Needing to knead

February 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

I was talking to my Mom earlier on the phone and she said: “It sounds like you’re doing more bread-eating than bread-making this week.” Leave it to your Mom to get your butt in gear. I decided to get going making her grandmother’s rye bread recipe. I have guinea pigs (i mean guests) in town this weekend who will be my taste testers.

Given the simplicity that our times require in most of what we buy, when it comes to bread you can make pretty darn good bread without having to go to much effort. My friend Kathy posted about a friend’s company,, where you can order an easy kit.

My Great Grandmother’s bread takes a little more work. To her it was probably one of the easier parts of her day raising 9 children, of which my Grandmother Susie was the youngest. She immigrated to PA with my Great Grandfather who was a Methodist minister. You can imagine with 9 children on a minister’s salary they didn’t have a lot of money to go around. Rye flour was more economical in those times, so this recipe probably not only reflected their German heritage but also necessity.

Great Grandma Zinz’s Rye Bread

2 c. rye flour
3 T molasses (this is my favorite part. it smells so delicious)
2 T crisco
1 T salt
1/2 c. sugar
mix ingredients above together.
add 2 c. boiling hot water and mix well. add 3/4 c. cold milk to cool mixture. dissolve 3 pkg household yeast in 1/2 c. warm water and let sit for a few minutes, then add to mixture.
add 6 c. white all purpose flour. turn onto a floured surface and knead for at least 15 minutes. (I was working up a sweat!) can add up to 1 1/2 c. flour as you knead. i only added 1/4 c.
Put into greased pan or bowl and let rise until it doubles in a dark, warm spot.
Note: I live in a colder, dry climate so I’ve devised a somewhat questionable method to help my bread rise:
It’s probably the only thing that’s keeping me from canceling cable right now since I love my apple TV.  I know this would be considered some major health violation.

After the dough has risen, punch it down and divide it into bread pans. Let it rise to double size again in a warm, dark place. Bake at 375 for 45 min – butter top of bread and remove from the pans.

I am going to experiment making one of the loaves in a regular bread pan and the other in a dutch oven. From what I’ve read, home ovens lack moisture needed in the baking process, so dutch ovens help use the moisture from the dough during the baking.

I will be baking this tomorrow morning. Hopefully it isn’t too crazy of a night out so that I can be a good host and have fresh baked bread and freshly roasted coffee ready when my friends wake up!


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