The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Caraway seeds and preferment

Jezella's picture
Jezella

Caraway seeds and preferment

I'm planning on a 25% preferment for a bake tomorrow and it is my intention to add Caraway seeds for flavour and maybe even some black onion seeds. I feel that if the Caraway seed were to be incorporated into the preferment, greater flavour would be released. Now I've never used these sharp seeds in bread before and wonder if it may damage the gluten structure should they be added early. I'm thinking maybe 1 tablespoon for 500g total bread flour. Are my concern valid? Also, would I experience a different flavour in the crumb if the seeds were added early compared to much later where a local flavour may be experienced, a little like poorly stirred coffee. This is my first preferment also. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

They are hard little pointy seeds.  You can hit them with a hammer first if you like or leave whole for little bursts of flavour while eating.  I throw them into the starter so they get a good soaking or you can put them into a shallow bowl with some boiling water (nuke 'em) to let them soften before adding to dough.  

Info: Grinding whole caraway will perminently "frost" your coffee grinder's plastic lid.  

Mini

Jezella's picture
Jezella

You're like a friend holding my hand Mini. Thank you. Last night I got it into my head that I had to bake bread today now the freezer is down a bit and decided to try the sourdough starter you have helped with. Then I bottled out and decided to try a preferment instead. Your comment above helps and last night I just put the Caraway seeds in the preferment. They smell great. Late morning I started the rest of the process and I'm on proofing now. Looking good. That's all ADY though.

Now to the sourdough, also got the bottle to try that also and the starter should peek in about an hour so I'll continue with that a bit later. I'll be following your times give or take. I hope my first real sourdough bread works out and I'll post a follow-up in the posting where you were helping me there. Just a little worried about how the handle the weaker started compared to ADY. Need to watch the waistline now. 

jcking's picture
jcking

The day before baking I soak the seeds in warm water. On baking day I'll strain out the seeds and use the flavored water as part of the formula.

Jim

Jezella's picture
Jezella

I've put various seeds in bread before but never Caraway so they may not soften up very much. Be interesting to see the result. Jim, have you ever tried grinding your seeds as mentioned above by MiniOven. Seems a good solution in your case.

jcking's picture
jcking

No I haven't tried the grinder. Personel preference, I don't care for the flavor burst of caraway. Care to try my method?

Jim

Fred Rickson's picture
Fred Rickson

I enjoy a strong caraway flavor in my 80%-100% sourdough rye bread.  We eat it thinly sliced (with tomato, cheese, lox, herring, avocado, or whatever) as a treat rather than a loaf bread.  My build is 3-5 days (warm/cold to play with yeast/acid balance), with a final total of about 12 cups of flour/dough in three 10" x 5" x 3" loaf pans.  The day before baking I add 1/4 C dry toasted caraway seeds ground to a powder in the spice grinder, 1/4 C whole seeds, and 1/2 C dried onion flakes (Costco) to the build.  Works for us and I don't see any "sharp seed" effect.....but how would one see this?

Enjoy.
Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

one would see a difference and have seed piercing.  

That rye just sticks to everything!

Jezella's picture
Jezella

In my case I was not sure how they would react to I just put a small handful in as I did not want to cut the gluten structure. It all turned out fine and the result was a very mellow flavour. I think I'll try pepper next thinking about it now. May be nice. Thanks for the comments all.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Gosh, didn't mean to scare you off caraway.  I love the stuff and am not worried about my gluten getting all cut up.  That happens more with ww flour than anything else.  I do have a pepper mill (the kind for the table, sorry, forgot to mention it) that is chock full of caraway for fresh ground.  Try that!  I use in salads for marinading meats and when boiling potatoes.  Good if you don't want hammer pounding noises.  I like the hammer when I wanna hear folks jump, they also think they're getting schnitzel.  Get lots of kitchen helpers that way.  :)

Jezella's picture
Jezella

I never though of a mill. Funny thing is I threw one away yesterday as it's got those awful plasic or nylon cutters and it's rubbish. I need to source one with those parts made of metal. Anyway, now I've got to drag it out of the bin so I can use it for things other than pepper. No, I was not scared off with your comment Mini. Having said this, as mentioned above, I was concerned that with the seeds being sharp, they may cut the gluten strands. I never seemed to have a problem though. Mind you, I only used a small amount. I'll have to remember your comment about the WW flour else I'll wonder what went wrong if I go down that route.

Fred Rickson's picture
Fred Rickson

Just think of the added emotional release using a hammer rather than just pushing down on the wimpy little button and hearing buzzzzzzzzzz!  I like it!  

And, I have put a 1/2 C of caraway seeds in a straight sourdough build with no effect on rising......doubt there is any "gluten cutting" going on as I suspect the seeds are just too big to do any micro damage.Enjoy.