The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

inside the jewish bakery

OldWoodenSpoon's picture

It seems that all that was required was to step back, breath deep, and allow time to create a little distance.  As I started to bake this again my wife asked "So, what are you baking?".  After I answered she asked "So, what are you going to do different?".  I said "I'm going to bake this like I never saw it before and see what happens."  She just smiled and left me to it.

I approached this bake as if there were nothing different about it, and (almost) as if I had never made it before.  The only intentional deviation I made from the recipe as printed was to reduce the yeast by 1/3, as I always do these days when a recipe calls for IDY.  Some day I must do a test bake with bottled water because something around here makes IDY go crazy!

The dough developed fully in only 11 minutes in my old Bosch.

Shaped, panned and proofed.  I was as careful as I could be with the shaping on these, and got a pretty good result for each.  The pan on the left is a shiny one, and the one on the right is a non-stick dark one.  I brushed both with my usual home-made pan release.

I kept the top tiles out of the oven for this bake (and he nods at the commitment to forget previous bakes) and I kept the middle rack where these loaves baked just above the level of the lower tiles (and he nods again).  After baking it was clear that I should have proofed them a few minutes longer.  Both ruptured along one top edge, and there was no seam there on either loaf.  Both the bottoms are nice and brown, and there is a slightly darker tone on the nearer/dark-pan loaf in the following shot.


The crumb is more open than that described in the book, but it is nice and tender, and there is no evidence of doughy crushed layers on the side verticals.  There is also no pronounced hourglass shape evident.

There was another, unintentional, deviation from the published recipe.  I forgot to turn the oven down from the preheat of 375F to 350F when I loaded the loaves, so these baked a little hotter for a while, until I finally remembered it.  I'll find out one day if that contributed to the openness of the crumb.

It is finished.  It is not perfect.  It tastes wonderful, and I'm thinking, maybe, french toast for breakfast.  And on to other things. 

Thanks for stopping by.

OldWoodenSpoon's picture

I said I was going to take a break and bake other things, and I am determined to follow through.  We made our annual pilgrimage to Apple Hill in the Placerville area of California, USA this past Saturday.  We go every year to buy fresh apples, eat too much apple pie, and enjoy the Fall season, mountain air, and fresh apples.  With a half bushel of Stayman Winesap apples we brought home sitting in a corner in the kitchen, I had to bake Aunt Lillian's Apple Cake from Inside the Jewish Bakery.  We are very glad I did, because this is really, really good!

The book says this is great with a cup of coffee for breakfast.  In the interest of thoroughness in testing, I had to try it.

The book is, of course, right!  This makes a great replacement for toast, and even for everything else, at breakfast.  It is light, sweet but not cloyingly so, and tastes like apple, not like cake with a bit of apple in it.  It does go great with coffee.

Thanks for stopping by

pmccool's picture

OldWoodenSpoon has been chronicling his adventures and misadventures of baking the Vienna bread from the Inside the Jewish Bakery book.  Partly out of sympathy and partly out of curiosity, I decided to bake the same bread this weekend to see what would happen.

In a word (or three), not very much.

Things to note:

- I'm using a no-name AP flour

- The yeast was Fleischmann's IDY from a new package.

- Since I had no malt on hand, honey was subbed for the malt in equal amount.

- Ambient temps in the kitchen Saturday started out in the mid-60's and got all the way up to about 71 or 72F, so fermentation times were perhaps 50% longer than those noted in the book.

- The bread was baked in the specified 8.5 x 4.5 pans (in this instance, some cheap steel pans with a bright tinned finish, very lightweight).

- No egg wash was applied.

- As directed, the bread was baked in the center level of a 350F oven after the fermenting dough had just crested above the brim of the pans.  There were no stones, steam pans or other appurtenances in the oven.

The resulting bread was...ordinary.  So ordinary, in fact, that I haven't bothered to take a picture.  The slash bloomed nicely with the modest oven spring, the crust color is a light golden (I'd prefer it to be darker), the crumb structure is very even, maybe 3/4 of the mass is below the rim of the pan and the other 1/4 is above the rim, there are no gummy/compressed/underbaked zones in the loaves, and they stand upright without external support.  In other words, about what one would expect to see in a typical loaf of white bread.

From what I read in OWS' accounts and from what I see in my bake, I would opine that the biggest differences are in the use or non-use of malt and in the oven setup.  Which is the biggest factor, I can't guess, but I am confident that the two are combining to make OWS' experience so thoroughly frustrating.  It would have been nice if I had had some non-diastatic malt on hand just to see if the bread had responded differently.  However, since I used no malt of any kind in this bake, it suggests that the at-least-partially-diastatic malt used by OWS may have had a negative effect on dough structure by converting an excessive amount of starch to sugar and may have led to hyperactive yeast growth for exactly the same reason.  I'm less clear about how the presence of both upper and lower baking stones in OWS' oven might have influenced the outcome, especially since I have previously plunked bread tins down on a baking stone with no noticeable ill effects.  Based on OWS' experience, it appears that the presence or absence of the stones does have an effect, as does the location of the pans in the oven.

For what it is worth, that's my report from the field.  I hope it provides some useful information for OldWoodenSpoon and others who are working with this bread.


