The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

40% Rye - No caraway

Mebake's picture

40% Rye - No caraway

Oh, boy i feel at home, again!

Not only baking is addictive, it has become a part of me now. Almost 3 months of bed rest, and ayurvedic therapy, 1 of which was spent in Kerala, the beautiful southern city of India; has never detached me from thefreshloaf site, nor did my enthusiasm for bread baking waver.

Despite the restricted indoor stay, I was fortunate to witness the onset of monsoon on June 5th from the view of small balcony. Kerala, is a southern district of India blessed with lush green pastures, abundant rain, and intense vegetation. The climate was humid, rather hot when I arrived there, but the weather soon changed, and the westerly ocean winds brought breeze and rain.

Monsoon clouds from afar:

Drawing nearer:


Rain Pours, not falls!

Although I was not fully satisfied with my therapy program, I was strangely ecstatic about the fact that I was returning home, and will soon resume baking! after all, baking is therapy all by itself.   

Upon arrival, I wanted to bake some bread, as no stock was in my freezer. Due to my almost  de-conditioned body, I chose to bake some yeasted whole wheat bread from Laurel’s book, and I elected the basic recipe.

Days ago, I diluted and fed my dried starters (Wheat, and Rye), and baked yesterday a 40% Rye – no caraway. (note to self: Next time I’ll add caraway, regardless of what my wife likes :) )

Left is Rye, Wheat is right:

The flavor of this bread never disappoints. Pity, i excluded the caraway seeds.









nicodvb's picture

I hope you are completely restored. For sure you didn't lose your hand at baking great breads!

I'm completely with your wife: I deeply detest caraway:)

ananda's picture

Hi Khalid, welcome back to TFL indeed, so good to see your breads again.

I'm in the Caraway fan club with you.   Whatever, gorgeous rye bread!

Best wishes for recovery


dabrownman's picture

you baking again Khalid!  You haven't lost your touch.  Very nice baking.  Monsoon hit AZ  around July 10th.  Sadly, it is not like the full monsoon in India though.  I am in the caraway camp with you.  Hanseata has me putting some kind of seeds in everything it seems - and liking it :-)

Hope your recovery continues

pmccool's picture

And what lovely breads you are making! 

My wife is no lover of caraway, either, so I sometimes substitute dill seed or fennel seed when I make rye bread.  Although not the same as caraway, both taste good with the rye.

Best wishes for a full recovery.


varda's picture

and now you have me running to a map to see where you have been and google to look up ayurvedic therapy.    Hope your health continues to improve.    I second your emotion that both baking and TFL (whether lurking or participating) are great therapy.   -Varda

Frequent Flyer's picture
Frequent Flyer

I've wondered where you have been lately.  Good to see you getting better and baking again. 


holds99's picture

Here's wishing you a speedy and full recovery.  You are so right, baking is therapeutic.  Glad to see you're back baking and haven't lost your touch.


Janetcook's picture


I knew you hadn't been around here for awhile but just thought you were busy doing other things.  Didn't know about your health challenge.  Glad to know you are on the mend.  I have read about Kerala, sounds like an idea place, and know about ayurvetic medicine - pretty strict routine with good results from what I have read.  It appears to have done the trick for you.

Like others have said, you certainly didn't loose your touch with baking.  I am sure it was a great comfort to return home and tend your starter again.  I think of the story of Gerard Rubaud when he had a stroke.  What kept him going were his constant thoughts on how to improve his bread.  Bread certainly has a way of calling us to participate in our lives :-)

Welcome back and Take Good Care of Yourself,


Franko's picture

You sure know how to make a comeback my friend, and what pleasure it is to see your fine breads again after all this time. Bravo! As for caraway...just in very tiny amounts is about all I can handle, the upside of that being there's more available for people who do like it. Great to have you back with us Khalid!

