heavenly aroma (I could really smell the rye/caraway!) and tasted really good.
As much care as I put into kneading, proofing, and baking, I did not completely duplicate a rye bread that would be produced by a Czech bakery. Restaurant and bakery rye breads have a smoother texture that is obtained most likely from Czech or European fine grain rye flour. The texture of my rye bread was much more coarse.The only thing I would have done differently with this recipe would be to add another teaspoon of caraway or actually used the fennel seed. This bread was still considered a success and will go well with soups, or with some tasty deli meats such as corned beef or ham. Check out the recipe here.