The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Jewish Corn Rye

varda's picture
varda

Jewish Corn Rye

Several years ago, when I first started haunting TFL for clues on how to make Jewish Rye, I came across references to George Greenstein's Secrets of a Jewish Baker.   The breads I made from this book were god awful which had nothing to do with George Greenstein and everything to do with the (lack of) skill of the baker.   As time went on and I learned more about bread baking in general and Jewish Rye in particular, SOAJB got pushed to the back of the shelf and almost forgotten.  And yet people like David Snyder reminded me of it with his occasional Jewish Corn Rye bakes.    See for instance here.   Yum.  

The other day I came back to it   I decided to handle the volume measurements in Greenstein by pulling out the old measuring cups and then weighing what I did as I went along.   Then make adjustments from the weighed measurements going forward.   Since then this bread has become my new favorite.   I already make Tzitzel and Flaxseed Rye and Borodinsky and Schuster Loaf, so do I really need another rye on my plate?   Absolutely.   So good.   Must have more.

Formula:

         Final        Sour        Total  Bakers %
KAAP181 18145%
Whole Rye1338621955%
Water2146928371%
Caraway9 92.3%
Salt7 71.7%
Rye Sour (80%)156 15622%
Cornstarch glaze   
Caraway to sprinkle 700 

Method:

Ripen 80% rye sour until pungent

Mix all ingredients

Bulk ferment until somewhat puffy (this took two hours today in 70degF kitchen)

Shape into a jelly roll and mold the ends shut

Proof until it starts to soften (this took 1 hour today)

Glaze with cornstarch mix (boil two cups water - dissolve 2 tbsp cornstarch in 1/4 cup cold water.   Whisk into boiling water until thickens and clear.)

Sprinkle with caraway seeds

Preheat oven to 500.  Load bread with steam for 1 minute.   Turn off oven for 6 minutes.   Bake at 430 for 20 minutes. 

Note that I did not use yeast in addition to the rye sour as Greenstein does.  Nor did I keep the fermenting dough wet as Greenstein says - just the regular old bulk ferment in a covered bowl.  

Comments

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Nice, Varda. May I feature this on the homepage for a bit?

varda's picture
varda

Floyd,  That would be great.   Thank you.  -Varda

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

when they look as good as this one does inside and out.  You should no trouble selling this bread at the market.  Well done and happy baking Varda  Nice cover feature too!

varda's picture
varda

I think you are right DA.   Never enough rye.   I'm going to start off selling these at the store that sells my stuff tomorrow.   And then the market next week.   We'll see how it goes.   Thanks for your good wishes.   -Varda

Syd's picture
Syd

Varda,

Those look great.  I like the way you have slashed them.  I am guessing that is traditional for those kinds of loaves because I have seen it done before.

One of my first bread baking books used volume measures.  Some of my favourite loaves are in that book.  Like you, I have subsequently gone back and converted them to weight measures and continue baking them some 20 plus years later!

Hope things are going well at the market Varda. :)

All the best,

Syd

varda's picture
varda

Hi Syd,  

I have no background with this bread, as it didn't make it to St. Louis, and I've never seen it elsewhere in my travels, so I'm not entirely sure what it should look like.   Greenstein says to shape as a boule, which I did the first few times.  I am taking my cues from TFL posters David Snyder and the late Eric Hanner on the long skinny shape with the parallel slashes.   See this post for instance:  http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/14080/black-pepper-rye-dan-lepard

The market has slowed down as the weather gets colder, and I'm skipping this Saturday for the Jewish Holiday.   I have my applications in for several winter markets, so we'll see how that goes, and meanwhile my wholesale business is growing, so I'm not completely dependent on the markets.  

So glad you checked in. 

-Varda

balmagowry's picture
balmagowry

from when I was a kid, here in New York. Or actually more like a miche - a great big thing, and I don't think we ever had the whole loaf. Maybe once, on some special occasion involving a lot of people. Usually we'd get it by the pound or by the quarter-loaf. I never saw it in that elongated shape - that to me is the form of the production deli rye.

That said... your crumb and crust look fantastic! The shape may be unconventional, but it sure looks to me like the bread itself is the Genuine Article. I've been eyeing that recipe in Greenstein for a long time; have reached a point where I'm really happy with my modified version of his Jewish Sour Rye and have been thinking it's going to be time to tackle the corn bread soon and see if I can recapture yet another of the tastes of my childhood. You may have just pushed me over the edge. I *want* that bread! :)

varda's picture
varda

Very interesting re the shape and size of the "original."  Wonder if you have every posted your version of the Sour Rye?   This Corn Bread is amazing.   I'm eating a piece now of a loaf I made a week ago.   It is still fresh and no need to toast it.    You should definitely give it a try.    Thanks for commenting.  -Varda

balmagowry's picture
balmagowry

Actually... I haven't ever posted anything but comments yet. ;-)

