What would a corned beef sandwich be without some good rye bread to put on the outside?  Make a preferment today, let it proof until well doubled, then put it away in the refrigerator overnight.  Tomorrow while you’re waiting for coffee to be ready, pull the preferment from the fridge and let it lose some of its chill.  Within a hour or so, you’ll be ready to make a great rye bread to have with dinner and with sandwiches the next day.


12 ounces warm (90 degree) water

1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast (or 1/4 teaspoon instant)

1 cup rye flour

1 cup bread flour

Measure the water into a mixing bowl and sprinkle the yeast over it.  Whisk to blend.  Add the rye flour and bread flour.  Stir together.  Mixture will look like a stiff paste.  That’s fine.  Rye ferments exceptionally well, so you’ll begin seeing signs of bubbling activity with a couple of hours.

You can use either light or dark rye flour.  The bread is going to contain no ingredients added principally for color, such as molasses, coffee, even caramel color.  Thus, the darker the flour, the darker the color of your bread.  It’s your bread.  Do as you please.

Cover preferment tightly with plastic and allow to proof at room temp until it is very active and has doubled in size.  At that point, put it away in the refrigerator until the next morning.


About thesolitarycook

I'm a chef, a cook, a teacher, a reader, a writer, a bike-rider, a dog- and cat-woman
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  1. Bevi says:

    I will attempt this as well as your soda bread while I stay with my folks for the next few weeks. My father especially will enjoy

  2. Susan says:

    Does this recipe have to have bread flour or can all purpose flour be used as well?

    • What an excellent question, Susan. It does need bread flour because rye flour is relatively low in protein (about 8%). That said, you can use all-purpose flour and add vital wheat gluten to it to boost the protein content. Please forgive me; it’s 10:30 at night, and I just got home from work. I’m almost incoherently tired, and just don’t trust myself to do the math to tell you how much VWG to add. If you can grant me a night’s sleep, I can figure it out for you in the morning.

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