My "dream book" on rye bread
I love making bread. I also love learning about breads. There are many books on French-style, Italian-style, and American-style breads. In fact, the theory of making wheat-based breads can be found in many baking books. I have yet to see, though, a book dedicated to making rye breads. Most of my books (and I have many) have a couple of recipes, sometimes even a chapter, on rye breads. But that is it. The advice in the various recipes varies wildly: Glezer instructs that a very long knead is required, whereas Whitley claims that kneading rye breads is futile.
I don't think that any one author is "wrong"; I believe that there are many styles of rye bread making (Russian-style, German-style, Scandinavian-style, American-style, French-style, and in each family there are many different breads). What I would like to see is a book dedicated to rye breads. This book will contain various recipes from the different families of rye breads. It should also go into the special techniques required for rye bread making.
What had prompted this for me was a recent trip down the bread aisle of the supermarket. I don't usually visit the bread aisle -- after all, I don't buy bread -- but I was curious to see what they had. Usually, when I see the endless lists of ingredients in commercial breads ("pillows" is a more fitting term for these breads), I am all the more glad that I bake my own bread (although the main reason I bake my own bread is because it is fun). Anyhow, I visited the bread aisle. I notice a huge array of Russian ryes. There were maybe 15 different breads, from 2 different bakeries. The lists of ingredients were surprisingly short; save for malt, I had all the other ingredients on hand. I was almost tempted to buy a loaf! These breads looked divine.
This got me thinking that I would like recipes for these. The only places I found Russian ryes was Whitley's book and Linda Collister's "Country Bread" (where Whitley's recipe appears as well). But there are so many more. I am sure there are other styles of Russian ryes. I opened some other books. Jan Hedh, for instance, advocates adding some gelatinized rye. I haven't tried that yet. Other books bring further methods.
The bottom line is that I am fascinated with rye bread, but I am missing a book that is all about rye breads. Perhaps someone can make it happen!