Jewish "Corn" Bread (Rye Bread)
Years ago my husband and I ate some corn-rye bread in Los Angeles. Corn-rye
bread doesn't have cornmeal in the bread itself, but the outside is coated
with cornmeal. The texture of the bread should be dense without being dry, and
the crust should be crisp and crunchy. For many years I tried to duplicate
the recipe, but rye breads are tricky. They can be too dry and heavy or too
light and airy. The rye bread in most supermarkets would never pass muster in
a delicatessen. I was overjoyed to find this corn-rye bread recipe in Helen
Witty and Elizabeth Colchie's, Better than Store-Bought, Harper& Row,
Rye Sourdough Starter
48 hours before beginning rye bread, make this starter: Mix 1 T. dry yeast in
2 cups of tepid water. Beat in 2 cups of rye flour. Add a small onion,
peeled and halved. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours.
Remove onion. Beat in 1 cup tepid water and 1.5 cups rye flour. Cover and
let stand for 24 hours longer. This can be used immediately or refrigerated
for 24 hours. This preparation makes about 4 cups of starter (a bit more
than required for the bread).
Corn Rye Bread
Yield: 2 very large loaves
The following directions are for hand kneading. If you have a heavy
duty food processor, put all dough ingredients in work bowl after you
have made the yeast starter. Add starter and combine. Dough will be
fairly sticky. Don't use a food processor unless it is quite durable;
this is a very heavy dough.
- 1.5 cups warm water (110°)
- 1 pkg (1 T.) dry yeast
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 4 tsp. kosher salt
- 3 cups Rye Sourdough Starter, measured after stirring down
- 2 cups high gluten flour
- 3.5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 egg white beaten with 2 T. water for glaze
- 2 tsp. caraway seeds for topping and more for inside, if desired
Combine 1/2 cup warm water, yeast, sugar, and let stand until double (10 min.).
Dissolve salt in remaining water. Mix in sourdough starter, then yeast mix.
Add gluten flour and 2 cups of all-purpose flour and optional
caraway seeds; make a soft dough.
Spread 1.5 cups flour on kneading surface and turn dough out on it.
Knead, adding more flour, to make a soft dough. Do not overknead. The
dough should be only slightly elastic, even a bit sticky.
Form dough into a ball, and put in an ungreased bowl. Cover with
plastic, and let rise until double (1.5 hours).
Knead, cover with towel, and let rest for 15 minutes.
Divide into 2 parts. Form each into 12 inch loaf. Pinch seam, and place
seam down on cornmeal-dusted sheet. Cover and let rise until 3/4 proof.
Put a large pan with 2 inches water in oven. Preheat to 400 °.
Place quarry tiles on upper shelf of oven.
Brush loaves with egg-white glaze, slash with knife. Sprinkle seeds on top.
Bake for 30 minutes on tiles. Brush again with glaze; bake an additional 20
to 30 minutes.