teaspoon active dry yeast
cup warm milk (about 100°F)
teaspoons caraway seeds, plus more for sprinkling
tablespoon butter, softened
egg white, mixed with 1 tsp water (egg wash)
Dissolve sugar and yeast in warm milk in a large bowl. Let stand 5 minutes.
Stir bread and rye flours, salt and caraway seeds into wet ingredients until a soft dough forms.
Dump contents on the counter and knead until smooth dough begins to form, about 5-10 minutes. If needed, add 1 tbsp of flour to dough at a time to prevent dough from sticking to hands. Cover dough and let rest 10 minutes.
Roll out dough into a 12 x 10-inch rectangle on a lightly floured baking sheet. Spread softened butter over dough. Working with long side, fold up bottom third of dough. Do the same with the other length of dough, forming a 12 x 3-inch rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap and put in freezer for 10 minutes.
Remove dough from freezer. Roll out dough and repeat step 4 (still on a baking sheet). Cover with plastic wrap and put in freezer for 10 minutes.
Remove dough from freezer. Roll dough (still on a baking sheet) into a 8 x 12-inch rectangle, short side towards you (make into a 12 x 12-inch square for smaller rolls). Working with short side, roll dough like you would a jelly roll; wet your fingers to pinch the seam closed. Cut roll into 8-12 equal slices and place on baking sheet. Lightly spray tops of rolls with cooking spray. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes to one hour until doubled in size.
Brush egg wash on tops of risen rolls. Sprinkle caraway seeds on tops of rolls.
Bake dough for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Remove from pan and let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
More About This Recipe
- I'm sitting here, looking out the window of my apartment and watching a rainy mist fall through the cool air on what seems to be yet another dismal spring evening. It's been raining on and off for the past four days now. Some days we've been lucky enough to feel a patch of dry grass and see the sun poke through the clouds, but mostly, it's just been cold, cloudy and misty.
Days (or weeks, as it may turn out to be) like these have me unreservedly yearning for faraway places - Australia, perhaps? Greece? Italy? I'd even go somewhere off the list of "Dreamy Vacation Spots," like Japan or Russia. Anywhere but here is where I want to be. Being that I traveled many a land in my young life already (Amsterdam and India and Germany and France, how I miss you!) I can't be too greedy in my desire to set foot on the other side of the earth, but maybe all that traveling is what's given me such restless legs.
All this to say that, in these moments of wanderlust (the quantity of which far outweighs my travel funds), I've had to find ways to feel as though I've somewhat traveled off the beaten path, even if I haven't stepped outside my kitchen. Enter Caraway Swirl Rye Rolls.
I know what you're thinking. Caraway Swirl Rye Rolls - how in the world do these rolls make you feel like you've traveled to exotic lands? It's true, these rolls aren't based in olive oil, nor are they chock full of Asian spices, nor do they seem nearly the sort to be huddled together in a cloth basket on the front of a Parisian's bicycle next to a fresh baguette. But these rolls do instill in me a sense of being a castaway on a desert island. Maybe it's the play on words (caraway, castaway, awfully close), or maybe it's the whimsical pinwheel shape they take on while browning in the oven, but regardless, Caraway Swirl Rye Rolls are just enough to satisfy my travel bug.
These rolls are incredibly simple to make, thanks to their need to only rise once (such unselfish little rolls, they are). But they are finicky in the oven and can burn easily, so make sure you check on them after about 10-12 minutes of baking. They are incredibly versatile, and though I like to make mine big enough to suffice as a medium-sized hamburger bun, you can roll out the final length of the dough to make up to 12 swirly miniature rolls. And the tiny, half-mooned shaped caraway seeds resting on the spherical staircase on top of these mildly buttery rolls make me wish that was me, basking in the sun on the steps of the Roman Colosseum. It's a stretch, I know, but it's a comfort while I look out my window, wishing it would just stop raining.
Stephanie (aka Girl versus Dough) has joined Tablespoon to share her adventures in the kitchen. Check out Stephanie's Tablespoon member profile and keep checking back for her own personal recipes on Tablespoon!
