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Rye Bread

And then there were three...
My hungry wolves devoured the first loaf as soon as it came out of the oven.
Teenagers will eat you out of house and home.
Rye Bread: 4 small loaves

Add 2 1/2 TSP yeast to 2 cups lukewarm water. Stir well.
Add 2 cups Rye flour
Cover with saran wrap and set in a dark place.
Wait 3-4 hours.
Add another 2 cups lukewarm water and
6 TBSP sugar and
2 TBSP whole caraway seeds and
2 TSP salt.
Mix well.
Fold in 7 cups bread flour.
Coat kneading surface with flour and turn dough out.
Sprinkle with flour and knead well.
The dough will be sticky and bulky. It is worth the effort.
Knead about 10 minutes until pliant.  The dough should remain slightly sticky, but not so much that it continues to stick to hands and surface.
Divide evenly into 4 balls.
I used the reverse side of two large baking pans at the next stage.
Coat baking sheets with cooking spray and coarse corn meal.
Put 2 dough balls onto each sheet, evenly spaced apart.
Let rise 45 minutes.
Create an egg coat by mixing 1 whole egg with two TBSP of water. Whisk and coat tops of dough with egg wash.
Sprinkle with additional whole caraway seeds.
Bake at 400 degrees in a preheated oven for 33 minutes.
Do not spritz with water during baking.
I have found that cooking the loaves in succession is fine and the extra 30 minutes rising neither helps nor hinders.  The yeast has mostly played out and it won't rise much and it won't fall either.
Makes 4 small loaves about 7 inches across.

Serving suggestion: Dijon mustard and sharp provolone topped with basil, tomato and black pepper compliment the rye flavor wonderfully.

Jaffa Cakes

We threw these in the cooler to keep the chocolate from melting.
That's how we discovered these taste better chilled than at room temperature.
We've been buying this brand of Jaffa Cakes for a while now.  Unfortunately I couldn't find the orange flavor but this proved just as yummy.  Even better, we discovered the flavor is best when chilled.  A weekend trip to Atlanta for international groceries took us to  Buford Highway Farmer's Market.  It had been years since we last visited and there has been a great transformation.  Neater and cleaner and more selection from more spots around the world, the redo has paid off.  We actually found Dutch licorice!  The British section was three times bigger than anywhere else we've found.  Unfortunately, the prices are more than I wanted to pay for most things.  Knowing original prices can be a detriment, and even factoring in shipping, the prices were 4 times original cost.  These biscuits were only 1.59USD, so they were within range. The Eastern European selections were vast and varied and prices ranged from reasonable to overpriced.  In the end we only spent 30USD there.  The produce seemed to be the best priced.  Fried tofu and ropey lo mein noodles were the best deal taste wise.  Still though, Dekalb Farmer's Market can't be beat for spice and flour prices and DFM hosts the bread bakery section overall.

Thought for the day


A quote from Charles Dickens's Martin Chuzzlewit.
"Martin knew nothing about America, or he would have known perfectly well that if its individual citizens, to a man, are to be believed, it always IS depressed, and always IS stagnated, and always IS at an alarming crisis, and never was otherwise; though as a body they are ready to make oath upon the Evangelists at any hour of the day or night, that it is the most thriving and prosperous of all countries on the habitable globe."