I baked bread all by myself for the first time today! – John V. Karavitis

I love rye bread, and have come across various YouTube videos on how to make it. REAL German rye bread requires some kind of steam bath for 20 hours, which is NOT going to happen. So, when I went shopping today, I came across Bob’s Red Mill Stone Ground Rye Bread Mix.

http://www.bobsredmill.com/rye-bread-mix.html

I debated buying this (just under $4) or a package of Bob’s Red Mill Organic Dark Rye Flour. I figured that the all ready to go bread mix would be a good start to any kind of bread-making endeavor.

So I opened the package and poured the rye bread mix into a bowl. I took the packet of yeast that came inside the packet, opened it up and put the yeast into the bowl. I added 1-1/8 cup of very warm water, two tablespoons of olive oil, and, although the instructions did not list it, I added about two tablespoons of Grandma’s Original molasses, for color and flavor.

http://www.grandmasmolasses.com/products/grandmas-original-molasses/

I don’t have a mixer, so I used a fork (!) to sort of mix everything together by “pulling it in” from the edge, then rotating the bowl. For 8 minutes.

I then tried to knead the dough by hand (kneading creates long gluten chains that give bread its chewiness), but I thought that I had done something wrong, as my hands got incredibly sticky with dough. I tried adding more flour (while the dough was still in the bowl – I don’t have enough space to knead it on a board, like you’re supposed to). I got really upset, and gave up, leaving the dough mixture in the bowl. (I didn’t grease the bowl first, which I should have, to make it easier to get the dough out of the bowl and into the baking loaf pan, which is 9″x5″x3″. But I would have had to have taken it all out of the bowl first, which I wasn’t able to do.)

I let the dough “rest” for almost 1.5 hours. It raised really high. Then I took a small spoon and “punched” the dough back down into the bowl. I then let it rest for 30 minutes.

I greased the loaf pan with unsalted butter.

I poured the dough into the loaf pan, using a spoon to gently scrape it away from the bowl. It went in all right. I got a bit of a “fold” from the very end, and I almost didn’t catch it, but I used the spoon to “punch” the space out.

I then patted the dough so that it filled the loaf pan, cut a line lengthwise across the top, like you’re supposed to, and put four thin patties of butter along the length on each side of the cut that I had made. (You’re supposed to grease the top of the loaf.)

Into the oven @ 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes.

IT CAME OUT FANTASTIC. Not as “thick/dense” as the very dark German rye bread loaves by Today’s Temptations that I usually buy. But good solid bread, good golden color from the molasses, good taste. I had two slices with butter about 5 minutes after I took it out of the oven. I done good!!!!

Chalk another item off the ole bucket list!

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About johnvkaravitis

Senior Financial Analyst: Energy, Insurance, IT consulting, Pharmaceuticals, Publishing, Real Estate
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