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Buttermilk Rye Whole-Wheat Bread (so good you might want to marry it)

Yes, I made bread today.  But more importantly:

WE BOUGHT A CAR!!  Finally!  Fritz wandered into a Kia dealership and they happened to have a trade-in that was in our price range.  Fritz checked it out and drove home to tell me (I was home baking).  When the bread had risen, the oven preheated, and after an eternity the bread fully baked, we drove back so I could perform my thorough car evaluation/inspection (“It’s cute!”).


Anyway, let’s get back to business. 

Buttermilk Rye Whole-Wheat Bread (From Bernard Clayton’s Complete Book of Breads)

  • 1 C rye flour
  • 1 C whole-wheat flour
  • 1 pkg dry yeast
  • 1 T wheat germ
  • 1 T caraway seeds
  • 2 t salt
  • 1 C buttermilk
  • 3 T molasses
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 1 C bread or all-purpose flour

You’ll need a large loaf pan (5″-by-9″), greased, and I strongly suggest using a mixer to save your biceps all the hard work of kneading this dough!

In a mixer bowl, combine the rye and whole-wheat flours, the yeast, wheat germ, caraway seeds, and salt.  Mix well.  I use dry buttermilk, which I added to these dry ingredients (4 T).  In a saucepan, heat the buttermilk (in my case, the water I’d mix the dry buttermilk with normally), molasses, and oil until hot (120 degrees).  Pour into the dry ingredients and blend at a medium speed for three minutes with a flat beater.

By hand, gradually stir in the white flour to make a firm (but not stiff!) dough.

Knead for 8 minutes using the mixer and the dough hook.  If the dough remains sticky (mine did!), add pinches of all-purpose flour.  Be careful not to add too much!  Bernard Clayton, author of this recipe, calls the “cannonball” a standard rookie mistake of new bakers.  Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Allow it to rise until doubled in size, about an hour.

Lightly flour your work surface (ahem, my kitchen table), and roll the dough out to a 14″-by-17″ rectangle.

Start on the short side and roll the dough up tightly.  Pinch the edges and ends to seal, and place in the greased pan.  Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about an hour to an hour and a half.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees for at least 20 minutes before baking.  Place the pan in the oven and bake until the loaf is a dark brown color and sounds hollow when tapped.  Let cool on a wire rack before serving.

It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it.  The bread is moist, tangy, and full of whole wheat goodness!  Something I learned from Mr. Clayton today is that if you are planning on eating the bread in the next two days, store it in a paper bag to keep that crispy exterior.  If  not, freeze what you plan on eating later–wrap it in two plastic freezer bags.  To defrost, take out of the freezer and wait until all the ice crystals have reabsorbed into the bread, then pop it in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes to revitalize.  This makes your bread taste good as new, rather than that stale taste it’ll pick up after only a few days in the fridge.  Thanks, Bernard!

I made sushi tonight with some friends for the first time, and I’ll update on that tomorrow.  Until then–here’s a Henry shot for you to cuddle up to:

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  1. Hannah

    Mmm….looks really good. I also like the pan that the bread was on. :) Happy driving as you go your separate ways!

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      thanks mom! I thought it was about time to break that out for the blog :)

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