The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Best book for dense German rye breads

Gernot's picture

Best book for dense German rye breads

I am a serious cook and baker, but novice bread baker. I am particulary interested in dense German rye breads using rye berries, and am wondering if there is one book that stands out in giving space to German breads alongside French and Italian styles. I know that the Village Baker has some German recipes, but I am wondering how The Bread Bakers' Apprentice compares in covering dense German breads.
For example, I'd like to know how little flour you can get away with, and how long the berries need to soak.
Thanks much,

sphealey's picture

Hamelman's _Bread_, reviewed in Floyd's book review area, has an entire section on this type of rye that goes into great detail (Hamelman worked at a German bakery for a year). One of the recipes takes 8 days to complete!


Roman's picture

 I prefer Hamelman's Bread book and his rye recipes over the Bread baker's Aprentice as it is more true to the age-old rye recipes, while the Aprentice follows more the American, NY style rye breads. In general I find that all rye recipes are at best guidelines. I've come up with my own recipes that work very well for my 80% hearth rye (organic whole rye flour, unbleached organic whole wheat, starter, water, salt, no yeast), the 100% hearth rye (same ingredients minus wheat), and my 100% Chilako Rye breads with rye berries and sunflower seeds, walnuts, or flax seeds (true pumpernickel style bread, not like the Apprentices' pseudo-pumpernickel, with organic whole rye flour, cracked rye - this is the pumpernickel element - whole rye berries, starter, water, salt, no yeast, plus sunflower seeds or walnuts or flax or caraway seeds). I boil the rye berries for one hour in water with 2/3 of the amount of salt and let it soak over night before using the berries and the salted soak water to prepare the dough in the morning. Go to redroosterbakery to see what the crumb looks like.