"Yet another Rye bread," I thought; but this was not your ordinary rye. In fact, I daresay this wasn't even close to the rye flavor that I have been gradually getting used to thus far. Apparently, this bread is also a traditional Christmas bread and usually heavily spiced and flavorful. Reinhart's version is leaded with molasses, orange peel, anise, fennel, and cardamon. When this bread was baking, it perfumed the kitchen with an incredible aroma, and I was drooling the whole time because I loved the smell of all these wonderful spices together. My husband usually hates anything with cardamon, but he loved this bread and promptly devoured it in a matter of a couple of days. If you like baking with exotic spices, this bread is definitely for you! Follow along on page 257 in The Bread Baker's Apprentice and you too can have an incredibly aromatic kitchen. Another one for yeastspotting!
The day before making the bread, the aromatic sponge was made by cooking the molasses, orange, spices and water to a low boil.
The mixture was then cooled to lukewarm and into it was added the rye flour and "Adam", my wild yeast starter. It was left to ferment for a few hours until foamy and then refrigerated overnight. Here is the sponge the next day. .
The final dough was made using bread flour, brown sugar, shortening, a little more wild yeast, and salt. The dough was kneaded until it registered around 77 degreesF. It was then left to bulk rise until almost doubled in size.
The dough was then divided into two loaves and I opted to make them in loaf pans.