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Russian and German Ryes

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varda's picture
varda

Russian and German Ryes

Detmolder stage 2, Russian Rye production sourdough, new wheat starter, 200% rye starter

Denial is more than a river in Egypt.   When I came back from vacation at the beginning of September, my starter of over a year was only clinging to life after having lived through a power failure of indeterminate length due to a hurricane.   I slowly nursed it back to life only to lose interest while exploring baking with 100% durum.  The breads I made from time to time with my trusty wheat starter were getting weaker and weaker until finally they stopped rising altogether.   I was forced to admit the sad truth: my starter died of neglect.   I decided to start over again with a new wheat starter.   Meanwhile I got Andrew Whitley's book - Bread Matters - and was onto a new project - getting a 200% hydration rye starter going and raising bread.    Fortunately Juergen stepped in with a tutorial on how it's done.  I had hope that with patience I could do it too.   Then a Noreaster paid an unexpected visit and there I was with two new starters sitting on the counter with no light, no heat, and a very bored and upset eleven year old with no school to go to since the power was out there too.   This would have been a good time to let the new starters die as well, but somehow I fit in a few feedings during the four day power outage, and lo and behold when the lights turned on yesterday afternoon they were both not only alive but doing well.   In fact the rye starter was frothing - the state I've been awaiting for a few weeks.    I decided to try again (#5?) with Whitley's Russian Rye.   At the same time, I decided to go back to a formula I had tried almost a year ago,  Detmolder's 3 Stage 90% Rye in Hamelman (p. 201) because I was interested in the contrast between the Russian and German ryes.   So I mixed up stage 2 of the Detmolder (I went straight to stage 2 because I was making only one loaf which would have called for just 2 g seed starter in stage 1)  and the production sourdough for the Russian Rye and was ready to go today.   The Russian Rye went exactly as directed.   The recipe calls for 200% hydration rye starter, and 103% total hydration so it isn't a dough in any sense but rather a paste as Andy terms it.   The German Rye has a bit of high gluten flour (10% of total) in the final dough, but is also high hydration  - 79% - so not much doughier and sorta kinda shapable but not really.   Since so much fermentation takes place during the starter stages bulk ferment is only 10  minutes and proof is an hour, whereas for the Russian Rye, there is no bulk ferment and proof is according to Whitley anywhere from 2 to 8 hours.   Mine took 3 hours.

German is round, Russian is rectangular

Formulas:

Russian Rye

 

 

 

 

Andrew Whitley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11/2/2011

 

8:00 PM

 

 

Production Sourdough

 

 

 

Seed

50

 

Total

 

Whole Rye

17

150

167

100%

Water

33

300

333

200%

 

 

 

500

 

11/3/2011

8:30 AM

 

 

 

 

Final

Starter

Total

Percent

Medium Rye

330

 

330

69%

Whole Rye

 

147

147

31%

Water

200

293

493

103%

Salt

5

 

5

1.0%

Prod SD

440

 

 

31%

 

 

 

975

 

Mix production sourdough at least 12 hours in advance.   Mix final dough and place in bread pan.   Proof until it softens (3 hours for me.)   No docking or scoring.  Bake at 480F for 10 minutes with steam, 50 minutes without at 410.

 

3-Stage 90% Rye

 

 

 

 

Hamelman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11/2/2011

11/3/2011

 

 

 

 

8:00 PM

9:30 AM

 

 

Starter

 

 

 

 

 

Seed

12

 

 

Total

Percent

Whole Rye

6

50

 

56

29%

Medium Rye

 

135

135

71%

Water

6

39

135

180

94%

 

 

 

 

371

 

11/3/2011

1:00 PM

 

 

 

 

 

Final

Starter

Total

Percent

 

Medium Rye

261

135

396

79%

 

Whole Rye

 

56

56

11%

 

High Gluten

50

 

50

10%

 

Water

215

180

395

79%

 

Salt

9

 

9

1.8%

 

Starter

371

 

 

38%

 

 

 

 

906

 

 

Please read Hamelman for starter directions - they're complicated.   Mix final dough and bulk ferment for 10 minutes.   Transfer to oiled bowl for proof.   Proof until dough softens.   Flip (and coax out of bowl) to parchment paper on peel.   Bake at 480F for 10 minutes with steam, 40 minutes at 410F without. 

