The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Black Seeds

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varda's picture
varda

Black Seeds

I love Jewish Rye, but haven't quite got the angle on getting people who didn't grow up with it to love it.   My latest attempt - replace caraway seeds with charnushka.   At least it makes a dramatic presentation.   For good measure I also made a durum levain with black instead of white sesame.  

I'm still struggling with score openings in my convection oven.   Haven't quite got the right combination of temperature, time, and humidity.  The rye bread seems to shrug it off, but not the more tender whites (and yellows.)

Thanksgiving leftovers. Bread.   It may take awhile to cut into the rye.  More to follow.

Comments

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

like that I would call it a day and drink a toast to Bloomin' Boules:-)  Your breads look divine.

Happy Hanukkah Vatda.

varda's picture
varda

Hey DA,   This is a pretty light rye, probably a lot lighter than what you make, so that may explain its greater lightness of being.   Thank you and hope you are having a nice Hanukkah as well.  -Varda

Darwin's picture
Darwin

Very nice loaves, all look great to me.  Well done :)

varda's picture
varda

Thank you Darwin.   Hope to see your baking soon.  -Varda

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Varda,

Is it possible to bake without the convection for the first few minutes of baking?   The high powered fans offer you little chance of keeping effective steam in the chamber.   A rack oven offers superb steaming facility, but the fans in the rack oven don't kick in straight-away, thus giving chance for the steam to coat the loaf surface.

I don't know what persuaded you to dispense with conducted heat and go for convection.   I confess to total bias, but I'd rather not bake bread at all than have to use a fan oven exclusively.   Still, I do hope you find success with your Cadco.

All good wishes

Andy

 

varda's picture
varda

Hi Andy,   There is no timer on the fan unfortunately.   There are baffles which I could order, but not ready to go there  yet.  I believe adjustments to time temperature and humidity can do the trick, but it will take me more work to figure it out.   Many of the breads I make come out really nicely in this oven - with better expansion and crust quality than I've ever been able to achieve.   I actually love the convection as I find that there is virtually no difference in baking no matter where in the oven, and so no need for moving things around during the bake.  

The particular choice of oven came down to cost, size, quality.   I can't afford or fit a deck oven in my house.   Don't want to deal with a WFO at this point both from the wood perspective and the regulatory which means cost.   But hopefully this is transitional, and better equipment before too long.   It all depends on how much I can sell.  I have a medium size winter market starting in January, and then a really big one starting in March.   Also put in my application for a home wholesale license, which will allow me a lot more options.   Don't know how long it will take for the State of Massachusetts to decide I'm worthy.   Hopefully not too long as I already have my food safety certification.  

Thanks for checking in.

-Varda

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Hi Varda,

Bread samples for the customers and explaining the benefits of making grilled sandwiches with rye bread have helped sell rye breads for me.

As for Andy's comments on convection ovens, I have to agree.  Great for cooking but a liability for baking.

Jeff

varda's picture
varda

Jeff,    I will try grilled sandwiches.    And hopefully the oven won't turn into a liability.   We'll see.   Thanks for the suggestions.  -Varda

bakingbadly's picture
bakingbadly

I understand the frustration when you try to introduce breads that you love to people who aren't familiar with it. Sometimes they just outright reject it. But with a few adaptations, they'd go crazy for it. Unfortunately, that may mean compromising the true spirit of your beloved loaf...

Take care and happy baking, 

Zita

varda's picture
varda

Hi Zita,   Well charnushka isn't exactly the usual for Jewish Rye, and this was just an experiment.   I haven't even tasted it yet, so don't know what I'll think.   My friends, etc. eat my Borodinsky happily but turn up their noses at my Tzitzel.   A never ending story I guess.   Perhaps I should add some coriander to Jewish Rye :-(   Thanks for commenting.  -Varda

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I never had any problems baking in my convection oven, whether it was a so called fan assisted convection (like my old JennAir) or the real convection with 2 fans that I have now with my Samsung. Since I bake all the breads in my home oven, and on two tiers, I have to use convection, or I don't get even browning.

Both of my ovens were so well insulated that they kept the steam, until I opened the door to let it out, too.

Your bread looks very nice, Varda - I would buy it! And good luck with a speedy approval of your license.

Karin

varda's picture
varda

Karin,  I'm still climbing the learning curve on this convection stuff.   I'm optimistic particularly because I know that you and several other excellent bakers on TFL use convection successfully.   My largest bake so far was 9 fig anise loaves.  They all came out really well, and the oven wasn't close to full.   This gives me hope for the upcoming farmer's markets.   Thanks so much for your comments.  -Varda

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Hi Varda,

So many postings it is hard to keep up and some slip by like this one of yours.  Very nice ryes.  I especially like the crust color and your seeds.   I was just eying my bag of charnuska seeds a week ago but am heavy into holiday bakes, none of which call for charnuska…..so they will have to sit :)

Thanks for the post and the photos.  

