Onion Rye Bread and a birthday party!!

Onion Rye Bread
Last night I was mulling over what to take to Washington today for the 80th birthday celebration for Brian's Uncle Don Cosby. It is too far away to keep something hot and too far away to take something with mayonnaise and be sure it would stay cold enough to be safe without having to lug a cooler and ice along. That was my dilemma.

Don Cosby and his daughter Lynn as she presents his 80th birthday cake.
The meat and cake was to be furnished so there was no need for a desert.

After some deliberation I decided to make a loaf of onion rye bread on the off chance there was no bread and rye as for sure if there was bread it would not be rye!! Also the pasta salad with a vinegar and oil Italian dressing would keep beautifully and I won't have to worry about a thing!!

The pasta salad was posted on 7/9/10 and titled "Cool and Refreshing Pasta Salad with Options."

Today's version used black olives, green onions, and cherry tomatoes.

We love homemade bread and this is an especially good one and I have made it for many years. You can mix it up in a bread maker using the "dough" setting if it is a 2 pound machine BUT DO NOT BAKE IT in the bread machine as it makes TOO LARGE a loaf and will probably OVER SPILL in the machine.
I often use my stand mixer and the dough hook and it does fine too. I have done it both ways successfully. The way I bake it is either on a pizza stone or on a heavy cookie sheet. Either way you strew a good portion of cornmeal on the baking surface and place your formed loaf atop the cornmeal to do the final rise and bake.

So here is what you need:

2 large eggs at room temperature
1 1/3 C. warm water ( about 100 degrees F.)
2 T. olive or vegetable oil
1/4 C. honey
3 T. powdered milk or powdered coffee creamer (not the flavored variety)
2 t. salt
2 1/4 C. bread flour
1 C. whole wheat flour
1 C. rye flower
4 T. rye bread enhancer* OPTIONAL
3 T. caraway seeds
1/4 C. dehydrated onion
1 T. active dry yeast

If you are using a bread machine break the egg yolks and stir them into the water. Place all of the liquid ingredients in the bottom of the bread maker's pan. Add the dry ingredients in the order listed without mixing or stirring. When you are down to the yeast make a slight ditch with a spoon running across the pan but NOT very deep. Do not get down to the moisture. Sprinkle the yeast into the ditch, close the machine and push the button to start the dough cycle.

If you are using a stand mixer with dough hooks put the warm water and eggs in the bottom of the mixer bowl and stir them together, add the honey and oil. Sprinkle the yeast across the top of the liquids and leave them set to bubble for 5 or 10 minutes.

Add all of the dry ingredients and stir them up a bit with a wooden spoon until moistened. Scrape the spoon off and proceed to install the dough hooks and let the machine knead the dough for 10 minutes. Check the dough, if it is too dry sprinkle a tiny bit of water in until it rights its self. If it is too slack and does not draw up into a smooth and elastic ball sprinkle flour a teaspoon at a time down the sides of the bowl until is it the correct texture.

The same measures should be applied if necessary to bread made in the bread machine.

When the bread dough has been formed and is smooth and elastic from either method it is time for the first rise. Select a large heavy crockery or glass bowl and fill it with very hot tap water. Empty the water and dry the bowl, them oil it generously. Place the ball of dough in the warm bowl turning it once to coat it. (The heavier the crock is the longer it will retain it's warmth.) Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm draft free area to rise for 1 1/2 -2 hours until double in bulk.

Prepare the baking pan by strewing cornmeal generously onto the surface. A pizza baking stone is ideal if you have one, but a heavy cookie sheet will do fine.

After the dough has risen gently punch it down to deflate using oiled fingers. Then form it into a ball or oval and place it in the center of the cornmeal you have prepared to bake the bread on.

Dough formed into a ball for second rise.
Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise a second time, 30-60 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Dark golden brown loaf from the oven.
When the dough has risen bake for 30-35 minutes until it is deep golden brown. Cool on the baking sheet until totally cold. Store in a large plastic bag and cut with a serrated knife.

Note: Rye bread enhancer can be purchased online from the King Arthur Flour Company.

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