The rye has been evolving gradually through a weekly bake, with MANY thanks BTW to you and dmsnyder and some of the late greats here (I've been lurking for a while), and I really do need to post something about it soon; it keeps getting better. Just going into one of my busiest times with work/travel, so it probably won't be this month, but I will. Trying the corn bread will also have to wait until things quiet down, but meanwhile I will get vicarious enjoyment from yours, and it'll be something to look forward to. :)

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

HI Varda,

What wonderful loaves.  I like the size you shaped the dough into and how nicely it fits into the palm of your hand. :)

Your history with this book is very like mine.  It was one of the first baking books I purchased but, due to volume measurements and no pictures of how the loaves should look, it sat on my shelf for quite sometime.  I did really like the history written within its pages but just didn't pursue baking any of the recipes.  In fact I ended up sending it off to my brother only to purchase another copy early last summer feeling more equipped to tackle his rye recipes. I have been converting and putting several of his onto my baking calendar but I totally overlooked this one somehow.   

Your post came on a day when one of the doughs I baked was Jewish Deli Rye out of Stan's book and your loaf  looks very similar so I am curious as to how you would compare it to Stan's.  The method of mixing - especially with how the sour is prepared, is different so I am sure that plays a part and the % of rye is higher which I am sure also effects the final loaf but other than that, they appear to be very similar.

THanks for the post and a new addition for me to add to my 'to bake' list.

Take Care,

Janet

 

varda's picture
varda

Hi Janet,  

From a previous poster, I have apparently shaped this as a deli rye when it should be more miche-like.   Other than that, it is much more rye-y than the deli rye which is quite mild.   This is a much heartier bread and by the way lasts forever.   I don't remember if I reduced the amount of sour from my first bake with volume measurements a few weeks ago, but I note that Dave Snyder uses a higher percentage of sour than I do here. 

Funny about the Greenstein.   It seems old-fashioned with volume measurements and choice of recipes, so that may be why we relegated it to the back of the closet.    But at least for these ryes, it seems to be the real deal.  

Saw you were doing some nice baking with fruit.   Lovely.  

Thanks for commenting.

-Varda

 

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Were you going to say more or am I to hang in suspense for awhile :*)

varda's picture
varda

however you may find it in your email notification - I no longer have it - arrgghh

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Hi Varda,

Thanks for the pointer.  I didn't know comments show up in full in email.  If I get an email I simply come here - the blog page - and read through the comments here.  Easier on my eyes.

Thanks also for the description of the difference.  Interesting in that this corn rye is just about 10-15% more rye than the JDR  but, duh, yes that does indeed make a difference.  I think that is one of the reasons I have shied away from the book because just looking at the list and volume measurements doesn't tell me much compared to what I can discern by looking at %'s.  I agree that it is an excellent source for rye breads - at least for the recipes I have converted.  Now I will have to spend more time on conversions so that I can get a better feel for what he has recorded within its pages.

I will give the corn rye a go within the next few days and give it to the people who have been getting my deli ryes and see what they have to say.  All are rye lovers so I expect this will quickly earn a home in my rye bread binder.

 I too have many rye loaves yet am always seeking new and different combinations; all are 'dear' to me.  The doughs fit nicely with the ww loaves I make because of  the difference in mixing times so many times I can double up and bake 2 different breads on one day….Yes, I know that is nothing compared to what you but I am slowly gaining momentum :*)

Thanks for the comment on my current harvest loaves.  I am having fun and the Apple Challah has become the season favorite for many of the people for whom I bake.  This week I shall replace the raisins with cranberries and toss in some walnuts too….

Again, thanks for the reply and sharing the formula.

Janet

kenlklaser's picture
kenlklaser

Thank you for the awesome instructions, your presentation of the formula is clear and concise. I may try your recipe as soon as I acquire some sliced ham or beef for sandwiches.

When I converted from volume measure to weights some years ago, I ended up with more consistent results, and I could never imagine going back to volume measure.

varda's picture
varda

to bake bread from volume measurements.   I don't do it often but when I do I always weigh the ingredients as measured and use the weights for future bakes.    I hope you try this because it's awesome.   You have to have a good rye sour to make it go.   Thanks for commenting.  -Varda

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

This is the rye I had most often growing up. Our local Jewish bakery, now long gone, made a "Corn Rye," but not in the huge round loaves others describe. I've seen those in LA bakeries. It was always made in a 1 lb round loaf.

I have posted weight-based formulas for Greenstein's Sour Rye as well as his Pumpernickel on TFL.

I have not made the rye in IJB, but I have made the sour rye that Norm Berg (May he rest in peace.) posted here long before the book was published. It was essentially the same as Greenstein's sour rye - a little less sour was used, which Norm said was a variable in the bakery, and a little lower hydration. The eating experience was the same.

Anyway, nice job, Varda! And L'Shonah Tova! 

