If you have a stand mixer, use it to knead. If not, stir by hand and spend at least 10 minutes kneading this dough. You can get some frustration out. Put on some music and dance in place while you push and pull and fold the dough. Try not to use too much flour to knead. If the dough is sticky, oil your counter, and use oiled hands or an oiled bench scraper to fold the dough over. The more you knead it, the less sticky it will be.
For the first rise- do not let it double. Just let it get puffy. Take a picture of the dough when you set it to proof, if you need a reference. You want it about halfway between freshly mixed and doubled.
Be sure to follow the tenting instructions, or the bread will brown too much.
If you on maintenance, add 3T honey to the warm water and yeast.
Classic Rye Bread
Makes 14 standard slices
1 1/4 cup warm spring water (105-110 degrees)
1/4 cup olive oil
3 1/2 cups rye flour
2 1/2 tsp yeast (or 1 packet)
1 1/2 tsp salt
Put the water and yeast in a bowl for the stand mixer and stir to dissolve. If you are using the honey- add it now and let the yeast get bubbly. Add everything else except the salt. Turn the mixer on low and let it go for 2 minutes. Once the dough is stirred, add the salt and turn mixer to a medium speed. Let it knead and mix the dough for 5 minutes.
Alternatively you can stir everything but the salt together in a large bowl using your hands or wooden spoon. Add the salt when the dough ball starts to form. Mix then turn onto oiled counter. Keep a plate with a tablespoon of olive oil on it nearby. Oil your hands and knead the dough for 10 minutes. Fold it over towards you, push it away with the heels of your hands, rotate and pull the far side over the top, push with the heel of your hands. Oil you hands and counter as needed.
Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with damp towel. Let get puffy but not double in size. Turn dough out onto counter. Press into a circle, then roll up into log. Tuck ends under and place seem side down in oiled loaf pan. Cover with damp towel and place in warm spot until the dough has risen 1-2 inches above the pan. Place in preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Take a piece of foil, crease the middle and place tent over the bread and bake another 10-12 minutes, until an instant read thermometer reaches 190 degrees in the middle of the loaf.
Remove from pan and set on cooling rack. Cool completely before slicing.