Holland's dark hearty roggebrood

Dutch roggebrood is a solid loaf of unleavened rye bread that's sliced wafer thin and served buttered with thin slices of ham and cheese. This recipe is from ``Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads'' (Simon & Shuster).

Mr. Clayton says he got it from a Dutch woman in a small English inn in East Anglia, where he was cycling. He described the delicious bread he had eaten in Amsterdam. She knew immediately what he was talking about and produced this recipe.

Be sure to read the recipe completely through to see that it takes five hours of steaming, baking, and finishing.

Dutch Roggebrood 3 or 4 potatoes, diced 2 cups potato water 1/2 cup molasses, unsulfured preferred 7 cups rye flour 1 tablespoon salt 1/2 cup brewer's yeast 2 tablespoons ground caraway seeds Pans: two 8-by-4-inch loaf pans, greased, plus larger roasting or baking pan in which to place loaf pans with water.

Boil potatoes to get 2 cups potato water. Save potatoes for another use.

Pour boiling potato water into large mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients.

Be warned: All-rye is a sticky mess that doesn't improve, no matter how much it is worked. When dough cools, use a spoon (and fingers sparingly) to blend all ingredients.

Spoon dough into loaf pans. Dampen fingers, push dough, into corners and smooth surface.

Cover each pan tightly with foil. Place in larger pan and fill with hot water an inch or so deep around dough-filled tins.

Cover larger pan with lid or use aluminum foil to cover to keep steam inside.

Place covered pan in oven. Set temperature at 250 degrees F. Steam for 3 hours. Remove pans from oven. Uncover and lift out 2 bread pans. Remove foil from each, then return 2 bread pans by themselves to oven.

Bake 1 hour at 250 degrees F.

Turn off heat. Turn bread out of pans. Return it to oven to dry, about 1 hour.

If oven is too small for large pan, reduce recipe by half and bake single loaf in smaller pan with water.

Set temperature at 225 degrees F. and follow same times and procedures as above.

Place on metal rack to cool before slicing 1/8 inch thick to serve.

The bread will keep almost indefinitely wrapped in plastic.

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