August 20th is also known as the “Festival of the New Bread” since it falls toward the end of the harvest, and bread is made on this day with the newly harvested grains. After WWII, the Communists jumped on the “New Bread” angle as a way to keep the masses happy by letting them continue to celebrate August 20th while forbidding religious holidays. In 1949 they ratified the Stalinist Constitution and changed the holiday to “Constitution Day”, but the new bread was still the centerpiece of the celebration. This recipe is from allrecipes.com
Of course to save yourself from a pre-party meltdown, you can also buy a good rye bread from your local bakery, and if you are lucky enough to have a Hungarian Bakery or Deli nearby, even better.
2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup molasses
2 tablespoons butter
3 1/4 cups rye flour
2 1/2 cups bread flour
Dissolve yeast in warm water.
In a large bowl combine milk, sugar, and salt. Use a mixer to beat in molasses, butter, yeast mixture, and 1 cup of rye flour.
Use a wooden spoon to mix in the remaining rye flour. Add white flour by stirring until the dough is stiff enough to knead.
Knead 5 to 10 minutes, adding flour as needed. If the dough sticks to your hands or the board add more flour.
Cover dough and let rise 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until double.
Punch down dough and divide to form two round loaves. Let loaves rise on a greased baking sheet until double, about 1 1/2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.