The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Jewish Rye: second baking

davidg618's picture

Jewish Rye: second baking

Saturday using Rye Sour excess from an earlier baking--3 or 4 days ago--I built more Rye sour, flollowing Greenstein's Secrets of a Jewish Baker; I did stage 3 feeding late Saturday evening, and refrigerated the refreshed sour intending an early Sunday morning bake.

Sunday; early AM: I let the sour come to room temperature (it had nearly doubled overnight, and risen more in the 1 hour warmup. I'd measured 25 oz. of Rye Sour into my hand-mixing bowl, and put the remaining cup of sour in the refrigerator, for another day. I'd previously weighed out the dough's First Clear flour, salt, and yeast.  I was about to pour the dough's water addition into the sour when the phone rang. Five minutes later I was out the door, heading for a local carriage driving show; it's organizer had called and asked my assistance. I couldn't say no. I spent five minutes covering the Rye Sour with plastic wrap, and putting it back in the refrigerator. The rest of the mise en place was left where it sat.

I came home late afternoon, sunburned of face, dusty, weary, and pleased with the day's work. However, I was in no mood to bake bread.

Monday (today) I picked up where I left off. Mixed the dough, and baked two loaves.

Minor differences: obviously the extra twenty-four hours retarding the sour; I restored the salt to the original recipe (I'd reduced it slightly when I made it the first time.), and I made the starch glaze with arrowroot starch instead of corn starch. I use arrowroot starch in lieu of corn startch in most cooking recipes. I find its silkier consistency more to my liking.

The first time I baked Jewish Rye, I had a couple of crust blowouts: unwanted blowouts. (see

Unwanted crust cracks and bursts; any ideas why? )

I got some good suggestions from other TFLer's, on how to prevent them. I incorporated all (or most) of their suggestions processsing this dough. I scored deeper, and (my idea; a variant of another's suggestion to make them longitudinal) I angled the slashes slightly from being square with the loaves' long axes; and I final proofed until I was certain any further would be over-proofed.

Here's the results, no Grand Canyon bursts!

I am, of course, delighted with the result. I'm certain the crumb will be consistent with the first bake. Thanks again to all those who helped me avoid unwanted crust bursts with this bake--and, hopefully future ones.

There is only one small doubt in my head: did the unplanned retardation influence the absence of unwanted cracking? D**m, I'll just have to bake this formula again, and eliminate the extra 24 hours. Tough, but somebody's got to do it.

David G



Zeb's picture

They look great! Wonderful colour and great spring! 


I had a look at the other ones too. One small and probably not relevant idea, maybe do 6 slashes instead of 3? Sometimes if I don't do enough slashes I get unwanted little bursts or tears at the ends of the slashes.  I also once saw a blog post where the poster had slashed the rye (I can't remember if it is similar to yours, but I have a feeling it was) before the final prove, never seen it anywhere else, but it certainly had no blowouts..... haven't tried it myself though



dmsnyder's picture

Hi, David.

Your sour ryes look just right. From the open cuts on the one hand and the lack of bursting on the other, it looks like you hit the proofing sweet spot this time.

If your rye sour was good and active, the most noticable effect of an extra night in the fridge would be to make the bread more sour. I wouldn't expect any effect on bursting loaves, one way or the other.


davidg618's picture

We've cut into one. The crumb is nearly identical to the first bake, but with the correct salt, and, I think, the added retardation the flavor is wonderful! I didn't think it could be better than the first try. It is!

I wondered, since the Sour contains 40% of the total flour, if the long preferment might weaken the gluten. These two loaves didn't get quite the same oven spring as my first go, but I'll trade this flavor for a little oven spring anytime. This rye is better than than the Jewish Rye they serve at Rynes (sp?), my former favorite deli in Vernon, CT.

Thanks for your help.

David G

LindyD's picture

I'm thinking grilled.  Just haven't been able to decide what should be grilled with that great bread!  Nicely done, David, and since it's around dinnertime, I wish they were on my table.

I saw that suggestion about scoring them along the length of the bread and that led me to wonder if there is a traditional scoring pattern for a Jewish Rye loaf.  Whatever, yours look quite wonderful and I'm glad you solved the fissure issue.

davidg618's picture

Reuben's! Coincidentally, tomorrow we're opening some fermenting sauerkraut that should be done, made with three heads of our home grown winter cabbage . If its up to par, I'm heading for the store for pastrami, Swiss cheese, and Russian dressing.

According to Bread Alone and Secrets of a Jewish Baker the "traditional" scoring is 3 to 5 cuts perpendicular to the long axis of the loaves. As David (dmsnyder) pointed out in another post, four or five months ago, that pattern directs most oven spring upwards, not sideways. I reasoned that a slight angle would allow some slight expansion sideways, while still emphasizing upward thrust. Looking at the loaves' cross-section, I thnk it worked.

David G.