I grew up watching my grandma make bread and kuchen every Saturday. She would cover the buffet and dining room table with rising bread, kuchen and cinnamon rolls.
I inherited her bread tins when she died and everytime I use one I think of those wonderful Saturdays and the smell of breads baking. My dad and grandpa loved her seeded rye, her two sisters that lived with her didn't like the seeds, so she would make rye for them without. I love it both ways. If you don't like caraway seeds leave them out. Just like grandma did.
1In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, sprinkle yeast over 1/2 cup water. Add 2 teaspoons honey. Whisk until yeast dissolves. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
2Add remaining 1 3/4 cups water to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, along with remaining 3 tablespoons honey, butter, caraway seeds, and salt. Mix on low to combine. Gradually add both flours, one cup at a time, mixing until dough comes away from sides of bowl and forms a ragged, slightly sticky ball. Butter a large bowl.
3Knead dough on a floured surface until smooth and elastic but still slightly tacky, about 5 minutes. Shape into a ball. Transfer to prepared bowl; cover with plastic wrap.
4Let dough stand in a warm place until it doubled in volume (it should not spring back when pressed), about 1 hour. Butter two 4 1/2-by-8 1/2-inch loaf pans. Punch down dough and divide in half.
5Working with one piece of dough at a time, shape into a 7-by-7-inch square. Fold dough into thirds; press seam to adhere and pinch ends to seal. Place seam-side down in loaf pan. Repeat process with remaining piece of dough. Or you may free form your bread, I then sprinkle the sheet pan that I will bake them on with a bit of cornmeal to give the bottom a crunch and keep it from sticking.
6In a small bowl, mix egg white with 1 teaspoon water and brush mixture over tops of loaves; sprinkle with caraway seeds.
7Spray two pieces of plastic wrap with nonstick cooking spray; drape loaves with prepared plastic wrap and let stand until dough rises about 1 inch above tops of pans, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
8Preheat oven to 450 degrees on a conventional oven or 425 degrees on a convection oven. Reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees (conventional) or 375 degrees (convection).
9Uncover loaves and transfer to oven. Bake, rotating pans after 20 minutes, until tops are golden brown, about 45 minutes. Transfer to wire racks. Let cool slightly; turn out loaves. Let cool completely before slicing.