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Sourdough Rye Bread with Caraway

1 package dry yeast
1/4 cup tepid water
pinch sugar
1 Tbsp salt
1 cup tepid water
2 cups active sourdough starter, stirred down before measuring
3 Tbsp caraway seeds
1 cup medium rye flour, or as needed
1 cup bread flour
2-3 cups unbleached white flour, or as needed
Cornmeal for sprinkling baking sheet

Combine yeast, 1/4 c water and sugar and let stand until very foamy

Dissolve the salt in 1 C water and stir mixture into starter.
Beast in the yeast mixture, then the caraway seeds. Beat in the
rye flour, about 1/2 C at a time, then beat in gluten flour.

Spread 2 C of the white flour in a ring on a kneading surface and
pour the dough into center of ring. Mix roughly with dough scraper
or spatula, then knead just until thoroughly mixed, adding as much
of the remaining white flour as needed to make a medium-stiff dough.

Scrape kneading surface, dust it with flour, and knead the dough
very thoroughly until it is elastic and smooth. Form dough into
ball, place in ungreased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in
bulk, about an hour.

Punch dough down, form into two balls, cover with towel and let
rest 20 minutes. Sprinkle large baking sheet with cornmeal.

Form dough into balls or oblong loaves, as desired. Place on baking
sheet and let rise until 3/4 proofed.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and place large pan containing 2 inches
of hot water on bottom shelf.

Brush loaves with glaze made of 1 tsp cornstarch cooked in 2/3 C
water until translucent (about 2-3 minutes), then cooled.

Slash cuts into loaves if desired.

Bake 15 minutes in center of oven; lower heat to 350, remove pan
of water, and bake for 30 minutes longer. Then remove loaves from
baking sheet and place directly on oven shelves for 10 to 15 minutes,
until there is a hollow sound when you rap on the bottom.

Loaves freeze very well. Improves in flavor for at least 24 hours
after baking.


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