Molasses Rye Bread
2 tablespoons + 1/4 teaspoon (3 packets) active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (110-115 degrees F.)
1/2 cup dark molasses
1/2 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
2 tablespoons anise or caraway seeds
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/3 cup vital wheat gluten, optional
2 3/4 cup rye flour
2 1/2 - 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
Dissolve yeast in warm water. In a large bowl, combine the molasses, boiling water, butter, anise seeds, and salt. Stir until the butter almost melts. Cool to 110-115 degrees. Add the yeast and wheat germ. With a spoon, stir in the wheat gluten the rye flour. Then add as much of the all-purpose flour as possible.
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead the dough, continually working in the white flour. The dough will be very stiff. Knead it until it is smooth and elastic. If kneading becomes difficult, let dough relax for ten minutes and then try again.
Place dough in greased bowl, turning once. Cover and let rise till double (1 1/2 hours). Punch down dough. Divide in half. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.
Shape into 2 loaves or rounds. Place in greased pans. Cover; let rise until double (1 hour). Brush with water or molasses glaze and slash diagonally at 3-inch intervals. Sprinkle with additional anise or caraway seeds as desired. Bake at 350-degrees F. for 45 minutes. Remove from pans; cool on a wire rack.
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