This recipe is from my cookbook, Sweet Paul Eat & Make!

For me, rye bread needs to be chewy, but not too dense, and it should be moist. This recipe, which took me years to perfect, delivers on both every time. Brushing the loaf with butter gives the crust that extraspecial taste and texture I want. I love slices of this bread with good butter and Jarlsberg.

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Makes 1 Loaf

You will need:
1 package active dry yeast
11⁄4 cups warm water (110ºF)
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for the bowl
2 teaspoons salt
11⁄4 cups rye flour
11⁄2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Butter, softened, for the pan and the loaf

  1. Dissolve the yeast in the water in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes, or until bubbly. (If it does not form bubbles, start over with new yeast.)
  2. Add the brown sugar, oil, salt, and rye flour and mix or stir with a wooden spoon until smooth.
  3. Stir in 1 cup of the all-purpose flour and mix well; the dough will still be a bit wet.
  4. Pour the remaining 1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour out on a work surface and knead the dough until it is very smooth, about 5 minutes.
  5. Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm spot for 1 hour, or until doubled. Butter a 9-x-4-inch loaf pan.
  6. Knead again for a minute. Place the dough in the loaf pan, cover, and let rise for another hour.
  7. About 20 minutes before you plan to bake, preheat the oven to 375°F, with a rack in the middle position.
  8. Bake until golden, about 35 minutes. The bread is done when it makes a hollow sound when you knock on it.
  9. Brush the top of the loaf with softened butter. Invert the pan and turn out the loaf, then turn the loaf right side up and cool on a wire rack.


Photography by Alexandra Grablewski

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