I wanted something different.
I was actually thinking about the Rye bagels I used to get as a kid in Cherry Hill, NJ.
If you couldn't get a good, proper, and Kosher bagel in Cherry Hill, you couldn't get it.
Say what you will about NJ, but South Jersey was different, and you could get great Kosher there. I would go to the Bagel Place on Chapel and Kings Highway and talk to Mrs H there, and she would get my bagels.
Mrs H is long gone, I moved away, and I understand there's still "A" Bagel Place there, although I am not sure if it is still using her recipes so maybe it isn't or maybe it really "Is" THE Bagel Place. I'll leave it to someone up there in Jersey to find out for me.
Another quirk about South Jersey was that you could get excellent Ethnic food there. Being that close to Philly, I think it was a requirement.
But that Rye Bread. I knew I would never make a proper Jewish Rye bread, because there's just a certain something about a loaf of bread with that little sticker on the side.
This was close.
It was good. Had a proper chewy body to it. Everyone who had some of this loaf commented about it, long and loud.
I will certainly make it again.
Oh - and it was one of those "why not" moments.
I was a cup down on the flour and simply poured in as an add-in a cup of Rye Flour.
The recipe below... Substitute 1 cup Rye Flour (or more to taste) to get this awesome loaf of bread.
For "Sponge" or "Poolish":
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of yeast
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup warm water - 100 degrees F or 40 degrees C
- you may need a few drops more water depending on conditions
For the rest of the bread:
- 4 Cups All Purpose Flour - Substitute 1 cup Rye for Rye Bread
- 12 ounce bottle of ROOM TEMPERATURE Beer, your choice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
- you may need extra water depending on your conditions
- Cornmeal for dusting the pan and Parchment Paper
- Flour for dusting the loaf
I used a stand mixer and it's bowl to prepare this recipe, Poolish and Dough, but you may choose to use a large mixing bowl and your hands. This dough will be sticky and result in a silky smooth dough - so enjoy the texture. I did finish this out on the counter by hand.
- To your mixing bowl add yeast, flour, and warm water.
- Mix the ingredients with fork or whisk.
- The resulting mix will be like a pancake batter, it should stir easily.
- Add an extra tablespoon of water if needed.
- Allow your Poolish to brew in a warm place for 30 minutes.
- My own warm place is inside a cold oven with the light on.
- To your mixing bowl and the Poolish add the Beer, Flour, and Salt one by one.
- Mix the dough by hand or with a dough hook until it is even and pulls away from the walls of the bowl.
- The dough will be sticky and thick.
- Cover the dough with a wet towel, and place back in your warm place for two hours or until it is at least doubled in size.
- Scrape your dough out of the bowl with your hands or spatula.
- Place the dough onto the floured board and dust well with more flour.
- Roll the dough out into a loaf shape.
- The dough should be silky and a little sticky.
- You may divide the dough into two loaves for convenience.
- Move each loaf onto a baking sheet that is generously dusted with cornmeal.
- Dust the top of the loaves with more flour,
- Return your loaves to the warm place for another half hour or more.
Baking your loaf
- Preheat the oven to 425F with a pan of water for humidity.
- Slash some slits in the top of the loaf to allow growth.
- Bake each loaf for 30 minutes or until they sound hollow when thumped.
- Allow your bread to cool before serving.
Or don't allow your bread to cool. I couldn't wait, this stuff was amazing!