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Jewish Sour Rye

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dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Jewish Sour Rye

Jewish Sour Rye Bread

March 15, 2013

As some of the TFL old-timers may recall, I started baking bread again about 7 years ago, in part because I had a craving for Jewish Rye Bread, and I had no local source. One of the first baking books I bought was George Greenstein's Secrets of a Jewish Baker, and found that his recipe for “Jewish Sour Rye” produced just what I had hoped. However, Greenstein provided ingredients only in volume measurements. In October, 2008, after making this Jewish Sour Rye quite a few times, I weighed all the ingredients and have been using those measurements ever since.

Today, I baked this bread again. The formula I have been using makes two good-sized loaves of 750 g each. I am providing baker's percentages for the convenience those who might wish to scale up or down.

 

Total dough ingredients

Wt. (g)

Baker's %

Medium rye flour

375

44

Bread or First Clear flour

480

56

Water

615

72

Instant yeast

7

0.8

Salt

12

1.4

Caraway seeds

11

1.3

Altus (optional)

1/2 cup

 

Cornmeal for dusting parchment

1/4 cup

 

Cornstarch glaze

 

 

Total

1500

175.5

Notes: I have always used First Clear flour in the past. Today, for the first time, I used Bread Flour (14% protein). I did not use altus today.

Traditionally, Jewish Sour Rye is made with white rye flour. I found I much prefer the fuller flavor of medium rye flour.

If you have a rye sour, build it up to a volume of 4 cups or so the day before mixing the dough. If you do not have a rye sour but do have a wheat-based sourdough starter, you can easily convert it to a white rye starter by feeding it 2-3 times with rye flour over 2-3 days.

 

Rye sour ingredients

Wt. (g)

Baker's %

Medium rye flour

365

100

Water

365

100

Active rye sour

20

20

Total

750

220

  1. Dissolve the rye sour in the water in a large bowl.

  2. Add the rye flour and mix well.

  3. Cover the surface of the sour with a thin layer of rye flour.

  4. Cover the bowl and ferment until the dry flour forms widely spread “islands.” If necessary, refrigerate overnight.

 

Final dough ingredients

Wt. (g)

Bread or First Clear flour

480

Water (80ºF)

240

Salt

12

Instant yeast

7

Caraway seeds

11

Rye sour

750

Altus (optional)

1/2 cup

Total

1500

 

Method

  1. In a large bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, dissolve the yeast in the water, then add the rye sour and mix thoroughly with your hands, a spoon or, if using a mixer, with the paddle.

  2. Stir the salt into the flour and add this to the bowl and mix well.

  3. Dump the dough onto the lightly floured board and knead until smooth. If using a mixer, switch to the dough hook and knead at Speed 2 until the dough begins to clear the sides of the bowl (8-12 minutes). Add the Caraway Seeds about 1 minute before finished kneading. Even if using a mixer, I transfer the dough to the board and continue kneading for a couple minutes. The dough should be smooth but a bit sticky.

  4. Form the dough into a ball and transfer it to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowl and let it rest for 15-20 minutes.

  5. Transfer the dough back to the board and divide it into two equal pieces.

  6. Form each piece into a pan loaf, free-standing long loaf or boule.

  7. Dust a piece of parchment paper or a baking pan liberally with cornmeal, and transfer the loaves to the parchment, keeping them at least 3 inches apart so they do not join when risen.

  8. Cover the loaves and let them rise until double in size. (About 60 minutes.)

  9. Pre-heat the oven to 500F with a baking stone in place optionally. Prepare your oven steaming method of choice.

  10. Prepare the cornstarch glaze. Whisk 1-1/2 to 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch in ¼ cup of water. Pour this slowly into a sauce pan containing 1 cup of gently boiling water, whisking constantly. Continue cooking and stirring until slightly thickened (a few seconds, only!) and remove the pan from heat. Set it aside.

  11. When the loaves are fully proofed, uncover them. Brush them with the cornstarch glaze. Score them. (3 cuts across the long axis of the loaves would be typical.) Turn down the oven temperature to 460F. Transfer the loaves to the oven, and steam the oven.

  12. After 15 minutes, remove any container with water from the oven, turn the oven temperature down to 440F and continue baking for 20-25 minutes more.

