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Sourdough Molasses Rye Bread

Yield: 3 round loaves

from Baking With Sara Pitzer—page 16

Sourdough Molasses Rye Bread
Yield: 3 round loaves

1 cup sourdough starter
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 cup water
2 cups rye flour
2 cups boiling water
¾ cup dark molasses
? cup butter
2 teaspoon salt
5 cups additional white whole wheat flour

1. Make a sponge the night before by mixing the first 3 ingredients. Stir well, cover, and let sit in a warm place overnight.

2. When you are ready to make bread, combine the rye flour, boiling water, molasses, butter and salt in a large bowl. Allow to cool until lukewarm.

3. Stir into the sponge made the night before and add as much white whole wheat flour as needed to make a dough you can handle.

4. Turn it out onto a floured board and work into a ball. Cover with a damp cloth and let rest 15-20 minutes, then knead until smooth and elastic.

5. Place dough in a large greased bowl and let rise until doubled in bulk (2-3 hours). Punch down and either allow to rise again (for the finest texture) or form at once into 3 round loaves.

6. Place on greased cookie sheets that have been sprinkled with cornmeal. Let rise until doubled. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 50-60 minutes.

Sourdough Molasses Rye Bread

Make your sourdough sponge:
On the night before you plan to bake, stir together 1 cup of your starter with 2 cups of white whole wheat flour and 1 cup of water. Cover and let ferment overnight.

The next day, put your 2 cups of rye flour, ¾ cup of butter and 2 teaspoons of salt in another bowl.
Bring your 2 cups of water to a boil and pour into your bowl.

Stir to mix well. Set it aside to cool until it's lukewarm.

Stir down your sourdough sponge.

Next, pour your cooled molasses mixture into the sponge.

Mix well and then add as much additional white whole wheat flour as needed to make a medium-stiff dough.

Knead your dough until smooth and elastic.
Place in a greased bowl, cover with a damp towel and put your bowl in a warm place to rise.

When your dough has doubled in size (2-3 hours), punch it down and divide it into thirds.
Shape into round or oval loaves and put them on a greased cookie sheet that is sprinkled with cornmeal.

Bake @ 350° for 50-60 minutes.
Brush with an egg wash if you want a shiny crust.