- Serving Size: 1 (128.2 g)
- Calories 652.3
- Total Fat - 66 g
- Saturated Fat - 17 g
- Cholesterol - 5 mg
- Sodium - 497.7 mg
- Total Carbohydrate - 14.7 g
- Dietary Fiber - 2 g
- Sugars - 2.2 g
- Protein - 3.6 g
- Calcium - 33.4 mg
- Iron - 0.8 mg
- Vitamin C - 0.3 mg
- Thiamin - 0.5 mg
In a medium-sized mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the water, sugar, rye flour and yeast, mixing to form a soft batter.
Let the mixture rest for 20 minutes this allows the rye flour to absorb some of the liquid, making the dough easier to knead.
Add the remaining ingredients, and mix and knead the dough together — by hand, mixer or bread machine — until it's fairly smooth. The nature of rye dough is to be sticky, so don't be tempted to add too much flour.
Place the dough in an oiled bowl or large (8-cup) measure, cover, and let it rise until noticeably puffy, 60 to 90 minutes.
Gently deflate the dough, knead it briefly, and shape it into two smooth oval or round loaves or one long oval loaf. Place them on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.
Cover the loaves, and let them rise until they're noticeably puffy, about 90 minutes. Towards the end of the rise, preheat the oven to 350°F.
Just before they go into the oven, spritz the loaves with water, and slash them about 1/2" deep. The oval loaves look good with one long, vertical slash the rounds, with two or three shorter slashes across the top.
Bake the loaves for 35 to 40 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center reads 205°F to 210°F.
The single, larger loaf will bake for 45 to 50 minutes. If the bread appears to be browning too quickly, tent it lightly with foil after 25 minutes of baking.
Remove the loaves from the oven, and transfer them to a rack. While still warm, brush them with melted butter, if desired this will keep their crust soft.
NOTE: If you have access to King Arthur Products, they sell improvers that cause breads to rise perfectly. "Vital Wheat Gluten" or "King Arthur Rye Bread Improver" can be used to provide a best rise. If using, use 3 tablespoons and add it with the flour. King Arthur has a wonderful paper catalog and online catalog as well.
3 tablespoons vital wheat gluten or King Arthur Rye Bread Improver (optional, for best rise)
Gather together the ingredients for rye bread
The recipe calls for bread flour — not all-purpose flour — because it has a higher protein content and allows the dough to rise higher. Bread flour's protein creates more gluten, which results in the desired chewy texture when the bread is baked. Just as there are different types of white flours, rye flour also has several varieties, depending on how much of the rye kernel is ground. Beahm uses dark rye, which has a bold and molasses-like taste. If you're a newbie to rye, then a medium rye flour is a Goldilocks "just right" rye: It has a lighter texture and an assertive, but not overpowering, taste.
You can still make this no-knead recipe if you can't find rye flour or prefer to use something else. "This recipe is pretty flexible," Beahm said. "You can substitute it with whole wheat flour or just use all white bread flour. You'll still have a delicious loaf of bread." The remaining ingredients are just instant dried yeast, salt, and water. Measure out the ingredients, and you're ready to go.
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the pan
- 5 1/2 cups bread flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt, crushed
In a small bowl, combine the yeast with the sugar and warm water and let stand until foamy, 5 minutes. In a medium saucepan, heat the milk with 10 tablespoons of the butter until just melted. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let cool slightly. Stir in the foamy yeast mixture.
In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour with the kosher salt. With the machine on, gradually add the warm milk mixture and the eggs and beat at medium speed until a smooth, silky dough forms, about 10 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Lightly butter a 9-by-13-inch metal baking pan. In a small saucepan, melt the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter over moderate heat. Punch down the dough and divide it into 24 pieces. Let the pieces rest for 5 minutes. Roll each piece of dough into a ball. Using buttered fingers, press the balls into 3-inch rounds. Brush all over with some of the melted butter and fold each one in half. Arrange the rolls in the prepared pan, seams down, in even rows. Brush any remaining melted butter over the rolls. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise until nearly doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350. Sprinkle the rolls with the caraway seeds and sea salt and bake in the center of the oven for 50 minutes, until puffy and golden. Transfer the pan to a rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Invert the rolls onto a platter, then invert them again onto the rack. Let cool slightly before serving.
- Author’s note: Start by making two doughs—one light, one dark—with light rye flour. The only difference between the doughs is the addition of cocoa powder and an extra tablespoon or so of water in the darker dough.
