This bread is easy but does have a lot of down time so plan on from start to finish 3 1/2 hours. Once you have made the first loaf you can keep the dough in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks and take out only what you need to bake a new loaf of bread. It makes 4 loaves of bread and you can have fresh bread regularly. I do have to give credit to where I found the recipe at Pete Bakes!, who found it in the book Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. Which happens to be on my wish list at Amazon.
3 cups of lukewarm water
1 1/2 Tbs. yeast (2 packages)
1 1/2 Tbs. salt
1 1/2 Tbs. caraway seeds (plus a few more for sprinkling on top)
1 cup rye flour
5 1/2 cups all purpose flour
cornmeal for sprinkling
cornstarch for cornstarch wash
Mix yeast, salt and seeds with water in a very large bowl. Add flours and mix in without kneading. Mix so all flour is incorporated in. Cover with a towel at room temperature for 2 hours. Now you can bake your bread or set in the refrigerator covered up to 2 weeks and take out what you need when you want fresh bread.
Dust the top of the bread with flour and than take out 1/4 of the dough to form a loaf. Dust this dough with flour and shape into a ball. Now either leave in a ball shape or elongate into an oval. Let it rest on a cornmeal sprinkled pizza peel for 40 minutes covered with a towel.
Place the remaining dough in the fridge to use later.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees with a pizza stone preheating too. Place a pan/broiler tray on the bottom shelf of your oven underneath the pizza stone.
Prepare the dough to bake. Mix a little bit of the cornstarch with a little bit of water to make a paste. Heat 1/2 cup of water in your microwave for a minute and than mix it with the cornstarch paste. Diagonally make 3 to 4 slices across the top of your bread with a serrated bread knife and than wash with the cornstarch. Sprinkle with the remaining caraway seeds.
Boil 1 cup of water and add the hot water to the pan under the pizza stone. Slide your loaf onto the pizza stone and bake for 30 minutes.
It suggests you allow to cool before slicing but we sliced ours within 5 minutes of baking and ate hot bread with a little butter slathered on it.
I was so delighted to make this recipe and see how easy it was. Literally it is very easy but again it just takes some time to let the bread rest in between stages. Between Craig and I, we almost finished half the loaf because it was so tasty. I believe you will really like this bread.