Yesterday was quite a productive day. I started off very early morning, before 6:00 am, feeding my sourdough starters. Baked Buttermilk Biscuits to go with the sausage gravy for breakfast. Made a double batch of Monique’s Chocolate covered Easter Eggs. The starter was really active and doubled by early afternoon so I used some of it to make a biga, which got used in a batch of rye bread late afternoon. We had a ham dinner, and after the kitchen was cleaned up it was time to shape the bread. It was after 10:00 pm when the bread came out of the oven. Moe had toasted rye for breakfast and I took a ham on rye to work with me for lunch.
Home Cookin Chapter: Recipes From Thibeault’s Table
1 1/2 cups rye flour
3 cups bread flour
1/2 cup whole wheat
2 teaspoons yeast
2 to 3 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon molasses
2 tablespoons melted butter
Approximately 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups water
Stir together all the dry ingredients. Add the molasses, butter and 1 1/4 cups of water. Mix until dough comes together. Add more water if needed. Knead until dough is smooth and supple. Dough should not be too stiff.
I use an Electrolux Magic Mill Mixer to knead bread dough. It will knead over 20 cups of flour. A food processor or kitchenaid mixer will work too.
Oil a large bowl and roll the dough to coat it wth the oil. Cover with plastic wrap.
Let rise until double, approximately 1 1/2 hours.
Knock dough down, divide in half and form two loaves. Free form or in a loaf pan.
Dust the loaves with a little flour and cover with a tea towel.
Heat oven to 350°F. This is what the original recipe calls for. But I actually heated it to 500° because I was baking the bread on a stone not in a loaf pan.
Slash loaves and brush with an egg wash. Bake on a stone or on a
parchment covered baking sheet for approximately 45 minutes or until an
instant read thermometer reads 190°F.
Changes: I made this bread using a sourdough biga. I added only 1/2 teaspoon of yeast, not the 2 teaspoons of yeast called for in the original recipe. The biga was made with 1 1/2 cups of flour, 4 ounces of sourdough starter and one cup of water and left to develop for about 5 hours. It was very active because the starter had been recently fed.