- 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
- 4 cups warm water (110 degrees to 115 degrees F), divided
- 2 cups rye flour
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons caraway seeds
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 7 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cornmeal
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 4 teaspoons caraway seed
- In a 4-qt. glass bowl, dissolve yeast in 2 cups warm water; whisk in rye flour until smooth. Cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel. Let stand in a warm place for about 4 hours or until batter falls about 1 in. and surface bubble activity is reduced. Stir in the sugar, caraway seeds, salt, 5 cups all-purpose flour and remaining water; mix well. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a firm dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.
- Divide dough into four portions. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes. Shape into four round loaves, about 6 in. each. Coat two baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray; sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon cornmeal. Place loaves on pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
- With a sharp knife, make several slashes across the top of each loaf. Brush with egg. Sprinkle each loaf with 1 teaspoon caraway seeds. Bake at 400 degrees F for 30-35 minutes, rotating pans after 15 minutes, or until browned. Cool on wire racks.