Cranberry-Walnut Rye Bread using Soaking Method

While we enjoyed the rye bread I made last week, I wanted to see if the loaf couldn’t be lightened up a bit using buttermilk instead of water in the soaking stage. I also added a cup of spelt flour along with the rye and whole wheat flours.


Cranberry-Walnut Rye Bread using Soaking Method

Cranberry-Walnut Rye Bread using Soaking Method

Here are the directions:

2 cups rye flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup spelt
2 ½ cups buttermilk
¼ tsp yeast
2 Tbl lukewarm water
1 tsp blue agave
1 tsp caraway seeds, ground
2 tsp salt
½ cup dried cranberries
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 ½ cup whole wheat flour – used during kneading process
Olive oil for brushing
Makes 2 loaves
Mix rye, whole wheat, and spelt flours together with buttermilk in a large bowl. Put in a warm place and let stand for 24 hours.
Combine yeast, water, and blue agave. Let stand for 10 minutes.
Combine soaking mixture, caraway seeds, salt, cranberries, walnuts and yeast-water mixture. Dough will be sticky.
Lightly knead on floured surface for 10 minutes, integrating about 1½ more cups of whole wheat flour. Dough will still be somewhat sticky, but easy to handle. Form into large ball.
Let rise for 1 ½ hours in a warm place.
Turn dough out and knock back. Cut into 2 equal pieces and form each into a ball. Place on non-stick sheet with corn flour; cover and let rise for 1 hour in a warm place.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Spritz top of loaves with olive oil. Using a sharp knife, slash 2 cuts in each loaf.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake for another 30 minutes.
Put on wire rack to cool.
RESULTS: We liked this loaf even better than the “Old-Fashion Rye Bread” I made last week. This one held together well, as a nicely kneaded loaf should. By using buttermilk in the soaker, the bread’s texture was lighter.  It had a nice crisp crust and lots of flavor – with the joy of unexpected bursts of cranberry and crunch of walnuts. Ron’s comment: “I’d definitely recommend this bread.”
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