Frustratingly, I have to wait to cut for a day.   Crumb shots to follow.

And here they are:

Russian Rye

German Rye

As for taste, the Russian Rye is very moist.   It has a slightly tart flavor and in general is packed with flavor.   I just had a slice without anything on it, and it was so flavorful it didn't need anything.   The German Rye is more what I'm used to as far as rye goes.   I grew up on Jewish Rye, and it tastes very similar to that, even though Jewish Rye has much lower percentage of Rye than this.    It is a very tasty bread, but I would not eat a slice without a topping of some sort.    If someone stuck a gun to my head and I had to choose (who would do such a thing - a crazed baker?)  I would pick the Russian hands down.   It is so good that I am very reluctant to fiddle with it.   It tastes like a rye pudding only in bread form.   Really incredibly delicious.  

And finally the storm:

It's January in October

Comments

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Varda,

We were 6 feet in snow just about this time last year.   I so hope it's not the same again soon!

I do hope you enjoy Andrew's book.   I rarely use it for recipe inspiration, myself.   But there is so much of importance to read between the covers; especially for a Food Policy student, of course!

The panned russian bread looks great.   I still think the hydration of both sour and final dough are extremely ambitious, especially given reduced salt.   So, your bread looks really fine, given these obstacles you need to jump over.

All good wishes

Andy

varda's picture
varda

Hi Andy,   The Whitley formula for Russian Rye is extremely easy which is why I've been trying to make it work.   You just mix it up, put it in a pan and let it rise.  This is the first (possibly successful?) 100% rye I've tried.   What I found difficult was getting the starter to take - it took a few weeks of daily feedings.    Several times I thought it was ready and baked up a loaf only to find that it didn't have enough rising capability.   Now I've got it going I hope I can move out in several directions.   Are you suggesting to just cut down on hydration for both starter and final?   

As for the weather - Arrggghhh.  With a winter storm this early the trees still have their leaves which are both heavy and also serve to make the branches move like sails in the high winds.   We had huge oak branches snapping off like twigs and dropping 100 feet to the ground.   The power was out for a long time because so many branches fell on the power lines and the electric companies had to come out and untangle them one by one.   It was bad all over the region - even worse in Western Massachusetts and Connecticut.   And undoubtedly more to come with the climate changing so fast.  

Thanks so much for your comments.  -Varda

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Varda,

I suspect you have struggled to get the starter going because it is too wet, so not enough fresh food available in too much liquid.

Use Andrew's process, but alter your sour to 167% hydration.   Pre-fermented flour should be around 35% if I'm not wrong.   Overall hydration in the final paste should be 85%.   It's early and I can't sleep.   If you want me to re-post with the formula in a table, let me know.

Wrap up warm

Best wishes

Andy

varda's picture
varda

Hi Andy,  Thanks for clarifying.   It's clear enough without a table.  Juergen says he's going to try it, so he can go first.   -Varda

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Hi there,

I baked a Russian Rye (85%HL, 167%HL in starter, 35% fermented flour, 2% salt) and a single-step Detmolder (78%HL, 80%HL in starter, 35% fermented flour, 2% salt)

In a nutshell, the dryer pastes are easier to mold, tis russian came with a smaller cell structure of the crumb, the taste is comparable to the Bread Matters version, but I think 2% is too much salt. The Detmolder is something entirely different.

I'll post photos and a more precise description within a few days in a separate blog.

Juergen

 

ananda's picture
ananda

Try 1.5% salt Juergen

BW

Andy

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Hi Andy, 1.5 sounds good.

