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Jewish Corn Bread

This is a very confusing name, because there is no corn in this rye bread. The confusion arises because the German and Yiddish name for wheat is korn. Actually the bread is half-wheat, half-rye flour. Rye is a difficult flour for bread-making because it has very little gluten and rises only minimally. It is a good idea to leave the loaves in a cool place overnight to rise.

ingredients

makes 2 loaves
1 tablespoon molasses
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
3 tablespoons margarine
1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1 envelope active dry yeast or 1/2 cake compressed yeast
1/2 cup warm water
4 cups medium rye flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup semolina
1 egg white mixed with 2 teaspoons water

method

1. In a small pan, heat the molasses, chocolate, 1 tablespoon margarine, and water until chocolate melts and mixture is dissolved. Let cool to lukewarm.

2. Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup warm water, then add it to the molasses mixture. Sift the flours into a large bowl and mix well. Gradually beat in the liquid until the dough is smooth, then turn out onto a floured work surface and knead until smooth, about 10 minutes. A rye loaf will not be as smooth and elastic as a wheat loaf, so take care not to overknead. Put the dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic, and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 3 hours (or overnight in a cool place).

3. Shape the dough into 2 round loaves. Sprinkle a large cookie sheet with semolina and transfer the loaves to the sheet. Cover with a damp kitchen towel, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

4. Preheat oven to 425°F. Brush loaves with the egg-white-and-water mixture. Bake for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat and bake at 400°F for another 20 minutes or until done, To test for doneness, rap a loaf on the bottom with your knuckles; if it sounds hollow, it is ready. Let cool on a rack.

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