  13. The loaves are done when the crust is very firm, the internal temperature is at least 205 degrees and the loaves give a “hollow” sound when thumped on the bottom. When they are done, leave them in the oven with the heat turned off and the door cracked open a couple of inches for another 5-10 minutes.

  14. Transfer the loaves to a cooling rack. Brush again with the cornstarch glaze.

  15. Cool completely before slicing.


The crust was chewy as was the crumb. I have never been able to get the classic crackly crust that Sour Rye should have. The flavor was very good, with a mild sour tang and just enough caraway flavor to my taste. However, there was a flavor note missing, again, to my taste, because of my having substituted bread flour for first clear. Although KAF sells first clear flour, Hamelman never prescribes its use, even in his formula he likens to Jewish Rye. I prefer this bread made with first clear, based on today's experience, but it is really good with bread flour too.

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting

Addendum: On March 7, 2014, I amended the baking temperatures and timing. The higher temperature and shorter baking time yield a darker, crisper crust which I prefer. There also seems to be less frequent bursting of the loaves.

Comments

bakingbadly's picture
bakingbadly

Looks fantastic! I may give your recipe a try but using all-purpose flour, as I don't have assess to bread or first clear flour. We'll see what happens then.

Have a happy baking,

Zita 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

you would be pretty close to another fine Jewish Deli Rye -  Tzitzel - if you use medium rye and AP flour and rolled the loaves in  cornmeal instead of the corn starch glaze.  One of my favorites from Pratzels in St Louis and a Varda Quest!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

If you use AP rather than bread flour, I would hold back some water. AP will absorb less water than bread flour.

David

arlo's picture
arlo

Lovely as always David, just like your past bakes in the prior years. One thing you might try to achieve a more 'crackled' crust is when the loaves come out of the oven, immediately wipe them down with water. This is something my previous bakery did at the end of our Rye bakes. It worked well, gave them a shine and a crackled crust.

Though I am unsure how it will handle if you apply the glaze like you did to the loaves...worth a shot though!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Wipe loaves with water to get a crackly crust? That seems counter-intuitive to me. I would think it would soften the crust.

David

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

The ITJB Rustic Pumpernickel calls for brushing the just-out-of-the-oven loaves with boiling water.  I suspect that the goal is to soften an otherwise hard-shell crust.  Stan might be able to shed some light on the subject.

Paul

P.S. Those really are lovely!

arlo's picture
arlo

The loaves were wiped with water right as they were loaded, then a certain amount of steam. Upon removal of the oven the really hot loaves were immediately coated with cold water. This last dosing caused the crust to crackle and shine plenty. Yes, the crust wasn't super crusty because of it, but while the loaves were left out for a day on the counter -the crust stayed intact for sure and made great sandwiches!

Of course we all have memories of those perfect loaves and how we desire them! So I assume you will do some great tweaking to achieve exactly what you are looking for! I just wanted to through out some experience I have had with Jewish Rye.

But..we had to be doing at least something right to get this ;)

Saveur Bread

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

So, did you wipe with water and not use a cornstarch glaze at all? I am intrigued.

Also, at what temperature did you bake the Jewish Rye?

I ordinarilly wouldn't bake another batch of a bread until I have finished the last one, but you've got me really curious.

David

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

Hi arlo,

I'm also a bit curious about glazing the loaves a second time, after baking. I would think that the first glaze (prior to baking) and baking with steam would both help in getting a crisp crust, as the the loaf surface is kept moist at the beginning of the bake, leaving plenty of time for gelatinization. The second glaze has me wondering, though... The crust would probably crackle without the second glazing as well (as the hard crust gives way to the slight shrinking of a cooled crumb), but it sounds reasonable that it would crackle even more with this second glazing (cold water onto a hot crust). However, I would think that glazing the bread after baking would be detrimental to having a crisp crust...

Now what about wiping the loaves with some melted butter instead? Mmm...

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

These look like very fine examples of your jewish sour rye specialty, David! The crumb certainly looks moist and open for a 44% rye. I do have a few questions for you regarding the formula, if you don't mind, David?