Here's a comparative crumb shot - the Bread Matters crumb has a different color because of the intricacies of digital photography.

The labels refer to procedures outlined in other comments to this blog, (Russian Rye - Bread Matters means: Baked according to the procedures in Bread Matters etc.)

varda's picture
varda

Juergen,   Looking forward to your write-up.   This is like a short course in rye baking.  -Varda

jcking's picture
jcking

Varda, you go girl...

I admire you going to all that work for two loaves of bread. Quite nice. I wanna be like you when I grow up! Or at least hide in your bread box. Maybe Santa will bring you a matched set of rising bowls for Xmas, yet there's something homey about the ones you have. :-) Job well done.

Jim

P.S. I'm ready for another rant post, how 'bout it?

varda's picture
varda

Matched bowls - Bah!   Even if they started out matched in my kitchen entropy prevails.    As for rants, my bread life is very calm right now.  I'm as cool as a cucumber.   Someone else will have to strike the nerve.   -Varda

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Varda,

Glad your starter survived!  Glad you did too :-) 

We got hit with an early storm here too and we lost a lot of branches off of our maples....all of a sudden they look way to tall for my liking...luckily none hit the house or our power lines but others were not as lucky.  As it is I got some good kindling and logs from the debris.  My son had a blast  using my mini alligator chain saw cutting up the larger pieces.....

I also just made one of Karin's loaves that sounds like your Russian one.  (Her Freisan Rye Loaf)  Very interesting dough in that it was the consistency of cake batter.  Simply poured into the baking pan. I was surprised that it did rise.  Gave it to a friend and am waiting to hear about the flavor.

How did the flavor in your two loaves compare?

Take Care and just think of all your broken limbs as creating heat for your WFO once they season and are ready to burn.  Oak is great wood which we unfortunately do not have around here...

Janet

varda's picture
varda

I use the bow saw and my husband uses the chain saw.   I'm way too distractable for a chain saw.  I'd cut off my arm.   So I've been out every morning cutting up the small stuff and helpfully arranging the big stuff for him to get to.   But we're talking much more than kindling, and I'd much rather see the stuff up in the sky than down here providing fuel for next year's baking.   I'll take a look at Karin's bread.   Haven't tasted my own yet.   I'm trying to restrain from cutting into them until 24 hours.   Thanks for your comments.  -Varda

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Hi Varda,

I didn't want to give the wrong impression about my chain saw....

It sports a  6" bar...only 4.6 amps and weighs a mere 6 pounds....  

I won't allow anything larger or more powerful on the premises :-)

I am the wood nut  processor in our family....All that goes with burning wood is my responsibility so I only have tools that I feel qualified to operate and that won't sever large body parts in a blink of an eye.  My 15 year old son is my primary helper and there is NO WAY I would allow him to operate a regular gas chain saw  :-0.

My husband is the one who found the Alligator and I love it!  Cuts wood up to 4" in diameter which is about the size of what falls around here.  We simply don't have the type of trees you have on your property.  A few years ago I did have to pay someone to cut a really big limb off of one of our maples...they cut it into 16" rounds for me and then , in the spring, I hired my nephew and rented a gas splitter and he split it up for me....that was a fun day!  I really like splitters too....but alas  I am way too old conservative to even think about purchasing one at this time in my life.

By the way.....you have now spurred my curiosity into the 'I have to try this myself' mode with all the new comments about your Russian Rye....Time to check out my rye sour and see if it wants to help out :-)

Thanks for your post and formula.

Janet

varda's picture
varda

Janet, Very nice saw.   Looks handy.    Do try the Russian Rye.   It's delicious.   The 200% hydration starter was hard to get going and I hope it will behave ok in storage in the refrigerator.   We'll see.   Andy suggested reducing hydration.   The starter build should be warm  - mid 80s, and so should the dough.   I kept the bread pan with the proofing dough in the microwave after boiling a tub of water in there.    I left the tub there during the proof, and reboiled it a few times.   -Varda

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Varda,

I will wait on the rye for a weekish as my rye lover friend only comes around then....maybe I will try earlier though.

