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How to make Tzitzel bread? Can I adapt the Greenstein corn rye recipe?

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varda's picture
varda

How to make Tzitzel bread? Can I adapt the Greenstein corn rye recipe?

I have been trying lately to recreate a bread that I ate as a child.   It was called Tzitzel and was made by a local Jewish baker, Pratzels, in University City - a suburb of St. Louis.   I have so far made 5 attempts - 4 with sourdough starters and 1 with yeast only.  I am a relatively new bread baker, so I'm not sure I have the vocabulary to describe what I think these attempts lack, but I'll try.   My first attempt was a bread that I made with the no knead method using two to one white flour to rye, and some whole wheat sourdough starter.   What made this similar to the original was the texture (rather than the taste) which was a coarse and uneven crumb.   All the attempts after that have had a fairly dense and even crumb.   The tastiest by far (and the closest in taste) was my attempt at the Greenstein corn rye recipe that I found posted on this site.    So the thought might be to try to adapt Greenstein to a no knead method, but I really can't even figure out how to do that, since it is raised in water in less than an hour, and only kneaded for a few minutes.    BTW, I did contact Pratzels which is still in business, and still making Tzitzel - although I don't live close enough to buy it from them anymore.   The owner did tell me that their starter is almost 100 years old, and that their Tzitzel is "just" a Jewish rye wrapped in cornmeal.   It seems to me that once you get a decent starter, it really doesn't matter how old it is, so I'm not sure if this is material, but of course, I'm still trying to duplicate their recipe.   Any thoughts on how I might make a coarse and uneven crumb rye bread and even better, if you have had the original at Pratzels, how to duplicate their Tzitzel?

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, vhaimo.


I'm not familiar with "tzitzel" rye, but if the bakery says it's "just plain Jewish rye rolled in cornmeal," I would take them at their word and make a traditional sour rye and roll it in polenta before baking it.


I am doubtful whether you can make it using a no-knead approach. The rye doesn't have enough gluten. The crumb I think you are describing depends on full development of the wheat flour (traditionally First Clear flour) in the formula.


If the crumb you want looks like this,



I recommend this formula:


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/9316/sour-rye-bread-george-greenstein039s-%E2%80%9Csecrets-jewish-baker%E2%80%9D


Let me know what you think.


David

varda's picture
varda

The greenstein recipe I tried was actually posted by you as well.   It was http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/4879/greenstein039s-corn-rye-bread.   I thought when I was searching the site, that this was the same as the one above, but I see now that they are different - since the one above doesn't involve submerging the dough in water to rise.    So I will definitely try this one too.  And by the picture, I think that the crumb is a closer match.   We'll see about the taste.  Thanks a lot.

varda's picture
varda

I made this bread.   It has a delicious taste, but has the same problem of being too dense.   I raised it around twice as long as what was listed - since it was expanding so slowly - I guess that's my cold kitchen.   I used a rye sour starter with the texture as recommended by Greenstein in his book, and first clear flour.    As well as following the recipe weights you posted carefully.   But both loaves seemed to collapse when I put them in the oven, and never really raised back up, which I think is what accounts for the density.   Does this indicate that I didn't let the loaves rise enough or could it be how I handled them?  Also, in the corn rye (rather than sour rye) Greenstein recipe also posted by you, I used a high gluten flour rather than first clear.   That seemed to rise better although that loaf was too dense as well and extremely wet prior to cooking.   You said above that the less dense, less even crumb is a factor of the wheat flour fully developing.   I'm not 100% sure what that means technically, but I'm wondering if high gluten is actually a better choice.   I have read that first clear is low gluten but I'm not sure that is right.  


 


 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

If the loaves collapsed and didn't spring in the oven, you almost certainly over-proofed them.


"Fully developing" refers to gluten development which is accomplished by mixing/kneading sufficiently.


First clear is high in gluten compared to AP flour. High gluten flour will generally result in a higher rise, but only if the gluten is developed in mixing.


David

varda's picture
varda

This is extremely helpful.   I hadn't considered over-proofing, and am now wondering if this is a problem that I have had more generally than my quest for the perfect tzitzel.   And also, I'm thinking no need to blow the big bucks on KA first clear.   I think the high gluten I was able to get cheaply at the food coop is probably just as good.   Thanks so much!


Varda

dragonfly1075's picture
dragonfly1075

I just found this recipe, which looks like it could be similar to what you are describing:


http://emr.cs.iit.edu/~reingold/ruths-kitchen/recipes/breads/ryebread.html


 

varda's picture
varda

I have actually tried that one - it was attempt number 4 (of my 5 tries so far).   It was a delicious bread, but not what I was looking for.   The main thing I remember about it was that it was VERY sour.   My sister made it at around the same time that I did, in a different state so we couldn't compare, and said hers was not sour at all.   This recipe has the onion in the starter, which for the life of me, I couldn't figure out if it did anything or not, since the bread had no onion taste.   So it is either useless, or does some kind of chemistry to the starter.   Anyhow, thanks for your suggestion.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Make the sour lower-hydration and use a higher proportion of sour in the final dough.


David

Oldcampcook's picture
Oldcampcook

I have made the corn rye (in fact, one of my first breads), then I discovered Greenstein's.  I use it and a very similar recipe almost every week.


Greenstein's, with the onion, has a nice sour (not overwhelming) odor and taste.  I like it a lot.


 


Bob

varda's picture
varda

But which Greenstein?   David has posted two on the site.   One that uses a method to submerge the dough in water - another that doesn't but also uses a lot more rye sour (I think).   I have ordered the Greenstein book, but it won't come for awhile.   I made the submerge dough method earlier - it was really good although an absolute mess and looked like hell.   I guess I will get better at working with wet cement although perhaps I should use a trowel.   Right now I'm getting the rye sour ready for Greenstein number 2 and hoping for the best.   Does the onion do anything?   I thought not, but if you continue to use it, you must think yes. 

dstuhlman's picture
dstuhlman

Sadly, Pratzel's Bakery in St. Louis closed today.  The owners wanted to retire and no one wanted to take over ther business.  We'll miss the bagels, breads and cakes.  No one makes rye bread and tziltzel bread like they did.


Daniel Stuhlman


author of Whole Wheat Bread Recipes


http://home.earthlink.net/~byls-press/


 

varda's picture
varda

So sad it's closing.   A great bakery.   Thanks for posting. -Varda

Breadmaster's picture
Breadmaster

Pratzels Eastgate Bakery is now open for retail sales. If interested please call 314-692-8100