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Westphalian German Rye Bread

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups boiling water (24 oz.)
  • 1 cup cracked wheat (4 3/4 oz.)
  • 1/2 cup malted wheat flakes or (2 oz.)
  • 1 Tbsp burnt sugar syrup or 2 tsp caramel color or 3 cups sugar*
  • 4 cups pumpernickel flour (15 oz.)
  • 1 cup 100% White Whole Wheat Flour (4 oz.)
  • 1/4 tsp instant yeast
  • 2-1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil (7/8 oz.)

Preparation:

FOR THE BURNT SUGAR: *Place 1/3 cup sugar in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat until the sugar melts. Continue cooking the sugar until it turns dark brown and begins to smoke. Remove it from the heat and allow it to cool for 5 minutes. Add 1 cup boiling water and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Use this water for 1 cup of the boiling water called for in the recipe.

Put the cracked wheat and malted wheat flakes or oats in a large mixing bowl, and pour in the boiling water. Stir in the burnt sugar or caramel color. Allow the mixture to cool to lukewarm. Stir in the pumpernickel flour, whole wheat flour, yeast, salt and vegetable oil.

If you're looking for a typical yeast dough here, forget it; the mixture will be sticky and have about as much life as a lump of clay.

Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with a damp towel, and let it sit in a warm place (70-75 degrees F) for at least 12 hours, and up to 24 hours.

After 6 to 8 hours, fold the mixture over once or twice, then cover it again and allow it to continue to mellow.

After the mellowing period is complete, grease two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch pans.

Turn it out onto a floured or lightly greased work surface, knead until it holds together, then divide it in half. Press each half into a loaf pan, smoothing the surface with wet hands.

Let the loaves sit, covered, for 1 1/2 hours; they'll rise just slightly.

Grease two pieces of aluminum foil, then cover the pans tightly with the foil, greased-side down.

Preheat the oven to 225° F. Place the covered pans in the oven. Bake the bread for 5 hours. After 5 hours, remove the foil from the pans, and check to see that the bread is firm and looks set -- it should register 195° F on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of a loaf.

Remove the bread from the oven. Let it cool in the pans for 15 minutes to firm. Remove it from the pans and allow to cool to lukewarm before wrapping in plastic wrap or a dishtowel. Cool for 8 hours or more before slicing.

Makes 2 loaves

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