25 April 2011

Leftovers, Killer Rye Bread, and Free Association ...

So ... I made this killer Onion Rye Bread a couple days before the gear up for cooking Easter dinner ... We've been having toast in the mornings and saving a loaf for ... ham sammiches! Ham ... Easter ham. SB jumped right into tearing ham off the bone today and knoshing it with leftover warm potato salad, but that's another story. He had no patience for grilled ham and cheese, but me? No problem ...

How do you make your grilled ham and cheese sammich? Mine has extra strong Dijon mustard, broken up slices of Provolone cheese, slabs of smoked ham with bits of the glaze still intact, real butter for slathering, and a good rye bread. Oh, and a bottle of beer to wet your whistle ... I totally ate this lunch standing right there at the counter ... it was sooo good!

Still have leftover ham ... what are you doing with yours ???

Back to the bread ...

Lately, I've felt like I should start another blog that is bread, rolls, and muffins oriented ... that's not going to happen, of course. I'm just sayin'. I HAVE been obsessing on the yeast though. And I have to say I'm getting better at it! Of course, my butt is expanding like a good dough, but what can I say?

Here's what I say ... I'm well into my 50's, I eat and drink what I want, and when I get to feeling self-conscious I click onto an image link for the Black Sea beaches  ... where I find plenty of other like-minded folk with butts equally large and less modesty than I. That allays the malaise, so to speak.

So ... this RYE!!!!

It keeps well, has a wonderful crust that is not too thick, cuts well, makes an awesome toast, and holds together when you slice it for sammiches. I will put more caraway into the dough next time, though. I love caraway seed and feel like every slice of rye bread should have its share. The recipe made three loaves. I did two conventional loaves and a round loaf.  I wrap the bread while it is just warm (that means mostly cooled, got it?) in foil and then put the whole she-bang in a plastic bag. I try not to handle it when I take it out for slicing ( the mold factor, right?) and I freeze loaves that I won't eat within a few days.

The recipe is another Craig Claiborne. He was a genius, don't you think? Here it is ...

Onion Rye Bread


2 c. whole milk
¼ c. sugar
4 tsp. salt
¼  c. canola oil
3 tsp. active dry yeast
1 c. lukewarm water (109 °F) plus a pinch of sugar
5 ½ c. bread flour
3 tbsp. caraway seeds
1 c. finely chopped onion
½ c. rye flour (more or less)
cornmeal for dusting the greased pans
cream for brushing the loaves before baking
kosher salt for sprinkling

Making the Bread:

1. Scald the milk and add the sugar, salt,and oil. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Set aside until lukewarm.

2. Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water and set aside for about ten minutes ' to work'. Place just a pinch of the sugar measure int he mix to help thingsalong.

3. Put the bread flour in a deep bowl and make a well. Add the milk mixture and stir it in a bit. Add the yeast mixture and continue stirring. Stir in the caraway seed and the onions.

4. Begin to incorporate the rye flour a bit at a time. When it is becoming hard to stir in the rye flour, dump the whole mess onto a clean cool kneading surface, flour your hands, and begin to knead the rest of the rye flour in... this dough will be fairly stiff and kind of layered. When the first few bits of onions begin to really pop out of the rounded surface, you're done kneading.

5. Grease a bowl up with a bit of canola oil, toss the dough ball to coat it, cover it with a damp towel, and put it in a warm and cozy place to rise for 1 hour.

6. After one hour, punch the dough in the center of the dough ball and fold the edges into the center. Let it rise again for another hour or so.

7. Grease three pans and dust them with cornmeal. Divide the loaves accordingly and shape them.

8. Cover them with that damp towel and put them in that same warm cozy spot to rise until doubled (another hour).

9. Pre-heat the oven to 375 °F. When the loaves are ready, brush them with some cream, sprinkle on kosher salt crystals, and bake for one hour. Check them after 45 minutes and cover loosely with foil if they're getting too brown. When they sound hollow when rapped, they are done.

10. Remove from the oven and cool for ten minutes in the pan, then remove and cool until just warm. Wrap in foil and bag in plastic to store.

11. Freeze the loaves if you won't eat them within a few days.


Make toast!



  1. Can anyone tell me why the font changes on the post sometimes? I find this kinda spooky...

  2. We didn't cook at home so no leftover ham :-( for us! Your sandwich looks perfectly delicious! And the bread looks amazing!

  3. The bread does look delicious and rye toast was one of my fathers favorite. I should make a loaf in his memory. Loved the backside comment!! lol

  4. I ended up baking a ham on Easter. Your sandwich looks better than mine though. I did not make my own bread.

    I plan on making a ham loaf...if we don't eat too many more sandwiches.


Anonymous comments will not be accepted. Please be aware that due to spamming concerns, I must be able to track back.