Rye bread with caraway seeds is a flavor straight from my childhood and could not be any more Polish. Make this bread into any shape you like. Typically it would be bloomer shaped or round, however I couldn’t resist go for a pretty plaited shape. Try this bread with sliced cheeses, ham, Polish sausage, herring or any fish. It also makes wonderful open sandwiches.
Step 1: Ingredients (makes 1 Huge Loaf or Two Large Loaves)
1 cup milk
1 ½ cups water
2 tbsp butter
3 Tbsp sugar
1 ½ tsp salt
3 tsp active yeast
2 cups rye flour
2 cups wholemeal bread flour
2 ½ cups strong white bread flour
2 tbsp caraway seeds (optional)
1 beaten egg white for egg wash
Step 2: Making the Dough
- Put the butter, milk and water in a saucepan and heat over a gentle flame until the butter has melted. Remove from the heat and set to one side until it is cool enough for you to bare putting a finger in it for a few seconds.
- Put all the remaining ingredients (yeast, flour, sugar, salt, caraways seeds) into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre then pour in the milk, water and butter mixture. Using your hands bring the mixture into a rough dough then turn out on to the work surface. Knead for 10 minutes until you have a smooth ball of dough. Place in a large bowl, cover with cling film and a tea towel then leave in a warm place to rise for around 2 hours or until doubled in size.
Step 3: Shape and Bake
- Once the dough has risen, knock it back again and knead it briefly. Form into your chosen shape or place into your prepared tin. I made mine into a large 3 strand plait. Cover again and leave to rise for around another hour or until roughly double in size.
- Preheat the oven 230C. Brush the bread with beaten egg white, sprinkle with additional caraway seeds if you wish then bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 170C and cook for a further 35-40 minutes or until the bread has a golden brown crust.
Step 4: Finishing Touches
Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once cooled either store in an airtight container or freeze for later use.
This bread is particularly good butter and served with soup. We had ours to accompany some tomato and rice soup.