Tzitzel Bread - The Journey Ends
Not quite two years ago, when I joined TFL, I had a simple goal: I wanted to figure out how to make Tzitzel bread which was a favorite when I was growing up in St. Louis Missouri. I had recently started baking bread, and I figured how hard could it be. When I searched the web, I found nothing for Tzitzel, but plenty of recipes for rye bread - many of which I tried. Nothing was even remotely like what I remembered, and given my level of expertise, it was pretty poor eating. I joined this site where I had been lurking for awhile and asked the question. Again, no one seemed to have heard of it. I did get a lot of great advice for baking Jewish Rye, and settled on "Jewish Corn Bread" which was a combo of some points in a comment by Norm (nbicomputers) on a David Snyder post, and one of Greenstein's recipes from Secrets of a Jewish Baker. This kicked up the quality several notches, but still wasn't right. When I started my quest, I had emailed the retiring owner of the St. Louis bakery, Pratzels, where my father had bought Tzitzel. Early on she told me that it was "just" a Jewish Rye wrapped in corn meal. Later, when I knew more, I asked her again, and she told me that it was made with medium rye and bread flour. It wasn't until a few weeks ago, when I got my latest shipment of King Arthur flours, that I had some medium rye to play with. At the same time, admiring a gorgeous Challah posted by dawkins, I gave up my resistance and bought a copy of Inside the Jewish Bakery. And there was the answer - I was off base using the corn bread recipe. I should have been baking Jewish Deli Rye. On page 74 the authors include a paragraph saying that to make Tzitzel one should modify their Jewish Deli Rye thus and so, and voila - Tzitzel. And so ---- Tzitzel. Thank you Norm and Stan!