Saturday, October 27, 2012

New York Deli Rye

Growing up, my grandma was the best cook and baker that there was. Most of her best recipes consisted of a dash of this and a handful of that. Many of them were not written down anywhere. Unfortunately, that means that now, many of those recipes are forever lost. I have been on a quest lately to find a recipe similar to hers for German Rye Bread. I tried a recipe a few months ago, but it wasn't quite it (you can find that version here).
A few weeks ago, I came across this version on Smitten Kitchen. This version is getting closer. This bread has a great flavor that is very similar to what I remember, maybe a little light on the rye. The texture fresh from the oven was a crusty crust and a soft center. This seemed different than Grandma's bread, but after a day of resting it was a bit more chewy in the crust and the center - which is closer to what I remember. The crust was a lighter color than I was used to.
I think next time that I make it I might swap in a little rye flour in place of some of the bread flour in the flour mixture. Not a lot, but maybe 1/4 cup. I might see about swapping molasses for the honey too. I am thinking that might give me a darker crust and a deeper flavor. I also did not include any ground caraway seeds, because I'm not a fan of the seeds themselves. Perhaps I might try adding a bit of ground seeds - I know my grandma's bread was seedless, but I don't know if she added ground seed to it.

New York Deli Rye
3/4 cup bread flour
3/4 cup rye flour
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tablespoon honey or malt powder
1 1/2 cups water at room temperature

Flour Mixture
2 1/4 cups bread flour
1/2 plus 1/8 teaspoon instant yeast
1/2 tablespoon coarse salt

Dough and Baking
1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons cornmeal

Make the sponge: Combine sponge ingredients in a large or mixer bowl and whisk until very smooth, to intentionally incorporate air — this will yield a thick batter. Set it aside.

Make the flour mixture and cover the sponge: In a separate large bowl, whisk together the flour mixture and gently scoop it over the sponge to cover it completely. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and allow it to ferment for 1 to 4 hours at room temperature. (The sponge will bubble through the flour mixture in places.)

Mix the dough by hand: Add the oil and with a wooden spoon or your hand, stir until the flour is moistened. Knead the dough in the bowl until it comes together, then scrape it onto a very lightly floured counter. Knead the dough for 5 minutes, after which it might still be a little sticky. Cover it with the inverted bowl and allow it to rest for 20 minutes. Knead the dough for another 5 to 10 minutes or until it is very smooth and elastic.

Let the dough rise: Place the dough in a large container or bowl, lightly oiled. Oil the top of the dough as well. Allow the dough to rise until doubled, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Flip the dough out on to a lightly floured counter, press it down gently, fold it back into a square-ish ball and allow it to rise a second time, back in the oiled bowl covered with plastic wrap for about 45 minutes.

Shape it and wait out the final rise: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and gently press it down again. Round it into a ball and set it on a cornmeal sprinkled baking stone. Cover it with oiled plastic wrap and let it rise until almost doubled, about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. You will know it is ready, when after gently pressing with a fingertip, the depression will very slowly fill in.

Preheat the oven: Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Slash and bake the bread: With a sharp knife or singled-edged razor blade, make 1/4- to 1/2-inch-deep slashes in the top of the dough. Mist the dough with water. Bake for 15 minutes, lower the temperature to 400°F and continue baking for 30 to 40 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Cool the bread on a wire rack.


No comments: