Polish Sourdough Rye Bread

"From Susan Wiggs' book Winter Lodge: Pine Box Traditions. "It's a Polish wedding tradition to give a new bride a supply a starter for sourdough rye bread. I suspect it's a combination of tradition and desperation on the part of the bride. It just doesn't seem fair to add the pressure of making a good bread right out of the gate to everything else the poor girl is juggling.""
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Ready In:
1hr 35mins
3 loaves




  • The night before making the bread, in a medium-sized mixing bowl, dissolve one packet of yeast and the sugar in 2 cups of water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in the rye flour until the mixture is smooth. Add the onion slice. Cover and let stand overnight.
  • The next day, dissolve the remaining package of yeast in the buttermilk. Add the rye flour mixture, baking soda, salt, 4 cups of the bread flour and stir to combine.
  • Add the remaining 4 cups of bread flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition (you may not need to add all the flour).
  • When the dough has become a smooth and coherent mass, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and supple, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle the caraway seeds on the dough and knead them in until they are evenly distributed throughout the dough.
  • Lightly oil a large mixing bowl. Place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with the oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour until the volume has doubled.
  • Preheat over to 350 degrees F.
  • Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into three pieces. Form each piece into a loaf and place in 3 lightly greased 9x5 inch bread pans. Cover and let rise until nearly double, about 1 hour.
  • Bake at 350 for about 35 minutes 0r until the loaves sound hollow when tapped.

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