Grant Bread — Rye Version

I am back from my time out and ready to blog again. It is strange, once I decided to quit blogging, I couldn’t wait to stop but towards the end of my break, I could hardly wait to start blogging again. I really missed the act of preparing recipes, pictures and posts for you. Most of all I missed the connection I have with all of you wonderful people who read my blog. Thank you for all your support during my time out.

Even though I wasn’t blogging, I still spent a lot of time in the kitchen cooking and baking. One recipe that really inspired me during my time out was My Favorite Pastime’s recipe for Grant bread. I love recipes that inspire me to get in the kitchen and try my own variations. The Grant bread recipe has certainly inspired me to do that. I have made a loaf of Grant bread once a week for the last 4 weeks, each loaf a variation on the original whole wheat version.

This week’s crazy culinary experiment was to try a caraway rye version of the Grant loaf. I knew it was going to be a bit tricky substituting a lower gluten flour like rye for wheat. I added the caraway seeds and molasses because my favorite rye bread recipes use them. The result was a very mild rye bread. The next time I try it I may use a medium or dark rye flour instead of light rye flour for a more robust rye taste.

Grant Bread -- Rye Version

2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups rye flour
1 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tsp caraway seeds
1 TBS molasses
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray an 8 x 5 inch bread pan with non-stick cooking spray; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine flours, salt, yeast, sugar and caraway seeds, mix well. In a separate bowl, combine warm water and molasses, stir to dissolve. Add the water/ molasses mixture to the flour; mix well. Scrape the dough into the prepared pan and cover with oiled plastic wrap. Set the pan aside in a warm place and let rise for 40 minutes or until the dough rises to a half inch of the top. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the base. Turn onto a wire rack to cool.

Rye Soda Bread

MYCOMPUTER - WIN_20150216_154524
While I am a total cynic about Valentine’s Day (do we really need a day to tell our loved ones we love them?), I totally love St. Patrick’s day. Not the going to bars and drinking beer part but the having friends over and eating corned beef, colcannon and soda bread part.

My St. Patrick’s day menu doesn’t have much room for variation but I try to bring something new to the table every year. Most times, the variation comes in the form of a new soda bread recipe. I was surprised to find so many variations on soda bread. I thought the only variation I would find is whether to add raisins or leave the raisins out.

I decided to try the rye soda bread version because the flavors of corned beef and cabbage go well with the flavor of rye and I love rye bread in general. I was not disappointed by rye soda bread. The caraway seed fills the house with a lovely aroma as it bakes and the rye taste will have you making this all through the year, not just on St. Patrick’s day.

Rye Soda Bread

1 cup rye flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a medium size bowl, combine the flours, caraway seeds, salt, baking powder, and baking soda, stir to combine. Make a well in the center of the flour and slowly pour in the buttermilk. Mix well. Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough for two or three minutes. Lightly spray a baking sheet with non stick cooking spray. Shape the dough into a ball and place on the baking sheet. Gently press the dough into a circle about half an inch thick or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Use a serrated knife to cut an x into the top of the dough. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool 30 minutes before cutting into the bread or it gets really crumbly.