Pizza Rye Bread

While working in Southaven Mississippi, I used a bread machine a couple times every week to help with lunch. One of my favorites was rye bread, without any caraway seeds. My buddy Charles came up with the idea to mix fresh tomatoes in with the bread dough. While it baked, people said it smelled like pizza.

Select a bread machine with a vertical, two-pound capacity pan. If you’re thinking of trying a horizontal loaf machine, be aware that this recipe will probably not work well. The horizontal style does not mix well, and mixing is crucial where pulpy tomato fruit is being added.

• 375 ml fresh tomatoes (1.5 cup) – finely chopped.

Use a glass measuring cup to check your tomatoes. Keep all the seeds and juice. The tomato juice level should sit precisely at 375 ml. If it doesn’t, add more water, a spoonful at a time, until it does.

• 750 ml bread flour (3 cups)

DO NOT use bleached, or all-purpose flour as a substitute for bread flour. DO NOT add any milk powder for “flavor”. DO NOT send your Social Security Number over the internet.

• 30 ml real butter (2 TBS) … Do not use margarine or shortening.

• 30 ml white sugar (2 TBS)

• 5 ml sea salt (1 teaspoon)

• 5 ml crushed red pepper flakes (1 teaspoon)

• 5 ml crushed basil (1 teaspoon)

• 2 pearl onions – peeled & chopped

Some people may want to try garlic, instead of onion. Cute idea, except that fresh garlic could be bad for yeast. In fact, fresh garlic has been used to treat certain Candida infections 🙂

• 7 ml active dry yeast (about 3/4 envelope)

That’s right. You don’t need the whole measure of yeast you like to use for constipation bread … er, I meant “plain white bread”. If you have one of those special jars of bread machine yeast (quick rise), you should measure out 2 teaspoons of it.

You know the routine; moist ingredients in the bottom of bread mixer, yeast on top of the flour. At this point, you’re probably wondering, “¿What about the rye flour?” Glad you asked. Doncha worryaboutit. Keep the rye flour to the side, and start the bread machine.

Choose a large loaf cycle – about 3 hours, with at least twenty minutes worth of mixing or kneading on the front end. Do not use a cycle much longer than 3 hours, no matter if they use confusing names, because the loaf will tend to go flat the longer the lump sits. Watch the stuff mix. If the tomatoes aren’t chopped finely enough, the mixture will appear dry. DO NOT add extra water here. Just bite your thumb for ten minutes, until the tomatoes are pulverized into the bread flour.

• 250 ml rye flour (1 cup)

Now start adding rye flour, or dump it in suddenly. It doesn’t matter how you add it. Let it mix another few minutes, and inspect the lump. A dry lump will have cracks in it, or chunks that rip away from the main lump. If it’s too wet, the dough will form a sludge in the pan. The right dough should form a smooth elastic ball.

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