Take Care,

Janet

varda's picture
varda

with charnushka?   I guess not.   Thanks Janet.  -Varda

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Very nice rye varda!  I for one need no convincing of how satisfying rye breads are.  I recently baked up a few myself.  I posted on forum about the lack of how-to videos on rye breads.  Very surprised of this.  If you have anything to contribute to that forum post, please do!  I very much appreciate your rye bakes.

John

varda's picture
varda

Hi John,   Surprisingly for me at least, Borodinsky and Flaxseed Rye are among my most popular breads.   These are 80% and 60% rye respectively.  I have been keeping my Jewish Ryes to around 30% and yet no one's interested.   I think they are good and so just remain mystified.  I like Jeff's idea of stressing the sandwich angle.   I'll take a look at your recent posts.   Thanks so much.  -Varda

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I think the discrepancy is the weather.  Just like hamburger/hot dog buns are more popular with BBQing  High ryes are more popular before Christmas.   The lower ryes more popular in spring.  What do you think?

varda's picture
varda

Hi Mini. Interesting idea. You may be right.   Or it is the dreaded caraway which many people apparently dislike.   I have tried making it without, and it just doesn't taste like much.   This version with the charnushka is tasty, but it simply isn't Jewish Rye.  I just have to get over this.  -Varda

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Here's an idea, Varda: in place of the caraway, use dill seed or fennel seed.  Either plays nicely with rye.  My wife, who does not like caraway at all, happily eats rye breads containing dill or fennel, instead. 

You could even sacrifice a loaf with each kind of seed for taste testing to let your customers vote for the one they would be most likely to buy.

Paul

varda's picture
varda

Paul,  I don't think I've ever had bread with dill seeds.   Hopefully it won't taste like a pickle:-)   I'll try it and perhaps that will be the thing that will sell the light rye.   Not sure about fennel but suppose I should try that too.   Thanks for the ideas.  -Varda

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

you will probably enjoy them in your rye bread.  And no, it won't taste like pickles unless you use pickle juice as the liquid for the dough.

Only one way to know for sure. :-)

Paul

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Those are excellent Rye breads, Varda! 

No matter what performance you get, those are still beautiful loaves, Varda! One day,hopefully you'll have your own deck oven

I hope you get the wholesale license soon!

-Khalid

varda's picture
varda

Khalid, I love the crust colors that come out of the new oven.   Janet is busily coaching me on how to manage the expansion phase, so hopefully I'll get that worked out.   Thanks for your support.  -Varda

isand66's picture
isand66

Beautiful looking loaves.  My wife doesn't care for caraway seeds either but it's hard for me to leave them out.

Ian

varda's picture
varda

because bread isn't just bread.   Hope you had a nice Thanksgivikah.   Thanks for commenting.  -Varda

dsadowsk's picture
dsadowsk

I missed this blog post earlier, but now am glad I saw it.

I'm just finishing a rye now, but it's Rose Levy Barenbarum's cheater rye, using only a small amount of rye flour and whisked to aerate it. But my wife loves it -- I think it tastes decent, but would prefer more rye flavor. (Heh, a Jew baking a rye bread on Christmas, and then I'm going to get Chinese food. Got all the stereotypes down.)

While I too have a convection oven, I don't use convection mode for baking, not having figured out the timing. If you find a way to make it work for you, let us know how you use it.

Don

varda's picture
varda

Hi Don,  

This one actually has no rye in the final dough - I use rye sour for all the rye and then add in high gluten flour in the final.   You can vary from around 20% to 40% rye of total flour and get either a very mild deli rye, or something a little meatier.  If you go higher than that, you are out of the deli rye world and into german rye territory.  The one above is 30% - still pretty mild.   You should try a 20%er on your wife and then gradually work your way up.  

I've been baking bread all day.   Probably a lot of Jews and non Jews as well baking bread on Christmas.   But no Chinese food for me. Have done that for the past few years, but the joke is getting a little old.  I'm going to try making Beef Stroganoff tonight.   It is sort of an old line dish that my mother used to make.   I must be feeling nostalgic.

I have figured out a lot more about using the convection since I wrote this post, and am almost happy with it.   Think I'll do a longer post on it soon.   The short answer is turn off the oven for five minutes after steaming for one.   A longer answer will have to wait until my deflector plates show up. 

Thanks for commenting.  

-Varda