The NHL announced today that the Atlanta Thrashers hockey team will be moving to Winnipeg, Manitoba next year – a decision that has been cause for much celebration across Canada. No news yet on whether or not the team will be renamed the Winnipeg Jets – Winnipeg’s hockey team from 1972 to 1996 (the franchise moved to Phoenix and became the Coyotes) – but here’s hoping. Of course with Winnipeg on my mind, my thoughts turn to food.
The city is known for its bagels and cream cheese, for the burgers and ice cream at the Bridge Drive-In, and for rye bread, which is unique in that it’s made from cracked rye rather than rye flour.
Winnipeg Rye Bread
adapted from AllRecipes
1/4 cup cracked rye
2 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 cup water, divided
3/4 cup milk, warmed to lukewarm
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
4 1/4 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour (optional: use half rye flour)
3 Tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp salt
In a small bowl, soak the cracked rye in 1/4 cup water for several hours, or overnight, to soften.
In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the remaining 1/4 cup water with a pinch of the brown sugar; let stand 5 minutes, until foamy. Add the milk, brown sugar and egg, whisk well. Add half the flour and stir until well blended and sticky. Add another cup of flour, the butter, soaked cracked rye (with any liquid) and salt, stir until combined. Add more flour, turning it out onto a floured surface to knead when it gets too stiff to stir, and knead, adding more flour as it needs it, until smooth and elastic. Cover with a tea towel and let rest until doubled, about an hour.
Punch the dough down, shape into two round loaves on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover and let rest another hour.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F. Brush the tops of the loaves with milk, slash the tops and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden and the loaf makes a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom.
Photo credit: istockphoto.com/egal