For someone like me who didn't like sourdough rye breads that much, Jeffrey Hamelman's Light Rye bread is a welcome surprise because I love its slightly sour and slightly sweet flavor. As the name says, it's light on rye, that is, the recipe has very little medium rye flour so I heeded his suggestion of using whole rye flour for a more pronounced rye flavor, and I also used rye sourdough starter instead of the white flour sourdough starter. Ground, not whole, caraway seeds were used sparingly at a quarter teaspoon, which to me is just about right, maybe less of it or none at all would be better. I love the flavor of caraway seeds but I think it masks the true flavor of rye flour which only recently I'm starting to appreciate.
The bread is another simple dough to make. The sourdough is built the night before and left on the kitchen counter to ripen for 14 hours. The next day high gluten flour, water, salt, yeast, and caraway seeds are mixed together with the sourdough. I did not have any problems with the mixing of this rather stiff but not dry dough which was made to ferment for 1 hour. I decided to shape the dough into a boule and baked it in a cast iron pot. It rose well, although the crumb is tight which is okay because its smokey flavor is more important to me. I also love its thin-ish chewy crust and soft but chewy crumb, perfect for ham or pastrami sandwiches.
ham sandwich on rye lunch