Make the light dough
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the flours, salt, yeast, caraway seeds (if using), water, oil, and molasses on low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium low and mix until well combined and the sides of the bowl are clean, about 1 minute more. Switch to the dough hook and knead on medium-low speed until the dough is smooth and tacky (it should peel off your finger when you poke it, like a Post-it note), about 4 minutes. If the dough is too sticky, add more bread flour 1 Tbs. at a time, kneading to incorporate. If it’s very stiff, knead in water 1 Tbs. at a time. (Alternatively, you can mix the dough in a large bowl by hand and then knead on an oiled surface mixing and kneading will take longer.)
- Rub a little vegetable oil on a work surface to create an 8-inch circle, and put the dough on this spot. Using your hands, stretch and fold the dough up and over itself from all four sides into the center, crimping it where the folded ends meet, to form it into a tight, round ball that is smooth on the bottom.
- Invert the dough ball, setting it seam side down in a lightly oiled bowl that’s twice the size of the dough. Tightly cover with plastic wrap. Let sit at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1-1/2 hours.
Make the dark dough
- Immediately after making the light dough, repeat the process to make the dark dough, adding more water if needed to make a dough with the same feel as the first dough. Stretch and fold the dough into a ball and let it rise in another lightly oiled bowl as described above.
Shape the loaves
- Author’s note: Making the swirl is as easy as stacking alternating layers of light and dark dough and then rolling the stack into a loaf shape. Start by forming the dough layers into squares, which will roll up into an even loaf (unlike circles, which can yield a tapered loaf). I use a light coating of oil on my work surface instead of flour because it keeps the dough supple and easy to work with, and there’s no risk of incorporating too much flour, which would dry out the dough.
- When both doughs have doubled in size, divide each into 4 equal pieces (about 5 oz. each). Generously coat the inside of two 8-1/2 x 4-1/2-inch loaf pans with cooking spray.
- Rub a little vegetable oil on a work surface, move two pieces of each dough to the oiled area, and flatten them with the palm of your hand. Using your hands or a rolling pin, gently shape each piece into a 6-inch square that’s about 1/4 inch thick.
- Make a stack of the dough squares, starting with a light dough square on the bottom, then a dark square, then a light, and then the final dark piece the bottom light piece will become the outside of the loaf. Firmly pat down the stack with the palm of your hand or lightly roll it with the pin so that all four pieces adhere to one another.
- Starting with the side closest to you, tightly roll the stack up into a loaf, pinching the seam closed with your fingertips to seal, if necessary. Repeat with the remaining dough for the second loaf.
- Set each loaf seam side down. Gently roll and stretch each until it’s the same length as the pans. Place each loaf of dough seam side down in the pans, coat the tops with cooking spray, and cover the pans loosely with plastic wrap.
Let the loaves rise
- Author’s note: A second rise further develops the dough’s flavor and relaxes the gluten strands inside, while also letting the dough rise to its proper size and shape before baking. If your kitchen is on the warm side, the loaves will rise faster, and vice versa.
- Set the loaves aside at room temperature until nearly doubled in size with tops that are about an inch above the edges of the pans, 1 to 2 hours. At this point, pressing on the dough with your finger should make a dimple that springs back slowly. If it springs back quickly, give the dough another 15 to 30 minutes to rise.
Bake the loaves
- Author’s note: Baking is the ultimate transformation: Dough goes into the oven, and bread comes out. A light coating of egg wash—a mixture of beaten egg and water—gives the crust color and shine after baking. Underbaking yields gummy bread, so use an instant-read thermometer to check for doneness inserting it close to the edge of the pan (without touching the pan) leaves a less noticeable hole.
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F.
- In a small bowl, whisk the egg with 1 Tbs. water and then lightly brush the tops of the loaves with the egg wash discard any remaining egg wash. Bake for 20 minutes, then rotate and swap the positions of the pans. Continue baking until the loaves are a rich golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 190°F to 195°F , 20 to 25 minutes more. Transfer the loaves in their pans to a wire rack to cool. When cool enough to handle, remove the bread from the pans. Let cool completely before slicing.
Many people associate rye bread with the licorice-like flavor of caraway because the seeds have been used for so long in deli-style rye breads. But for this type of loaf, caraway is only one of many optional add-ins, including aniseeds, black onion seeds (nigella seeds), poppyseeds, dried orange peel, fresh or dehydrated chopped onion, or nothing at all. The choice is yours.