1 package of active dry yeast (2 ¼ teaspoons or 8 grams)
1 ¼ cups of warm water – heated to about 112° and not above or it will kill the yeast
1/3 cup of molasses
1 tablespoon of caraway seeds
1 ½ teaspoons of salt
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup of rye flour (I used dark rye flour)
About 2 ½ cups of bread flour (you can use all purpose but bread flour will make the bread a better overall texture and crust)
Mix the molasses into the water in a small saucepan and heat on the stove till just over 110° (approx. 112°) then remove from heat and add the yeast and mix. Cover this pan and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
Pour the yeast mixture into a medium sized mixing bowl and add the caraway seeds, salt, olive oil, cocoa, rye flour and 1 cup of bread flour. Add these items one at a time and mix well after each addition.
Add another ½ cup of bread flour at a time and continue mixing till it gets hard to mix then spread about ½ cup of bread flour on a clean counter surface and scrape the dough mixture onto it and begin kneading. The dough will be quite sticky at this point but as you mix in the flour that’s on the counter it will become less so. Continue adding flour to the counter and kneading it into the dough till your dough is no longer sticky and forms a smooth silky dough.
Place this dough into an oiled mixing bowl and rub it around and turn it over till the dough is evenly coated in the oil.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a towel then let rise at room temperature for 1 ½ hours or until it has doubled in size.
Gently punch the dough down and then remove it from the bowl and form it into a loaf.
Place the loaf into a greased 8 X 4 loaf pan and cover it again.
Let this rise for about 45 minutes. The dough should just rise above the top of the loaf pan.
Pre-heat the oven to 350° F
Get 4-6 ice cubes ready (this is an important step to forming a nice crust)
Place the loaf pan on the middle rack of the oven and just before you close the door, toss the ice cubes onto the bottom of the oven then quickly close to door to trap in the steam this will produce.
The steam from the ice will help the bread to rise and it will produce a better crust.
Bake for about 45 minutes till the bread can be tapped to produce a hollow sound.
Remove the bread from the pan and let cool on a wire rack.
If you slice it before it’s cool, it will very likely break apart and crumble.