A question about how you wrote out the formula....Is the top portion  your leaven build reading from the first build on the left to the final on the right?

Also, on the bottom I am assuming also that the final formula ingredients are also posted on the far left....(I don't have what you wrote in front of me but I know I was a bit confused as to which column to refer to....)

Andy and Juergen gave me pointers on a rye sour too.  I keep mine at 150% HL and that is using freshly ground rye.  I mix it and it goes right into the refrigerator as it is strong and any room time would leave it eating itself out of food before a week is up....It takes a couple of days to get really bubbly and if I want to use it sooner I just take out a bit and let it finish it's feed before doing a build for  a recipe.  Very easy to maintain so far and it has lasted fine in my refrig. for a week without being fed....haven't ventured past that point yet to see how it behaves but so far, so good....

Janet

varda's picture
varda

---Is the top portion  your leaven build reading from the first build on the left to the final on the right?---

The leftmost column of the production sourdough block shows the seed starter on top and then breaks that down into flour and water below - so the 17g rye plus 33g water equals 50g of seed starter.   The second left column shows the feeding, the third column gives the total of the two columns to the left. 

---Also, on the bottom I am assuming also that the final formula ingredients are also posted on the far left---

Yes, the left column is what goes into the final dough, the second left column is the contribution of the starter to flour and water, so the 440g of production sourdough in the left column is then broken out as 147g rye, and 293g water in the second column.   Then the first two columns are totalled in the third column.   Percentages are computed for each ingredient as a percent of total flour. 

If this isn't clear let me know.   It's easier to understand if you have the spreadsheet sitting in front of you.   Good luck!

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Varda,

Thanks for the clarification.  It was that 3 column from the left that was confusing me.....I am lost to spread sheets.  I prefer a pencil and a piece of paper and a calculator :-)  otherwise I get overwhelmed with too much information - too many pieces :-0

I forgot to add the following in my last reply but this is how I am now proofing things since our temps. have dropped and my kitchen area is no longer hovering in the mid -80s  thank God!  Temps now are in the mid-60s which makes me happy but puts my leavens and doughs to sleep :-)

So I use an office halogen lamp that can be adjusted:

This shines on my proofing 'platform' which is a heating pad covered with a storage box lid:

And when combined looks like this:

Lamp head got cut off....but you get the idea.

When I only used the lamp the heat didn't penetrate to the bottom of doughs proofing so top would be ready to bake while dough at the bottom was under proofed.  The addition of a heating pad solved that problem.  

If things are a bit too warm I simply move the heating pad away from the lamp or raise the lamp if it can be raised anymore.  The temps. vary on the heating pad surface so I can play around with the things I am ripening by putting them in cooler or warmer locations.

Heating pad is used only in the low position and rarely for more than a couple of hours at a time. Once I get up and get a fire built the room temp rises about 10-15° so it simply isn't necessary.  Most of the things I ripen I keep at 75-77°.

The surface holds a lot of containers which I like because I generally have several 'projects' going at a time - leaven builds, fermenting bowls and proofing baskets....it is a busy place.  When it is meal time things get a bit crowded by my family has adjusted. They are very tolerant of my micro-organism obsession collection :-)

I use to use our microwave but the kids are home during the day (I am an ex-teacher who now homeschools our kids....) and it simply wasn't as convenitent. Things would get taken out and not put back in.....temps. weren't as easy to regulate so this set up was born...

Late here...dog walking time.

I will let you know when I give your formula a try.

Thanks again for making it all clear for me :-)

Janet

 

 

varda's picture
varda

Janet,   Thanks so much for detailing your proofing set-up.   Makes a lot of sense to me.    I fried my thermopen because I forgot to take it out of the microwave before reboiling my "proofing water."   So maybe your way is more practical.  -Varda

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

The 100.00 thermapen from ThermoWorks???  Ouch.  I love their products and they are a really nice company to do business with too.

