For St. Paddy's Day 2017, I made some epic vegan reuben sandwiches with corned beef-style seitan. This year, I found myself craving reubens again – especially the crispy, buttery toasted rye bread.
My inner food stylist/blogger thought that building the sandwich on marbled rye bread would make a great photo, but I couldn't find a vegan-friendly marbled rye in any stores near me! And so, in the name of food porn, I busted out my KitchenAid mixer, picked up a bag of rye flour at Sprouts, and got to baking.
For this recipe, we create a base dough with dark rye flour and a blend of caraway, mustard and dill seeds to add distinctive flavor. Then we add cocoa powder, molasses and a bit of instant coffee powder to half the dough to darken it. These ingredients deepen the flavor of the loaf, but don't worry; it won't make your bread taste like chocolate!
We divide the dough into four pieces, then stack and roll them into our loaf. This can be baked in a pan, or shaped into a boule and baked on a tray. You'll know the loaf is done when it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. I tented my loaf with a bit of aluminum foil during the last 10 minutes to keep it from browning excessively.
1 9x5" loaf
- 2 cups bread flour*
- 1 cup dark rye flour
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 (.25 oz) package active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
- 1 teaspoons dill seeds (optional)
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds (optional)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee (optional)
- 2 teaspoons salt
*Bread flour can be found at most regular supermarkets. It has a higher gluten content than all-purpose flour, which improves the texture of your finished bread. If you must substitute AP flour, you may need to add an additional tablespoon or so to achieve the proper consistency.
- Combine warm water and yeast and allow to proof for 10 minutes. Yeast should be foamy.
- Whisk together bread flour, rye flour, seeds and salt. Add to yeast mixture along with vegetable oil and stir until combined.
- Divide dough in half. To one half, add sugar. To the other half, add cocoa powder, molasses and instant coffee. Knead each half for 5-8 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic and springs back when poked.
- Place each half of dough in an oiled bowl. Cover and allow to rise in a warm spot for 1 hour, or until roughly doubled in size.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly-floured surface. Cut each ball of dough in half again, so you have two pieces each of dark and light dough.
- Using your hands or a rolling pin, flatten each piece of dough to a rectangle roughly the length of your loaf pan. Stack dough slabs on top of each other, then roll into a log. Tuck ends under, then transfer to an oiled 9x5" loaf pan. Cover and allow to rise for another 1 hour in a warm place, until loaf has roughly doubled in size.
- During last few minutes of rise time, preheat oven to 350°F. Bake loaf for 40-45 minutes. Tent with foil if necessary to keep loaf from browning excessively. Loaf should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
- Allow bread to cool for a few minutes in the pan, then remove and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.