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Have Sourdough Discard? Make Dark Rye Bread

I have a rye-based sourdough starter that I've been keeping fed regularly, and that means I have plenty of rye discard to use, particularly in whole grain breads like Dark Rye Bread. The bread is deep, dark, and delicious--really! It gets a touch of sweetness from brown sugar and molasses and extra depth of flavor from a little cocoa powder. The bread requires little attention and isn't a fussy project to make. I usually mix up the dough at breakfast time, leave it alone for an hour or so while I get ready for the day (ahem, and surf the internet...), then mix it again and leave it for about 12-24 hours in a cool place. When I'm ready, I shape the dough, let it rise again, and then bake it. Easy, low hassle sourdough. Plus, the bread is soft, full of flavor, and great for breakfast, with soups, or with hunks of cheese. I usually add a handful of dried cranberries to the dough, but you can substitute raisins or other dried fruit or nothing at all. This is a great rye bread that is substantial but far from the usual brick-like rye.

Sourdough Dark Rye Bread

Sourdough Dark Rye Bread -- Makes 1 Large Loaf

1 cup starter/discard (I use a rye-based starter, but others will work fine)

3/4 cup of almond or regular low-fat milk

2 tablespoons of canola oil

2 tablespoons of molasses

2 tablespoons of dark brown sugar

1 cup of rye flour

2 tablespoons of cocoa powder

2 cups of all-purpose flour, divided

1 1/2 teaspoons of salt

1/2 cup of dried cranberries or raisins

In a large bowl, combine the starter/discard, milk, oil, molasses, brown sugar, rye flour, cocoa powder, and 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour. Stir the mixture well, cover it loosely, and let it stand about an hour. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour and the salt. Knead the dough for 3-5 minutes until it's soft and only a bit sticky. Drizzle a little oil (about a teaspoon) over the dough, turn it in the bowl to coat all sides of the dough, and cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap. Put the dough in the refrigerator or a similarly cool place for 12-24 hours until it about doubles in size. Punch the dough down and add the cranberries to it. Shape the dough into a loaf and place it in a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan that you've sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Spray the top of the loaf with non-stick cooking spray and cover the loaf loosely with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise until about doubled (2-4 hours at room temperature or 4-8 in the refrigerator). Preheat the oven to 400 degrees when you're ready to bake, and then bake the bread for about 45 minutes or until brown on top and a cooking thermometer inserted in the middle of the loaf registers about 190 degrees. Let the bread cool before slicing it, if you'd like uniform, clean slices.

Sourdough Dark Rye Bread with Cranberries

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