When I use to use my microwave I used an inexpensive digital therm. on a stand that I bought from Ace.  Shows the temp. and the humidity. Easy to read and I now have several in different locations in my house so I know where to stick doughs when I want to change rising/proofing times....

Janet

varda's picture
varda

I can't remember what it was or what it cost but I'm too cheap to buy a $100 thermometer.   And I don't think any thermometer could survive a trip through the microwave.   It stunk up the house for 2 days as well.  But I like the idea of a bunch of thermometers around the house.   You are a font of practical suggestions.  -Varda

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Varda,

Control   Necessity = Mother of invention......Here is a photo of what I have liked best as they are relatively inexpensive and numbers are easy to read from a distance.  Batteries are easily replaced and are AAA and last ages.  (Brand name on 2 of my newer ones (I own 3 of these......) reads Essick rather than Bemis.

http://www.compactappliance.com/Essick-Air-Digital-Hygrometer/Thermometer-White/1990,default,pd.html?mtcpromotion=GoogleBase%3EAir_Quality%3EHumidifie...

Janet

P.S.  I also have one of these Vee Gees that has a digital clock which does come in handy at times but my favorites are the above due to size.  This one is about 1" wider so takes up more space.

http://veegee.thomasnet.com/item/digital-thermometers/min-max-digital-thermometer/84004?&bc=100|1007|1081

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Varda,

The Russian Rye looks like you got it just right. Congratulations.

I like the parade of starters, sometimes my kitchen looks just like that...

And your weather and all! I suppose the starter - pets gave you a bit of calm!?

Did the storms affect the temperature in your kitchen?

How do you control the 3stage Detmolder? I love that formula, made it only once, but ... it was good enough to let the wish grow in me to have a more controlled environment. (Have reptile heat mat and thermostat, just need to get the right kind of boxes now)

Looking very much forward to seeing your crumb shots.

Juergen

PS. : I will try Andy's recommendations over the weekend. It feels almost like there is a rye challange going on at the moment

varda's picture
varda

Hi Juergen,  Since we had no heat during the power failure, the kitchen temperature was around as same as the outside temperature so around 50F.   Way colder than it should be although since I only managed to feed the starters a couple times over four days, probably accounted for them surviving.   The funny thing was that the rye starter was totally ready at the end of the power failure, even though in theory it should have been fermented at a much higher temperature.    As for the Detmolder I took a shortcut.   Since I was making a less than 1Kg loaf I scaled to 1/20 of Hamelman's metric quantities.    For the first stage that would have called for 4g rye, 6g water, 2g seed starter.   That seemed absurdly small and would have just dried up, so I skipped directly to stage 2 which was 50g rye, 39g water, 12g seed starter.   I controlled the temperature very approximately (I fried my thermopen in the microwave a couple of weeks ago) but I think I hit the right ranges.    I also more or less stuck to his time ranges but I wasn't watching the clock that carefully so I may be mixed up about what I wrote above.   Best to read Hamelman directly.   I also didn't use yeast this time (Hamelman lists as optional) and given that the loaf didn't rise much, I'm wishing I had. I doubt my loaf will be a prime example of what's possible with this formula, but I thought it was interesting how different the two approaches were to high percentage ryes and wanted to see them side by side.   Please report back on the rye you make with Andy's numbers.  Thanks so much for your comments.  -Varda 

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Really great!

That taste of the Russian Rye stays with you, doesn't it?

Mr Suepke, my German reference, says in his blog that the 3-step Detmolder process is mostly used by bakeries who have the equipment - purpose-built fermenters. I suppose in a smallish production environment it is economically not viable, simply too complex.

The single step detmolder process which I am using for my mixed ryes works very well and is uncomplicated.

I found a good document (in German)

http://isernhaeger.de/picts/1129804100/Roggensauerteige_einfach_und_unschlagbar_neu.pdf

by a producer of fermenters where they compare the different processes - I will digest it and then blog about it.

