German Sour Rye Bread

Ingredients:                                       Serves 4  
2 cups Dark Rye Flour
1-1/2 cupsWater

Final Dough

2 1/2 cups Water
7 cups white bread flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon (1 package) yeast
2 tablespoons caraway seeds
a few more for sprinkling on top

2 teaspoons poppy seeds
1 egg
2 tablespoons water

1. Add the Dark rye flour and water together
Sprinkle some rye flour on top and let sit for 24 to 48 hours.
A crack will start to develop on top.

2. Mix together the Final Dough
Add the water, sugar, salt, yeast.
Add the flour and mix in.
Add the Caraway seeds Mix thoroughly for several minutes.. The dough will just barely keep together. The dough needs to keep fairly loose.

3. Cover and let raise for about 60 minutes,
After the dough has doubled in size, divide the dough into 2 or 3 loaves.

4. Divide the dough into 2 or 3 loaves,
Let raise in a warm place about 80 degrees.
I heat the oven slightly and put a bowl of water
in the oven to create a moist environment.

5. You can see the dough has doubled and taken over most of the pan. It is ready for the oven

Sprinkle with poppy Seeds and caraway seeds

6. Pre - heat oven to400 - 450 degrees F, depending on how
reliable your oven thermometer is.
Mine seems a little cool so I heat it to 450 F.
I leave the bowl of water in the oven.
This helps to give a crispier crust.

7. Optional:
To acheive a glossy crust
After they bake them for 15 minutes and then
Take them out and brush with a solution of a beaten egg
with 2 tablespoons water.

8. Bake another 30 to 50 minutes.
Keep an eye on the bread. If the bottom of the bread
has developed a good crust it is done.
Take the pan out and lift up the loaf and tap it lightly to see
if it makes a hollow sound. If it does it is done.
if it is still fairly soft bake another 10 minutes.

This bread has a very nice crumb to it. Because you have a very loose dough,
it doesn't become too dense like some breads.