Made the bread today, per last years recipe, with some modifications:
- Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hr 20 minutes (this was grandma's original specification)
- Made 3 loaves of bread with total dough batch
- Mix all ingredients, then split in 2 and knead in mixer; to each batch, add 4oz of flour
- Brush tops with melted butter before baking
- Brush tops with melted butter after baking
- Kneaded dough was still tacky, but not dry; probably just about perfect.
- Nice tender crumb, good lift & texture, not gummy/wet/sticky, but could use a more defined structure (springy with lots of little air holes is optimum)
- Crust was too thick and hard; needs to be more chewy
To try next time:
- Try baking at 375 degrees for less time (see #2)
- Try 375 temp with 35 to 45 minutes baking time, or until loaf sounds hollow when lightly tapped.
- Try placing loaves on baking stone on lowest shelf
Some info on Rye Flour (from the Baking 911 site):
"Using rye flour yields baked goods that are moist and dense, with a slightly sour flavor. The gluten in rye is similar in character to the gluten in pastry flour, which is low, so it is often used in combination with wheat flour (bread flour or all-purpose). The wheat flour is included in order to make a gluten structure strong enough to form a framework that will hold the gases released from the yeast.
Light rye flour can be successfully substituted for 40 percent of wheat flour in a recipe without loss of volume. Medium and dark rye flours should be limited to 30 percent and 20 percent, respectively, of the total flour amount.
Rye flour also has a much higher percentage of carbohydrate gums, which make rye dough stickier to work with than wheat, so don't add extra flour when kneading. On the up side, the substances which yield the sugars in rye that the yeast feeds on, break down very easily so they usually ferment well."