First, regarding the baking temperature: Is there a reason for baking the loaves at a relatively low temperature? Perhaps the glaze would make the bread overtly dark and crusty if baked at higher temperatures? I was just wondering since you mentioned lack of a crackly crust... From my experience, even minor adjustments to oven and steam parameters can have significant impact on the baked bread. For most hearth breads, including many other rye loaves, one would start out at approximately 450F - 475F to optimize oven spring and develop a good crust.

Secondly, I noticed that the amount of prefermented rye flour is rather substantial and that it is also leavened by instant yeast. I know that Hamelman is also frequently working with 35% - 40% prefermented flour in many of his rye loaves, but I often feel that a lower percentage combined with slightly longer bulk fermentation and proofing times result in doughs that are easier to mix and shape and bread with a different (perhaps more mellow/balanced?) flavour. If you're up for a test run, perhaps something like this could work as a starting point: 17% - 20% prefermented rye flour, no instant yeast, 1 hr bulk fermentation, proofing time between 1hr 30 min and 2 hrs (depending on activity in sourdough and ambient temperature etc.)?

In any case, your loaves look great, David, so why change a winning team?

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I also remarked on the low baking temperature. I followed Greenstein's prescription, that's all. This does result in a lighter-colored crust. Your suggestions are good, though, and I may try them.

I'm sure you noted that all the rye is pre-fermented. Again, your suggestions are worth trying. I'm going to check some other formulas for 40-50% ryes.

David

loafette's picture
loafette

That was the very first rye bread I'd ever attempted to make! I also used first clear, back then.

When reading your step-by-step, and your comment re the crackly crust...maybe I missed it, in your writing/description, but I recalled brushing the loaves a second time, with the cornstarch slurry, as soon as they came out of the oven, while still blazing HOT. That's included in the baking instructions, and is also mentioned, in the front of the book, his 'tips' section. He advises to do what I mentioned above, or even simply brushing loaves (even ones that have been subjected to steaming) with  water. It does give a nice sheen. The 2nd coating of the cornstarch does result in the 'crackling' you refer to. A simple spray of water, or a light brushing does the trick as well, as another poster mentioned. 

Hamelman is a pretty darn staunch proponent of the 'old ways', and doesn't much hold with clear flour, in ryes...it was evidently a 'short cut' of sorts, when working with young apprentice bakers. I don't have my class notes handy, but I remember scribbling down a 'harumphy' sort of explanation...lol!

Laura

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

You are correct. I did the second brushing with cornstarch, but I forgot to put that in the procedures. In any case, I still didn't get the crackly crust. I'm hoping a higher baking temperature will help.

I think first clear flour was used soley because it was cheaper than patent flour. 

David

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi,

I checked ITJB, and Norm and Stan also specify 375dF for baking their version of this bread. Hamelman specifies starting at 460dF and lowering the temp. to 440dF part way through the bake for his 40% rye.

I am going to make a note to try Hamelman's baking procedure next time I make a Jewish Sour Rye.

Thanks for getting me to consider this.

David

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

Sounds great, David! I'll be following your results closely. Hopefully the glazed loaves will not scorch in a hotter oven...

varda's picture
varda

that you got into baking bread the same way I did - for love of Jewish Rye.    This one looks terrific.   My next one will be the deli rye from Mr H's class.    So even though the old Jewish bakers and bakeries are mostly gone, we're still around to keep it going.   -Varda

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Is the deli rye Hamelman taught the same as the light rye in Bread? Did you make any comment on first clear flour in your workshop?

David

varda's picture
varda

Ingredients are the same - all the numbers are a bit different.   This was also true of the 80% rye and the flax seed rye.    I think he optimizes over time, and even he can't leave his formulas alone.    And no, I didn't think to ask him about first clear.   We didn't use it in the class.   We used Sir Lancelot for the white, and a whole rye.   He said it was from Heartland Mills which he said was excellent.   I didn't ask him whether the ryes KA sells are Heartland Mills  or just the rye they use in their bakery.   I looked it up - HM  is in the midwest and ships retail, but the shipping made it too expensive to be practical.   Now you are going to have to take a class with Mr H as apparently I left too many questions unasked.  -Varda

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

FYI, I used HM medium rye (from nybakers.com) for these breads. Hamelman does recommend high-gluten wheat flour for his 40% rye in Bread, but I'm pleanty happy with the chewiness and crumb structure I got with KA bread flour.

