The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


Urchina's picture

ITJB Week 11: Black and White Cookies (2/11/12 - 2/18/12)

February 13, 2012 - 2:48pm -- Urchina

I have to admit to  never even having heard of Black and White cookies until my copy of ITJB came in the mail -- and they look delightful! I'm planning on making these in a heart shape for Valentine's day, and suspect that they will woo my kids and husband well. As always, I'm enjoying everyone's stories and pictures, and look forward to this set, too!

Urchina's picture

ITJB Week 9: Sour Cream Coffee Cake (2/4/12 - 2/11/12)

February 5, 2012 - 9:11pm -- Urchina

You know what I love about coffee cake? It's not special-occasion cake. It's "coffee cake," which means it's "any time of the day or night and for any purpose except possibly a wedding" cake. Which makes it an excellent type of food, the all-purpose workhouse of happy snacking. Add sour cream and you get tender, light, delightfully most -- so I'm really looking forward to this one. 

Hopefully it will also have enough yumminess to launch me out of the Onion Rolls orbit I've been in for two weeks (Two weeks! I've been making Onion Rolls for two weeks, they were that good!)

Urchina's picture

ITJB Week 9: Mandelbroyt (p. 241) -- 1/28/12 - 2/4/12

January 29, 2012 - 2:25pm -- Urchina

Cookie Monster is a well-loved friend in this house, and so I'm looking forward to making this one. I'm especially intrigued by the idea of making loaves of the cookies, then cutting them when cool -- this isn't a cookie technique common in my family of origin, though I realize it's pretty common elsewhere. 

As always, I'm interested in seeing what everyone else comes up with, too!

Urchina's picture

ITJB Week 7: Closed Pockets (1/14/12 - 1/21/12)

January 15, 2012 - 8:44pm -- Urchina

Now that we've had a bit of a baking warm-up with the breads, cakes and pastries to date, it's time to tackle the bakery equivalent of the 3-meter high dive. Danish or puff pastry. I'm a little breathless with anticipation, but it could also be the fear of a metaphorical 3-meter belly-flop, as well. 

Urchina's picture

ITJB Week 6: Polish Potato Bread (1/7/12 - 1/14/12)

January 8, 2012 - 6:01pm -- Urchina

After the excesses of the  holidays, something warm and comforting and thrifty like soup and bread sounds like a great dinner. We've had soup probably four times since the New Year already, and have a wonderful lineup for the next couple of weeks, as all of my cooking magazines seem to have taken soup as their mantra for January and February issues.

Ok, back to the bread. This just looked good. And I promise, promise, promise that I am going to improve upon my (as-of-now) deplorable batting average and actually post on this one!

Urchina's picture

ITJB Week 5: Honey Cake (12/31/11 - 1/7/12)

January 1, 2012 - 10:41pm -- Urchina

Happy New Year, everyone!

I thought we could start the New Year off sweetly with this rye-based Honey Cake. I've never made anything like this before, so will be very interested to see what it's like and to hear what experiences others have. I have  a secret, hidden hope that it's like the honey cake with glorious chunks of crunch sugar in it that is sold commercially in Belgium, where I've spent some time. Regardless, I'm sure it will be delicious!

Also -- sorry for the tardiness in getting this forum post up. Thanks for your patience!

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!


kolobezka's picture

Is jewish rye jewish?

October 16, 2011 - 12:20pm -- kolobezka


I am looking for some traditional jewish recipes to prepare for a lecture about Israel. It would be great to make some typical bread that goes with savory spreads and salads, but I could not find any on various jewish web pages. Only Challah and Matza are mentioned there.

Then I realised there are recipes for so called "Jewish rye" here on TFL and in some breadmaking books. But nowhere did I find any history or other connection to jewish tradition. So my question is: Is "Jewish rye" really typically jewish (or israeli)?



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