Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
My great-grandfather, Josef Zawisza, was born on March 18, 1890.
Josef (21) married Genowefa Samotyk (18) on January 14, 1912, in Perry/Wyoming County, New York. Why they were so far south of Buffalo, I don’t know. He was born in Poland (I am still trying to find out exactly where in Poland) and she was born in Austria. They had five children during their marriage, including my grandmother, Genowefa Zawisza.
- 2 packages active dry yeast
- 1 tsp white sugar
- 2 cups water
- 4 cups rye flour
- 1 cup buttermilk room temperature
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp salt
- 5 cups bread flour
- 2 tbsp caraway seeds
- The night before making the bread, in a large mixing bowl, dissolve one packet of yeast and the sugar in 2 cups of water. Let stand until foaming, about 10 minutes. Stir in the rye flour until the mixture is smooth. Cover and let stand overnight.
- The next day, dissolve the remaining package of yeast in the room temperature buttermilk in a separate bowl.
- Add to the rye flour mixture and mix in the baking soda, salt, bread flour, and caraway seeds. Stir to combine. It is easier to mix in the flour a little at a time.
- Knead or mix in a mixer until the dough has become a smooth and coherent mass, about 8 minutes. You want the dough to be smooth, not too sticky and not too dry. Depending on your ingredients, you may not need all of the bread flour or you may need a little more.
- Lightly oil a large mixing bowl or the same bowl. Place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with the oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until the volume has doubled.
- After the hour, divide the dough into three pieces and form each piece into a loaf. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 1 hour.
- Heat the oven to 350. Before placing the loaves in the oven, score the top of each loaf 3-4 times with a razor or knife. Bake in a dutch oven or on a pan. Then bake for about 35 minutes or until the bottom of the loaves sound hollow when tapped.