A marvelously fragrant and flavorful bread, best served the day it is made. Once cool, slice any loaves you won't eat immediately and freeze; then take slices from the freezer as desired. Unfrozen bread that is more than a day old makes fine toast.
2-3/4 cups warm water
2 packages dry yeast
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
4 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons grated orange peel
1/3 cup dark molasses
3-3/4 cups rye flour
5-1/2 to 6-1/2 cups unsifted white flour
In a large bowl combine the warm water and yeast and stir until the yeast dissolves. Stir in the sugar, butter, salt, orange peel, molasses, and rye flour. Beat until thoroughly blended. Stir in enough white flour to make a stiff dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10-12 minutes. Place the dough in a greased bowl and turn to grease well. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for about 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.
Punch down the dough and divide it into thirds. Roll each third into a 9x14-inch rectangle. Shape into loaves. Place each loaf in a greased 9x5-inch loaf pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake on the lowest rack in the oven about 40 minutes or until loaves are brown and sound hollow when tapped. Remove from the pans and cool on racks.