Burnt Sugar Rye Bread

My husband Ted is the bread baker in the family. We took a yeast dough class when we first started dating. He really enjoyed it and when the weather is reasonable he will make bread for our Saturday night gatherings. Sometimes he’ll make it on his day off or if he wants to try something new. It is great stuff, freshly sliced or toasted the next day.

He made a rye loaf a couple of weeks back and I captured this picture of it before we sliced it up for dinner.

Burnt Sugar Rye Bread

Burnt Sugar Rye Bread

I posted the same picture to on Facebook and a friend asked for the recipe. I’ve taken what Ted wrote there and formatted it for this blog. Enjoy.

Burnt Sugar Rye Bread
Servings: 8
Prep time: 1 hour
Inactive time: “several hours”
Total time: 6-8 hours (see notes)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • water you would drink (tap, bottled, whatever works for you)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1/4 tsp. caraway seeds
  • 450g bread flour
  • 350g rye flour
  • 2 tsp. diastatic malt powder
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. instant yeast
  • 2 eggs

Directions:

  1. Burn the sugar in a skillet, add 1 cup water when it’s deep dark brown but not black. Stir over heat until dissolved, set aside to cool to room temperature.
  2. In a ceramic or glass bowl mix the raisins, brandy and caraway seeds – microwave high 1 min and set aside to cool.
  3. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  4. Add the eggs to the burnt sugar water and add more water so that you end up with 2 1/2 cups total liquid.
  5. Plunge the liquid mix into the dry mix and stir to incorporate.
  6. Rest 15 minutes, then knead for 8-10 minutes, adding the soaked raisins midway through kneading. Form dough into a ball, folding it under around the edges to create a tight top.
  7. Rise until doubled, about an hour.
  8. Fold it a few times over itself to remove some of the gas, form a new ball, put in fridge until doubled, several hours.
  9. Split in half and form two football-shaped loaves, set them in greased loaf pans and rise at room temp until doubled, maybe 45-60 min.
  10. Heat oven to 375F. Brush tops with a beaten egg. Bake 36min, rotating halfway through.
  11. Allow to cool before slicing.

Notes:
Sorry to be vague about the times. Ted made this several weeks ago and as we were talking about the recipe it became clear that a) time is fuzzy when you try to remember how long something took and b) “it depends” on temperature, humidity, errands you have to run and how many breaks you take to drink coffee. So I gave my best guestimates.

We use generally use King Arthur Flour (KAF for short) though Ted may have used bread flour from which we get from a local food co-op. The rye flour was KAF “perfect rye blend”, which had light, dark, and pumpernickel flours in it.

Ted measures flour in grams on the digital scale. For all-purpose flour we use a ratio of 1 cup == 135 grams. I’m not sure if that holds true for the bread or rye flours though.

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