We had received a shipment of Montreal smoked meat – an acknowledged Canadian delicacy. And what goes best with smoked meat? Winnipeg rye bread. I am a native of Winnipeg and can attest to what has to be the finest rye bread ever (New Yorkers and others may dispute that claim, but, sorry).
As I set out to make the bread, I had a significant problem. No rye flour. So, with the smoked meat literally at hand, I improvised; and the bread turned out just fine.
If you undertake this, here is what you need:
3 cups bread flour
1 cup whole wheat bread flour
3 tablespoons molasses
1 cup lukewarm water
8 ounces of room temperature beer
2 teaspoons salt
1 and 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients (flour, salt, yeast, caraway seeds) thoroughly. Separately, mix the water, beer and molasses, then add to the dry ingredients. Mix well to form a shaggy mess. Cover the mess with plastic wrap and a lid and let sit for 15 hours.
After the required 15 hours, take out the dough, cover it with liberal amounts of flour, and let proof under a non-terry towel for 2 hours.
Set the oven for 450 degrees F and insert a covered Dutch oven. Once at 450, add the dough to the Dutch oven and set the timer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the Dutch oven cover and bake for another 12 to 15 minutes. Remove your loaf and set on a wire rack to cool. Once cool, slice, add mayo and mustard, and your smoked meat with dill pickles on the side. A small feast. If you don’t have smoked meat, go with corned beef, ham and cheese, or egg salad. Here is the loaf (the molasses and caraway made it very rye-like, and oh yes, the beer didn’t hurt.)