The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Jewish Corn Rye

varda's picture
varda

Jewish Corn Rye

 

Some time ago, I started trying to recreate a Tzitzel (caraway) Jewish Rye that was sold in a neighborhood bakery where I grew up.   But first I had to get more skilled at baking bread period.   This site was a font of information, and at one point, David Snyder gave me a pointer to a comment hidden deep in one of his two year old blog posts from nbicomputers http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/6103/craving-crackly-crust-sour-rye-bread#comment-31138.   After putting my Tzitzel dreams on hold for awhile, I decided to try again.   This time I went directly to Norm's comment and made a few modifications.  I did the following:

1 lb King Arthur Bread Flour (instead of First Clear flour which I can't get easily)

1 lb thick rye sour (built up from an existing rye starter with rye flour and water over the course of around 24 hours)

10 oz water

1 Tbsp vital wheat gluten (since I think First Clear is higher protein than even KABF)

.6oz kosher salt

.5oz instant yeast

caraway seeds

I mixed everything up in my kitchen aid for around 10 minutes - so long because the rye sour is very tough to blend with the rest of the ingredients.    Then I took a wooden bowl and rinsed it in water, and shook out the excess water without drying it.   This was to recreate the wooden box environment as described by Norm (see above comment).   I shaped the dough by patting it gently into a ball.   I know from having tried to make this bread before that trying to shape it after it rises is a lost cause, so I decided to shape it right after the mix.  Then I brushed water over the top with a pastry brush and then put a piece of damp linen over the the top of the bowl.   I let the dough double in size (this took around 1.5 hours).   Then I sprinkled thickly with corn meal.  Then with very wet hands, I transfered the dough to a peel covered with corn meal and then a hot stone and baked for 1.5 hours at 450 deg F.   Then waited overnight to cut.  It came out with very thick crackly crust and a fine rye flavor.   And I guess I'm starting to think that I will never recreate the bread I remember, but maybe this is even better.

 

Comments

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

What kind of rye flour did you use?

David

varda's picture
varda

Well, thank you, and also for the advice.  I used Hodgson Mills stone ground rye.   I think it would be considered medium, but the package doesn't say.  -Varda

varda's picture
varda

Well in reading your post, I must say that this is a lot more complicated and involved than the recipe that I wrote about, but no matter.   You have some interesting techniques here.   I do wonder about the crust.   Is it soft?  It looks so from the picture.    I have Bernard Clayton's book.   Can you tell me which of his recipes you adapted?   Thanks.  -Varda

JeremyCherfas's picture
JeremyCherfas

So this is a corn rye because you dust the loaf and the peel with cornmeal? That's all?

Jeremy

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

One explanation:  The word for a whole grain berry in German is "Korn."   How the letter got changed from k to c is anyone's guess.   I believe the word Corn was once Korn.  Whether or not whole berries are in the loaf is another matter.  Might have disappeared with the k.  :)

JeremyCherfas's picture
JeremyCherfas

Thanks Mini

I didn't even think of the whole corn, kernel, quern thing --precisely because the recipe involved maize. Maybe that's all there is to it.

Jeremy

varda's picture
varda

Here's what George Greenstein has to say - "Europeans use the word corn to mean grain or staples which encompasses wheat, oats, rye, barley, and maize."   He gives a recipe in Secrets of a Jewish Baker for Jewish Corn Bread, which we would probably call Jewish Rye.   In naming my post about a very similar bread I was trying to compromise.   -Varda

hanseata's picture
hanseata

When after the end of the war starving Germans received CARE packages from America, they were asked what they needed most and they answered: "Korn", for baking. People were very surprised when next time they received corn (maize), and had no idea what to do with it... 

Maybe many would have been happy to get "the other" Korn instead - "Korn" is also a term for a liquor (Schnaps) made of grain.

Karin         

h2's picture
h2

Does anyone have a recipe or even a clear definition of Cissel bread? It's a type of light (both in texture and color) rye bread with caraway seeds, much lighter than a Jewish Korn rye.

varda's picture
varda

Hi.  I guess different people have different definitions for Cissel.   And spellings too.   I recently used Inside the Jewish Bakery's Old School Jewish Deli Rye to make what I considered to be a good Tzitzel.   This is quite a bit lighter than a Corn Rye, but not what I would call a light texture bread.   See this post.     Shortly afterwards, I was at a restaurant in Brookline, Mass and one of the bread choices was Cissel.    This was an extremely light rye with caraway, in a sandwich bread format, and not anything like the bread I would call by Cissel/Tzitzel.    I am also a bit perplexed by the word itself.   I have read that Tzitel/Cissel means caraway, but in what language?   Caraway in Yiddish, German, Hebrew are all variants of Kimmel.    Nigella which is sometimes referred to as black caraway is Ketsah in Hebrew which doesn't seem close enough.   -Varda