Over at Todaysmama.com we've been rounding up our favorite Hunger Games stuff because the movie will be out soon. I liked the books (I read all three in three days.) Why not have a little fun and make a cool mockingjay stenciled bread loaf with a rye bread recipe? The caramelized sugar and high baking temp (425) make a dark contrast for the design to pop.
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup hot water
3 teaspoons salt
2 cups warm water
2.5 tablespoons of active dry yeast
2 Tbl of melted butter
1/2 cup warm milk
3 cups of flour (use bread flour if you have it, add 2 tsp vital wheat gluten if you don't)
3 cups of rye flour
1 Tbl dough enhancer (I used Shirley J)
Melt the sugar in a non-stick pan until dark and caramelized (but not burned.) Add the 3/4 cup boiling water and reduce to 1/2 cup, cool. Sprinkle yeast over warm water in your mixing bowl and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Mix in melted butter, salt, sugar mixture, and milk. Add 2 cups of regular flour and the dough enhancer, mix well. Switch to your dough hook. Add rye flour. Knead the bread, adding remaining white flour, or more water, as needed. Knead 8 minutes until the dough is elastic. You want a nice, medium-heavy dough that's a little tacky to the touch and not hard. Place rounded dough in an oiled bowl and allow to rise until doubled. Punch down and allow to rise until doubled again. Punch down and form two rounded loaves. (In this case I wanted a large loaf to use a stencil on, so I made one big loaf.) Allow the loaf to rise until a clean towel for about 45 minutes.
Cut out your design from a sheet of paper. Brush the risen loaf with water and place on your cut stencil. Sift flour over the top and carefully remove the paper, leaving the design.
Bake in a preheated oven at 425 degrees for 35-45 minutes depending on the size of the loaves. I place my loaves right on a pizza stone. The bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped.
Make a Rueben sandwich. Go ahead (mustard, corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, broiled for a few minutes.) Snarf.