My beloved mother-in-law requested that I bake some rye bread for Easter dinner so I decided to play around a little bit and get more creative than my typical recipe. So here is my newly created molasses rye… Really easy to make and absolutely delicious! And don’t worry, it’s not an overly sweet bread even though it has molasses and brown sugar.
1 envelope Active Dry Yeast
1c Warm Water (between 102-110F)
1tsp Granulated Sugar
3tbsp Unsalted Butter, melted
1/3c Brown Sugar
1c Rye Flour
2c All Purpose Flour
1/2c All Purpose Flour, for kneading
1tsp Olive Oil, to grease bowl
Heat oven to 350F
One quick note before we get into the directions… I use my stovetop for yeast activation and to get the bread to rise. When it’s heated at 350F the top gets warm, but not hot, and is an ideal setting for yeast to do it’s thing. That might not be the case for you. Maybe your stovetop gets too hot when the oven is on, maybe it doesn’t get hot at all. Ultimately you want a warm, draft free place to activate your yeast and also get your bread to rise.
Combine the warm water, dry yeast and 1/4tsp of sugar. The yeast will activate and expand, turning the water creamy and creating a bloom on the surface. Most recipes say to give it 5 minutes, I typically allow my yeast to activate for at least 15 minutes. I’m not sure if it makes a ton of difference, but I feel like the dough rises better and has more intense flavor… maybe that’s just my imagination.
In a stand mixer cream the melted butter, brown sugar and salt. Once it gets to a light brown color add the molasses and continue to mix for another minute or so. Add the rye and all purpose flours, as well as 3/4c of the yeast/water mixture and mix on medium-low speed until the flour starts to combine with the fluids. Slowly add the remaining 1/4c of water, then increase the speed to medium. Mix for 3-4 minutes. The dough should be tacky to the touch.
Spread 1/2c of all purpose flour onto a cool surface and turn your dough out onto it. Knead the dough, gradually incorporating the flour, until it is slightly elastic, approximately 5-7 minutes. Coat a medium bowl with the olive oil and put the dough into the bowl. Cover with a dry towel and set in a warm place to rise, approximately 1 hour. Once the dough has nearly doubled in size turn it back out onto your floured surface and knead for another 2-3 minutes, then place back in the bowl, cover, and allow to rise a second time, approximately 20 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl and lightly punch it down with your finger tips to release some of the air, but not all. Place on a baking sheet lined with wax or parchment paper, or if you prefer a loaf use a greased loaf pan. Make a shallow slit along the top, then place in the oven and bake for 50 minutes at 350F. Allow the bread to cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting.