Root Beer Rye Bread

1 1/3 Cups Regular Root Beer Soda (Not Diet,) at Room Temperature

1 Teaspoon Root Beer Extract

1 1/4-Ounce Packet Active Dry Yeast

1 1/2 Cups Rye Flour

2 Cups Bread Flour

2 Tablespoons Flaxseeds, Ground

1 1/2 Teaspoons Caraway Seeds

1 Teaspoon Salt

1/4 Cup Olive Oil

To begin the dough, measure out the root beer and sprinkle the yeast over the liquid, and let it sit for 5 - 10 minutes, until bubbly and active.

Meanwhile, stir together rye and bread flour, ground flaxseeds, caraway seeds, and salt in a large bowl. Add the yeasted soda and olive oil, and slowly begin to incorporate the liquids into the dry goods. Use the dough hook attachment of your stand mixer to make light work of the job, or be prepared to get your hands in there and get dirty. The resulting dough is very dense, so resist the urge to add more water. Continue to knead the dough for about 10 - 15 minutes until smooth and slightly elastic.

Lightly grease a second bowl, drop the dough in, and cover with plastic wrap. Stash it in the fridge and allow it to sit overnight. It may not rise at all in that time, so don't stress over the volume at that point.

If the kitchen is fairly warm, let it sit out until it reaches room temperature. Otherwise, use the "proof" setting on your oven to warm it back up. Lightly grease an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan; set aside.

On a clean, very lightly floured surface, turn out the dough and use your knuckles to gently press it down down into a fairly even rectangle, being careful to keep the width no longer than the length of your loaf pan. Roll up the rectangle as tightly as you can manage. Pinch the seam closed and place the bundle with the seam side down in your prepared loaf pan.

Let the bread rise proof for 2 - 4 hours. That may seem like a lot, but it really does take its sweet time to rise. It won't balloon up in a big way, but it should reach the top of the loaf pan. At that point, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Bake for 40 - 45 minutes, until deeply browned all over. Let cool completely before slicing thinly.

Makes One Loaf

©Hannah Kaminsky http://www.BitterSweetBlog.com