The breads at the beginning of Hamelman's rye chapter are essentially single step Detmolders.

Juergen

varda's picture
varda

Juergen,   Thanks so much for your comments and your help.   Have you posted about single step detmolder?   Aren't the three stages what makes it Detmolder?   First for yeast, second for acetic acid, third for lactic acid with temperatures and hydrations adjusted accordingly?    But anyhow, your point is well taken.  My kitchen is no place for science experiments.   A home-based process makes more sense.   -Varda

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Hi Varda,

Many of the ryes in Hamelman's recipes in "Bread" are single step Detmolders (the ones with fermented rye above 30% and added yeast).

I posted about the single step process here:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/23830/german-baking-day

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/25315/revisiting-my-german-ryewheat-formula

and investigating the role of added yeast:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/23956/detmolder-sourdough-and-without-yeast-comparison

It is called Detmolder because there is a food institute in the town of Detmold

http://www.mri.bund.de/

where they created these processes.

They have some intriguing historical documents online.

I had a look at another German rye bread, "Berliner Kurzsauer", which is a "fast" sourdough with overall hydration of 100% and kept at 35C. Sounds familiar? There is a big Russian community in Berlin ...

Juergen

varda's picture
varda

Juergen, I just went back and reread your posts and particularly your discussion with Andy about simplified Detmolder.   You wrote that you keep a 200% rye starter in the refrigerator and feed it once to revive and then again to build the production sourdough.   So that gives me a clue how to proceed since I now have a 200% rye starter in the refrigerator.    And I can follow your German Rye formulae as well.     Interesting about the Berliner Kurzsauer.   Good ideas travel.  -Varda

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

I had another look at this recipe and noticed that I had made a mistake:

The hydration of the starter is 100%, but the overall hydration is 79% for a 100% rye.

The specific thing here is that the starter is fermented at 35C for 3.5 hours only. It's a one-day-sourdough.

I might make one tomorrow.

Juergen

varda's picture
varda

be interesting to see how it comes out.  My Russian rye tasted as good on the 4th day as the 1st.   Amazing.   I hope I can get as good results refreshing the starter from the refrigerator.  -Varda

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Once the sour is going, in my experience, it's very resilient.

I just had some of my Russian a la Village Bakery (Andy's suggestions) from Saturday's bake - I have to say I really like it.

It has features of the open crumb, but everything is subtly different, the crumb is more set, easier to cut.

I will need to do a direct comparative bake.

The Berliner is resting now - I messed up my Excel spreadsheet, so I am making it with 90% hydration, the dough still feels manageable even for a freestanding bake. And the paste tastes mild-aromatic without a hint of sour after 45min of rest.

Amazing stuff, these ryes.

Juergen

Berliner Kurzsauer fresh from the oven - along with some olive levain.

Start to finish ca. 7 hours!

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

wow, there's even a weekly sourdough! One full week of fermentation with 40-50% of the flour.  I'll try it! I don't expect it to taste mild:-)

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Hi Nico,

Do you refer to the Isernhaeger Brotfermentation (Farster Fuehrung)?

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

I mean that I prepared the preferment 2 days ago and I'm going to bake sunday. The only thing that I could understand from the pdf you linked is that the preferment lasts 1 week and should reach pH 3.5. Is it correct?

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Nico, that is correct. I am looking forward to seeing your results.

The pdf doesn't mention some of the specifics of this process.

As far as I know they sell an automatic fermenter especially for this process, the temperature is controlled and the sourdough is being stirred continuously. They also sell a specific starter culture for this process, and you can incorporate huge amounts of "old" bread.

But I suppose if temperature and hydation are right it could work at home as well.

How good is your German?

Check out this:

http://www.lefa-berlin.de/downloads/TA-Roetz.pdf

 

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

I can only recognize the names of some "zutaten" :-) for the rest I rely on google translator, and most of the times I ROTFL. I didn't know that i had to stir often, I'll do. Thanks for the documents, very appreciated!