I assume that, if he liked first clear flour, Hamelman would have used it. Still, I think it gives a characteristic flavor to Sour Rye Bread that is missing when another flour is substituted. 

David

varda's picture
varda

Mr. H said that they never use KABF (for anything, not just the ryes) but always KAAP or SL.   I gathered that this was more of a supply management issue for a commercial bakery operation that a precise calculation of what is  exact right gluten.    And given the quality of the baker it works.   As for first clear, could be the same issue - standardizing your flour set.    A couple months ago, I made Eric's Fav Rye, and used the coarse flour from my milling, which while I think it is not technically first clear, probably shares a lot of the same characteristics.   It did give the bread an awesome taste.    Right now, I am preparing for the Deli Rye, and following the class formula - so no first clear - yes KAAP.  -Varda

varda's picture
varda

Sir Galahad - not Sir Lancelot (I get these knights of the round table mixed up)    i.e. KAAP.  

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I'm guessing you were correct the first time. Sir Lancelot is KAF's high-gluten flour. Sir Galahad is their AP flour.

David

varda's picture
varda

I think SL is in the book, but SG is clearly on the sheet in front of me, which is what I'll be baking from tomorrow.  

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Nice baking David.   Don't know how to get a cripy crust on a bread baked at such a low temperature.   I always thought the glaze was supposed to do that as well as put a shine on the loaf?  Maybe a Magnalite Turkey Roaster with trivet could put the crisp on this bread :-)   Your JDY is a nice example of one.   The crust and crumb are very good looking and it has has to taste fine enough with the more rye in the mix than many JDY's.  Now that my apprentice is happy with the pumpernickel, the next exploration will be Jewish Deli Rye.

Happy baking!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

Stuart Borken's picture
Stuart Borken

Rye Bread, New York Deli Style Caraway Rye

Source:   Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day with modifications by stu borken

Description: Classic sourdough based deli style bread

3 Cup warm water, no chlorine about 105-degrees

1 1/2 tbsp granulated yeast

2 tbsp Kosher salt

2 tbsp caraway seeds for dough + more for sprinkling on top of bread just before baking

1 Cup medium rye flour

5 1/2 Cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 Cup dried good quality dry onion flakes

cornmeal for pizza peel

cornstarch wash with pastry brush, boil up 1/2 tsp cornstarch with 1/2 cup water

 

Instructions: In a 5 quart bowl or the bowl of a Kitchen Aid, mix the yeast, caraway seeds, onion flakes and finally the water.  Mix well.  Add the salt to the two flours and mix this dry ingredient well then add these flours and salt to the wet ingredient in the bowl and mix until wet and all the flour is incorporated.  Need not knead.  Just mix well.  

Remove to an almost airtight container and allow to rest and rise for 2 hours and then place into a refrigerator for a couple days.  This 2-3 day rest is a retardation of the dough when it becomes a sourdough.  I went to Target and bought a plastic rectangular tub with a top, 6 quart Sterilite.

This recipe will make 3 loaves.  To make the bread, imagine the one section of dough in the container you wish to remove, dust that portion with flour, then to remove it, you cut that section with a knife and pull it apart from the remainder of the dough.  

From here on you can treat it as you would any of your doughs.  I like to pat it into a rectangle and then fold from each side overlapping 1/3.  Flatten it out to the length you want your bread to become.   Then from the edge closest to you I begin the rolling up 1/2 inch at a time and force the edge down into the dough with your finger tips, and then just keep rolling and pushing down until you have rolled the entire rectangle and then fold the ends under and secure with a pinch.  Place on a corn meal dusted peel and let rise.  To help the rise it place the loaf into a moist warm oven for about 90 minutes.  I like to tuck in the bottom to keep it a nice shape.  I do that a few times.  After it has risen, I slash it cross the top not the long way as you do a baguette…deeper cuts toward the center and shallower at the ends.  I then paint it with the corn starch wash and sprinkle it with the extra seeds.  Bake on a stone at 450-degrees in a oven into which you have placed a small pan and poured in hot water.  The pan should be hot and generate steam immediately.  Bake about 35 minutes removing the water pan at about 20 minutes.  Sometimes I feel the bottom of the bread is not quite done and I need to place the loaf on the bottom rack just above the heating coils for 5-7 minutes.

