This is a straight-forward recipe and I adapted it to be even simpler, making only 1 loaf and adding some more rye flour. It works if mixed by hand or with a mixer. A few words to the wise: the phrase “slow as molasses in January” is true, so measure it ahead, or you’ll be cursing as you wait, thinking the yeast is going to fizzle out.
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1-1/4 cups warm water (110F / 45C )
1/3 cup molasses
2 cups bread flour
1-1/2 cups rye flour
1-1/2 tsp salt
2 tablespoons olive oil PLUS a bit for the proofing bowl
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
In the bowl of a standing mixer (or a large bowl), dissolve the yeast in warm water. Add the molasses and stir to combine everything. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes or until very foamy. (Don’t worry, it won’t get active right away.)
Mix 1 cup bread flour and 1 cup rye flout, cocoa powder, and salt in a small bowl. Add the oil to the yeast mixture, then add half the dry ingredients. Mix well (with the paddle attachment if using the mixer) and add the other half of dry. Continue to mix with the paddle attachment until combined. Switch to the dough hook and add the remaining 1/2 cup rye flour.Gradually add in the last cup of bread flour and knead until smooth and elastic. (If your mixer is big like mine, you might have to finish kneading by hand.)
Coat a medium bowl with a bit of olive oil. Shape the dough into a ball and turn in the bowl to cover with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it aside in a warm spot to rise until doubled – about 90 minutes or so.
Punch down the dough and remove it from the bowl. Knead it a few times on the counter with a sprinkle of flour, and form into the shape you want (ball, loaf or “batard” – a torpedo-shaped loaf). Place the loaf in a pan if required or on a cornmeal-dusted piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Cover with plastic and let rise a second time till doubled (about 45-60 minutes). Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F / 175C.
Once dough has risen, slash the top of the loaf with a sharp knife, 1/4-1/2 inch deep, and place in oven immediately on centre rack. Bake for approximately 40 minutes, until loaf sounds hollow when tapped or internal temperature reads 195F / 90C.
Let the loaf cool completely on a wire rack (if you used a loaf pan, leave loaf in pan 10 minutes before removing.)