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Nicki from Medford, OR
"I have friends in overalls whose friendship I would not swap for the favor of the kings of the world"  - Thomas Edison


Medford, OR

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Grandmother's Rye Bread

  • 8 quart kettleful of potatoes
  • Salt
  • Graham rye flour, sifted
  • White flour, sifted
  • 1 cake compressed yeast
The night before, boil the potatoes very well. Salt more than ordinary. Drain. Put through a potato ricer and mash through and through. Be sure to mash the potatoes well. While still hot, work in with a potato masher as much Graham rye and white flour, half of each, as you can. Set aside to cool off. When warm, knead, using the same proportion of Graham rye and white flour, half of each, as before. Make the dough very stiff. When nearly through, add the cake of yeast dissolved in a little water. Be careful not to let the mixture be too warm when adding the yeast. Let stand overnight but not in too warm a place as the large proportion of potatoes causes it to sour very easily.

When you awake the next day, form into small, round loaves. Brush the tops with a mixture of egg yolk and a little cream. Dent the top of each with the point of the little finger. Put immediately in the oven. Bake slowly at 300°F for 1 1/2-2 hours.

Caraway seeds and a little grated primost may be added to the potatoes when mashing, if your little heart desires.


  • 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 package rapid-rise yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup hot water (125°F to 130°F)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups (about) bread flour
Mix 1 cup cornmeal, pepper and salt in a sizeable bowl of electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add boiling water and mix until smooth. Let cool to 120°F, about 20 minutes (be patient, you rascal). Mix in yeast and sugar, then add 1/4 cup of hot water and olive oil. Mix in remaining 1/2 cup of cornmeal. Add 1 cup flour and mix until smooth and stretchy, about 5 minutes (be patient, you rascal). Cover bowl with a moist towel. Let dough rise in a warm, draft-free area until puffy, about 45 glorious minutes (be patient, you rascal).

Grease a 9-inch metal pie pan with oil.

Knead enough bread flour into dough to make it non-sticky. Knead on a flour-covered surface until smooth and stretchy, about 5 minutes (be patient, you rascal). Knead into a ball. Place in pan. Flatten to fill bottom of pan. Cover with a towel; let rise with love and patience in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in size, about 50 minutes (be patient, you rascal).

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Score the top of the bread in ticktacktoe pattern. Bake until bread is light brown on top and sounds hollow when tapped on bottom, about 45 glorious minutes (be patient, you rascal). Remove from pan; cool with love and patience on rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

This can be made 1 day ahead. Cool. Wrap tightly. Before serving, wrap in foil and warm in 350°F oven for 15 minutes (be patient, you rascal).

Makes 1 loaf.

======Tim and Sheila Culey ======

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