All the best,


breadsong's picture

Hi Khalid,
My best to you for your recovery :^)
It must feel good to be back home, enjoying the flavor of your lovely home-baked breads!
Your photo of the fanned-out slices of your whole wheat bread looks beautiful, as do the palm trees, 
and of course, your rye!
:^) breadsong

isand66's picture


I am glad you have returned home safe and hopefully feeling a little better.  I sympathize with your back issues as you know per our past discussions.  It is wonderful to see you beautiful baking.

Why is it that everyone's wives don't seem to like caraway seeds?  Next time make one with and one without!

Welcome back.


rayel's picture

Hi Khalid, add my name to the folks who have missed you. I am hopeful your health will continue to improve over time.

Wonderful breads, and great pictures. I also find breadmaking to be therapeutic.

We could sure  use some of that rain here in the States. Nice pictures all.

Best wishes, Ray

Mebake's picture

Thank you so much , Nico!

Mebake's picture

Thanks, Andy!

Your comment is heartwarming.

Mebake's picture

Thanks, DA! I've been admiring your endless bread posts.. all lovely.

Mebake's picture

Thank you, Paul! I'am glad too to be at the oven. As to the Dill seeds, it is non-exsistant here in Dubai. Dill weed is common. Fennel... mm.. you know i seldom spice my breads... but i'll have to defy my wife's perceptions from now on.

Mebake's picture

Thank you, Varda! Lovely place Kerala. everything is evergreen, and ayurvedic medicine is inspired by their philosophy of life, weird at times. For instance part of the treatment was to administer warm medicated oil onto the head, rub it in, and wipe off after an hour. Now, what does that have to do with my soring back?!



Mebake's picture

Lurking on TFL most of the time, actually! Thank you.

Mebake's picture

Thank you!

Mebake's picture

Thank you Janet! True, Ayurvedic treatment is quite strict, restrictive, and time consuming. I could not tad along after a month of treatments. Besides, i am 33 years old, and father of two, and have a job to attend. Ayurvedic medicine is more suitable to a retired elderly who has nothing but time, not me. I'am going for a cotrisone injection treatment to eliminate inflammation.

I now sympathize with Gerard, and many others who experience physical pain during their lives, and think of baking as means to lift up their spirits.


Mebake's picture

Thank you Franko! I feel like home, being among this supportive and friendly community. I never tried a Rye with Caraway, and will be including it in my next bakes.

Thank you so much, Franko.

Mebake's picture

Thanks, Breadsong! I'am glad you liked the fanned display of Wholewheat bread.

Yours Always appreciated.

Mebake's picture

Thanks, fermento!

Where you born in Kerala? It is my first visit to India, and would love to go back for sight-seeing. Kerala is a heaven. I heard that munnar is a major tourist attraction, but i didn't go anywhere, as i was restricted to the confines of the Nursing home in Ollur- Trissure.

Mebake's picture

Thanks, Ian!

I really appreciate your sympathy. Half a dozen orthopaedic doctors later, i came to know that inflammation is what is causing my chronic back pain. The disc degeneration is the initiator of the inflammation of the tissues and muscles, causing spasm, but inflammation is the persistant cause of the pain now. I will try the cortisone injection to reduce inflammation. No disc fusion for me, as my conditioned isn't all that severe.

Your breads have inspired me during my stay in India, thanks.


Mebake's picture

Thank you Ray!

Couldn't help but share the pictures of the monsoon clouds. We never see such clouds in Dubai.

I heard that the states is suffering from a huge drought, coupled with searing temperatures. That is a bummer. I hope your congress takes climate change seriously. I hope all the world takes it seriously.

Always good to hear from you.

wassisname's picture

The breads look incredible as always, Khalid, even without the caraway:)!  The photos of Kerala are like therapy for all of us living in hot, dry places – even if not quite as hot and dry as Dubai.  Thank you for sharing and very best wishes.


Mebake's picture

Thanks, Marcus. You are so kind.