Urchina's picture

Join the "Inside the Jewish Bakery" cookbook challenge -- starting December 1st!

October 30, 2011 - 4:16pm -- Urchina

Hi, everyone!

(Note to Floyd: This is a cross-post from the Books forum, since not everyone who might be interested in a new challenge hangs out there. Please feel free to move this post if it is more appropriate elsewhere. Thanks!)

Urchina's picture

Anyone up for an Inside the Jewish Bakery Challenge?

October 29, 2011 - 9:49pm -- Urchina

Hi, everyone!

I've had two weeks now with Stan and Norm's wonderful book, and I'm ready to bake. All of it. 

Anyone game for a challenge? I think that doing this in parts might be a fun way to do it -- that way, people who can't do the whole book in a row can join in a "semester." 

The "First semester" would start at the beginning of December. 

If there's enough interest, I'll be happy to coordinate it on a blog here at TFL. 

Let me know what you think!


loydb's picture

Much like the planets, my need to refresh my 100% rye starter aligned with the arrival of Inside the Jewish Bakery. I've tried to do a 'traditional' yeasted rye in the past using commercial flour, but the results weren't particularly great, and neither my wife nor I like whole caraway seeds. When I read the recipe for the Old School Jewish Deli Rye, and saw the ground-up caraway, a little light went on, and I knew that was going to be my first bake from the book.

My home-cultured rye starter is kept at 100% hydration (and I'm pretty sure can be used as superglue in an emergency). It had been 11 days since it had been fed, so I started out with 1.5 ounces I turned into 4.5 overnight, then turned that into the 21 oz needed for the preferment with another step up and overnight fermentation.

I followed the recipe with the these alterations:

  • 0.5 teaspoon caramel coloring
  • 1.5 oz of the final flour was blue cornmeal left over from last night (see Blue Corn Cornbread)
  • The remaining flour was a 50/50 mix of hard red and hard white wheat. I sifted it to 85% extraction (#30 seive) then re-milled and re-sifted the bran, giving me a final extraction of 93% WW at a fine texture.
  • I didn't add any yeast. Instead, it got a 4.5 hour bulk fermentation and a 2.25 hour final proof
  • I made four miniloaves (plus a large roll)

The result is a crunchy exterior with a great caraway nose that enhances the subtle caraway taste. After chewing for a few seconds, the sour hits with the best flavor expression I've gotten out of this particular starter. This one is definitely going to go into my regular rotation.

Thanks for a great book guys!


dmsnyder's picture

Three years ago, I made Double Knotted Rolls from a formula provided by nbicomputers, AKA Norm Berg, AKA co-author with Stan Ginsburg of Inside the Jewish Bakery. (See: Norm's Double Knotted Rolls) We enjoyed these rolls a lot, especially for sandwiches made with leftover Thanksgiving turkey.

When I received my copy of Inside the Jewish Bakery yesterday, I had already planned to make these rolls today. However, the book had no specific recipe for these rolls and no indication which of the three formulas for rolls should be used for them. I was pretty sure it would not be the "Light Enriched" dough, because that is the one used for Kaiser Rolls, and Norm specifically distinguished between the "soft roll" dough formula and that used for "hard rolls," like Kaiser Rolls. That left two formulas. Neither was the formula I had used in 2008, but I decided to use the "Sweet Egg Dough," because that looked closest. Here is the result (in photos):

Rolls shaped and ready for proofing

Mixing followed the general instructions for mixing roll dough, and it worked well. Instructions (in Norm's words) for shaping can be found in this topic: Double knot roll. There are numerous YouTube videos of this technique, many erroneously presented as the method for shaping Kaiser Rolls. In addition, both Hamelman's Bread and Greenstein's Secrets of a Jewish Baker have good roll shaping illustrations. I scaled the rolls at 3 oz, with one bit of dough left over to make a sort of Figure Eight Roll.

Rolls proofed and egg-washed

Inside the Jewish Bakery has an enlightening discussion of how different degrees of proofing were used for different products made with the same dough. For the Double Knotted Rolls, a 3/4 proofing is necessary to get the right crumb texture.

These rolls can be baked plain or with poppy seeds or sesame seeds. (Onion rolls are a whole other genre!) My wife much prefers sesame seeds. I can go with sesame or poppy.

Rolls proofed, washed and seeded. Ready to bake.

I baked at 350 F for about 15 minutes. The rolls were slow to brown. Next time, I'll use the oven's convection setting, probably at 330 F.

Baked and cooling

These rolls were less rich than I remember, but still very good.  Next time, I believe I would return to the formula Norm provided in 2008. Who's counting calories?


Submitted to YeastSpotting

Elagins's picture


September 16, 2011 - 1:38pm -- Elagins

hi all,

Some matters of note:

* First, INSIDE THE JEWISH BAKERY will be shipping from the printer week of Oct 3rd, so everyone who's ordered in advance will get their copy by the second week of October.

* Second, we just set up a new website for the book, not surprisingly, There's a lot more material there, including author profiles, a book excerpt, and the unpublished ingredient/equipment chapters.


Subscribe to RSS - inside the jewish bakery