 

Background: This dough is very wet and can only be worked after it has set up and cooled for at least a day or better two or three.  Then it ferments and becomes a sourdough for the final bread.  It also becomes easier to handle and shape.

It makes three good sized loaves which look for all the world like they came off a shelf from a New York Jewish style deli.  I have also made the breads in baguette pans for thin sliced appetizer loaves to use for chopped liver and chopped herring salad.

fotomat1's picture
fotomat1

the same as Davids. I do bake at 450 with steam and spray loaves liberally with water before loading. I have never brushed with corn starch prior to baking but do use an almost identical glaze upon finish with perfect cracking. Bake time is 40 minutes for a 3 pound loaf  210 internal....glazed while hot and returned to the oven for 2-3 minutes. I ground my caraway and use high gluten flour.....the results are fantastic. Baked every Saint Patrick's Day for the best corn beef sandwiches you have ever tasted.

fotomat1's picture
fotomat1

although it may seem trivial I have found it to be true in my 15+ year quest for perfect Jewish Rye. A fine natural bristle pastry brush to apply the glaze. Silicon or other modern types of which my wife is constantly buying for me do not work as well or apply the glaze thinly or evenly enough and always become a hindrance in the race to do it quickly before cooling too much....getting crackin!!

dosco's picture
dosco

... and I'm not sure what to think. The flavor isn't very "rye-ish," the dough was a bit sticky, and forming was a bit of a disaster on loaf #1 (loaf #2 wasn't too bad).

The crumb is light and airy, although you can't really tell from the picture (this was the poorly shaped loaf that ended sort of "flat").

Regards-
Dave

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The profile and the crumb structure of the bread in your photo are so different from any Jewish Sour Rye I've made, I'm not sure where to start.

If you are comparing this to a German-style 100% rye, they are different critters. I've never gotten the larger holes I see in your bread. The dough is a little sticky, but is easy to work if you dust your hands and the dough (lightly) with flour.

Can I assume you followed the formula and procedure in the opening entry of this topic? You didn't increase the hydration, did you?

David

dosco's picture
dosco

David:

I agree. I followed the recipe with the following deviations:

1. I don't have 'proper' rye sour, so I used 20g of my sour starter (fed with KAF bread flour, KAF ww, and Hodgson Mills rye flour)

2. I used KAF bread flour and not first clear

3. After kneading the dough I had to goto work, so I put the dough in the fridge. It was in there for about 9 hours

<EDIT>

4. I baked it at 450F for ~15 minutes, then reduced temp to 400F and baked for about 25 minutes (until the crust was the color I wanted).

<end edit>

The loaf in the picture was quite mishapen because I struggled with final shaping and I think I really overworked the dough. The other loaf (not pictured) wasn't handled as much and as a result (I think) it had much more oven spring (I haven't cut it ... it went right into the freezer). I have a picture of that boule that I will post later (no crumb shot yet).

I followed the starter instructions and hydration in accordance with your post ... no alterations there.

No worries, undoubtedly I made some sort of mistake ... I'll try making it again.

Cheers-

Dave

dosco's picture
dosco

Here are more pics ...

Dough after sitting in the fridge for ~9 hours:

 

Picture of the "good" boule:

 

Pic of a slice that I ate (with butter) a few minutes ago:

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Some are probably not very important (like using KAF BF). Others, like the cold retardation and the higher baking temperature, probably are very significant. Note that the bulk fermentation of this bread is supposed to be extremely brief. I suspect your dough had a lot of gluten breakdown.

Try it according to the OP sometime. It's a delicious bread, especially toasted or untoasted for a sandwich. Actually, it also makes a fantastic grilled cheese sandwich.

David

dosco's picture
dosco

David:
Thanks for the feedback. I intend to try again, and next time will reduce the number of deviations (or eliminate them entirely).

Out of curiosity (and for comparison) I took a look at Reinhart's recipes in BBA ... his Jewish Deli Rye is "closest" to your recipe. Although there are similarities the BBA recipe is quite different than your OP ... much less rye flour, higher baking temp, etc.

More later.

Regards-
Dave