When I think about bread, and I think about bread a lot, my thoughts always drift to the types of bread I have yet to perfect. And light rye has always been one that I could never get just right.

I have a great recipe for pumpernickel, but I could never get a light rye to come out with just that perfect balance of sweet and pungent. And as much as I like caraway seeds in some things, I just don’t like them in rye bread. So never one to be discouraged, I went on line and tried once more to find the rye bread of my dreams. And believe me, there are lots of recipes out there for light rye bread. But only one caught my eye. So I decided to give it a try and see if I could finally check light rye bread off my list. And yes indeed ladies and gentlemen, I made the perfect loaf of rye bread this weekend, thanks to George. I found the recipe on a great blog and I recommend visiting this wonderful cooking resource at your earliest convenience. And yes, of course, I changed the instructions to fit my way of bread baking, but the ingredients, except for the optional 2 tablespoons caraway seeds (and yes, you can add them if you must), is right off George’s recipe. So thank you George, whoever and wherever you are, for this amazing recipe. I will send good thoughts your way every time I sit down to a Reuben sandwich or smear soft butter over a warm piece of your incredible bread.

  • 2 T. or 2 pkgs. active dry yeast
  • 2 1/2 c. warm water
  • 2/3 c. molasses
  • 1 T. kosher salt
  • 1/4 c. vegetable oil
  • 1/4 c. cocoa powder
  • 2 c. rye flour
  • 5 c. bread flour
  • cornmeal

In the bowl of a heavy duty mixer, dissolve the yeast in the warm water; add the molasses. Let proof for about 10 minutes. Add salt, vegetable oil, cocoa powder, 2 cups of the rye flour and 2 cups of the bread flour. Mix until all of the flour is absorbed. Add the remaining 3 cups bread flour until the dough pulls away from the bottom of the bowl and the dough is smooth and elastic. (This step may take more or less than 3 cups of bread flour.) Pour a small amount of vegetable oil over the dough, turning it so it gets coated in the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature until it has doubled in size, about 90 minutes. After 90 minutes, gently punch down the dough and divide it into 2 equal parts.  Shape each half into a torpedo shaped loaf and place both loaves well separated on a greased baking sheet that has been lightly sprinkled with corn meal. Cover with a clean tea towel. Let rise again for about 45 minutes. Just before placing in a pre-heated 350 degree oven, cut 5 shallow diagonal slashes across each loaf. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when gently tapped.