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

The document by Mr Roetz is a ctually quite intersting - he compares a typical 70% rye - 30% wheat bread made withsingle step Detmolder, 3-step Detmolder and Isernhager process. Each of the Detmolders he makes both by hand and in automated fermenters.

He didn't find huge differences in the outcome between hand made and automated processes of the same process type.

He gives the recipes very precisely, and I find the photos quite interesting.

He uses 2 ovens - one at 260C to start the bake, and one at 220C to finish.

tn gabe's picture
tn gabe

i got so turned off by all the food evangalism in the beginning, i never realized there were recipes. 

both loaves look very nice,.

varda's picture
varda

rye is twice as nice.  See page 165 (in my version anyhow.)   After tasting the Russian Rye I am now officially a fan.  But see Andy's comments above - he suggests lower hydrations - still extremely high.   Thanks for your comments.  -Varda

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

finally some 100% rye bread of yours! Very nice, especially the russian Rye that is more open. I know that very moist breads can taste unusual and maybe even annoying, but it's a thing that you get accustomed to. Kudos!

varda's picture
varda

I'm delighted.   Why is it that no one gets excited about 100% wheat bread, but 100% rye, spelt, durum, whatever is such a thrill.   Because it's hard, delicious, unusual?   Back in the day I would never have dreamed of making a 100% rye and not only that, enjoying it so much.  Thanks for your encouragement.  -Varda

ehanner's picture
ehanner

They do both like so good it would be hard to choose. Very nice and I'm glad to hear you survived the early storm.

Eric

varda's picture
varda

Eric.   You maker of delicious ryes.  -Varda

eliabel's picture
eliabel

Hi Varda

I am Russian and your "Russian Rye" seems very right to me. I cannot imagine what bread was the source of inspiration for A. Whitley, because there is a huge variety of Rye breads in Russian, they are very loved. But yours is clearly one of those, one of the family. Congratulations! I It is not an easy job to bake one of them. I bake some European Sourdough Rye breads, but Russians are quite difficult for me.

varda's picture
varda

and never tasted the bread, so I'll have to take your word for it.   The hard part of the Whitley formula was getting the starter going.   With Andy's modifications (see above) it might be easier.   As it was it took me a few weeks and a power failure to get it to work.    I really love this bread, but not everyone in my family does.   My husband (raised on white spongy bread) can't stand it.   My daughter stopped by and had a slice and stopped in the middle because it was too rye-y.   At 100% it can't get much more rye-y than that.   But my younger son, who doesn't know any better, just eats it right up.   Thanks so much for your comments,  and I hope you'll try Whitley's approach.   -Varda

eliabel's picture
eliabel

I'd like to suggest a nice way of eating it: rub a piece with oil and some garlic (if you like garlic), then put some salt and voilá.

I understand too well reactions of your husband: I have the same problem with the mine. My husband is from Madrid, and in Spain, as in all mediterranean countries, they don't eat rye breads. So for my husband my rye breads are not breads at all, he says. But I love the taste and I know that the rye bread is healthier than the white one. By the way, do know the blog by Crucide or by mariana_aga? They published a huge selection of Russian rye bread and you can see how different they are in Russia. The only problem is that both blogs are in Russian (maybe it is not so a big problem in times of Google translater), but they are spectacular, worth of visiting.

I wish more happy bakind, Varda. Where are you, in what city? I am writing these lines from Brussels, Belgium.

varda's picture
varda

for the references to the Russian sites.   I look forward to seeing the pictures at least.   I live outside of Boston, Massachusetts in the US.   My mother was born in Ukraine, but was only there as a baby.   No baking arts were passed down to me from preceding generations - rye or otherwise - so thank god for the Web.  -Varda

eliabel's picture
eliabel

All the discussion is very interesting for me. Unfortunately, I don't have much time these days and I am unable to read it properly and less, to take part in it. I am going to print it and read slowly and thoughtfully this weekend. Thank you again, Varda.