I saw a rye bread recipe that incorporated caraway seeds into the loaf, which would have been good had I remembered to add them, but even without, it was delicious. Traditional rye breads of Europe are made with a starter, but the recipe posted below uses the straight dough method. It is essentially the same as the white bread recipe, but substitutes some rye flour for bread flour and includes the caraway seeds. It also explains a bit about the shaping.
Adapted from Joy of Cooking
Yield: 1 loaf
1 cup warm water (115F to 125F)
1 package (2 1/4 tsp) quick-rising active dry yeast
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp melted butter
3/4 cup rye flour
2 cups bread flour
1 tbsp caraway seeds, plus more for top of loaf
- Pour the water into a large mixing bowl.
- Sprinkle the yeast into the water. Let stand for a minute. Yeast should froth a little.
- Add the sugar, salt, and melted butter.
- Add the rye flour and 1 1/4 cups of the bread flour. Stir gently.
- Begin kneading the dough in the bowl. Add caraway seeds.
- Gradually add in 1/4 cup at a time of the remaining bread flour. The dough should be moist but not sticky.
- Knead for about 10 minutes by hand on a floured surface until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and turn it over once to coat with oil.
- Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place (75F to 80F) until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
- Punch the dough down and knead slightly.
- Shape the dough into a rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick.
- Fold the long sides of the dough into the middle, overlapping slightly. Press the seam to seal. Pull and shape the ends gently to make the loaf slightly egg-shaped.
- Transfer the dough, seam side down, to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
- Score the loaf using a sharp knife. The slashes should be about 1/2 inch deep.
- Brush the loaf with egg wash (egg white mixed with water) and sprinkle caraway seeds on top.
- Preheat the oven to 450F.
- Bake the loaf for 10 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to 350F and bake for another 30 minutes, or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
- Let cool slightly, then move loaf to a rack to cool completely.