Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 40 minutes
- *** Bread ***
- 4 cups bread flour
- 1 1/2 cups rye flour
- 2 cups warm water
- 3 tbsp melted butter, lard, bacon grease, or oil
- 3 Tbsp. molasses
- 2 Tbsp. caraway seeds (optional)
- 1 Tbsp. wheat gluten*
- 2 tsp. instant yeast
- 1/2 tsp. citric acid (sour salt) (optional)**
- 1 tsp. salt
- *** Filling ***
- 3/4 cup 1000 Island Dressing***
- 8 oz. thinly sliced corned beef
- 4 oz. sliced Swiss cheese
- 1 cup well-drained sauerkraut
- *** Egg Wash ***
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbsp. milk
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, mix together the yeast, gluten, citric acid, caraway seeds, rye flour, and 2 cups of bread flour.
2. Add salt and mix in. (Note, the salt is added after mixing the original ingredients to minimize it's direct contact with the yeast, which it can kill).
3. In a measuring cup, mix together water, molasses, and butter using a small whisk.
4. With the motor running at low speed, pour liquid into dry ingredients.
5. Once moistened, switch to the dough hook and add another cup and a half of bread flour. Add additional flour, a tablespoon at a time, to produce a dough that's moist and slightly sticky.
6. Increase speed to medium and knead for eight minutes. (Note, dough will clear sides but stick to bottom, scrape it up with a rubber spatula every couple of minutes.)
7. Scoop dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it feels about like a bumpy baby's bottom, then form into a ball.
8. Place the dough in a bowl sprayed with cooking oil, spritz top with oil, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk - about 1 1/2 hours.
9. Gently deflate dough, scoop onto a large sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil sprayed or brushed with oil. Rest for ten minutes.
10. Using your fingers, gently shape dough into a 15 x 12 inch rectangle. You will need to let it rest for a few minutes several times during this process because it will shrink back.
11. In the meantime, heat oven to 400F and place rack in center position. (Note: it's important to give the oven a long preheat before baking - at least 30 minutes.)
12. Spread the 1000 Island dressing on the dough lengthwise leaving 3 inches on each side uncovered.
13. Layer dressing with corned beef, cheese, and sauerkraut.
14. Using kitchen shears, cut uncovered edges into 3/4 x 1 inch wide strips. Fold edges over the filling and braid together the strips.
15. Slide bread and foil onto a baking sheet.
16. Mix together egg and milk and brush on bread. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until nicely browned.
17. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes before serving.
Here's a tutorial on making the braid.
*Note 1: Wheat gluten produces better rising and is readily available in the baking section at supermarkets.
**Note 2: The sour salt adds a nice, sour-dough tang to the bread. You may find it at a cooking store.
***Note 3: I make my own 1000 Island Dressing for this sandwich, but a top quality commercial dressing will also work.