David

varda's picture
varda

Hi David,   I was looking at the last post you did of the corn rye and noted that you used a lot more sour than I did, no added rye so your rye percentage was lower, you added in altus, and stuck with the yeast.   I don't know if I reduced the sour as I was adjusting this or you increased it from Greenstein's original.   I don't recall making any big changes other than leaving out the yeast.   Mr. G also has very little proof time (none really) whereas I did an hour.   I suppose that difference comes from use of yeast or no. In any case, I think your posts have kept this bread on the edge of my consciousness, and I'm glad I finally got to it.   Thanks so much and l'shanah tova to you too.  -Varda 

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Hi Varda,

Read your comments above and recalled reading about why Mr. G. uses short fermenting times…tis on page 134 in his 'Baker's Secrets' box.  :*)

Janet

isand66's picture
isand66

Perfect Jewish rye Varda.  In the bakeries in Brooklyn and Long Island the shape and slashing was similar to yours.  I have made Greensteins rye recipe per Davids post and also the one from ITJB and have also adapted it to some of my own formulas.  I will have to give yours a go soon and let you know the outcome.

Regards

Ian

varda's picture
varda

Ian, I hope you try this.   I may go back to the first clear flour if I can find a source for it.    Thanks for commenting.   Varda

isand66's picture
isand66

I use KAF.

varda's picture
varda

Hi Ian,   I meant a wholesale source.   KAF way too expensive for my purposes.  

isand66's picture
isand66

I think they have a new wholesale program so you should call them.  Can't hurt to ask.

isand66's picture
isand66

One variation you may want to try is to use First Clear flour in place of the AP.  It gives it a distinct bite to the final bread.

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Great looking jewish rye, Varda. Where is corn in the recipe, btw? :)

Happy holidays

Khalid

balmagowry's picture
balmagowry

It's corn in the older sense, meaning "grain."

varda's picture
varda

The corn thing is very confusing.   There have been around 10 discussions about it on TFL over the years.   So yes, no corn here, and when I sell it, I'm going to call it New York Rye.   Thank you and hope all is well.  -Varda

balmagowry's picture
balmagowry

"I'm going to call it New York Rye"

FWIW, I think that name would be more appropriate for the regular sour deli rye. Granted that corn bread is also pretty much a New York phenomenon, it isn't/wasn't anywhere near as common or as typical. Even when I was a kid it was a rare treat, more specialized. You could get decent rye in almost any deli (those were the days), but you had to know the right kind of Jewish bakery to get corn bread, and most people had never heard of it. Also... weird as it may sound... I remember that, for me at least, part of the eccentric charm of enjoying corn bread, when I was little, was trying to guess why it was called corn bread, when clearly it was so completely unlike what "normal" people referred to as such. For a long time I was equally puzzled by corned beef, BTW, and I don't see anybody re-naming that. In both cases the puzzle of the name, and the history behind it, is part of the tradition. I question whether sacrificing that isn't a kind of dumbing-down. Names mean something, and often there is something to be learned by explaining them. What do they call that these days? A "teachable moment."

Probably less than two cents' worth; I'll get off my pedantic language-geek soapbox now. ;-)

varda's picture
varda

different place.   I might get away with calling them Jewish Corn Rye at the markets where I am there for the long-winded explanation.   But the manager of the wine store where I'll sell these and even worse her employees are unlikely to be willing to get into it.    The biggest teachable moment here would be me hitting my head and saying DOH when the loaves remain on the table because people don't want rye bread with corn in it.   Ah well.   You are welcome to your soapbox, but since this isn't France, I reserve naming rights :)  

balmagowry's picture
balmagowry

And I don't dispute them for a second. I was indeed envisioning a different scenario - a more farmer's market sort of thing where you'd be interacting directly with customers, so... never mind. These things are a moving target anyway, and you've already adapted and  made this recipe your own, so it should be called whatever you think it should be called.

Only... what if you were also to make and sell a regular sour deli rye? What would you name THAT? ;-)

varda's picture
varda

I'd call it deli rye.   A pretty familiar term for non New Yorkers I think.   And if I coated it with cornmeal I'd call it Tzitzel which is the Jewish Rye I grew up with.  Actually I've done both, but now I think these will have to wait for awhile as I would rather make Corn Bread no make that Jewish Corn Rye no make that New York Rye.... 

jkandell's picture
jkandell

I had always thought you had to do the cornstarch glaze right after baking, while the bread still hot. You add your right before the bake like an egg glaze is done. Still comes out shiny?

varda's picture
varda

If I had wanted to make this really shiny I would have also glazed it after.    I liked the look though with the one glaze before, and it protected the bread from the fierce winds in my oven.  

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I apply the glaze before and after baking. If I want it even shinier, I apply a third brushing of cornstarch a half hour after the second one.

BTW, it wasn't called "corn rye" or, as often, "corn bread," just in NYC. That's what it was called in Fresno, California, too. As a kid, I figured the "corn" referred to the coarse cornmeal that was always on the bottom of the loaf. It wasn't until Stan or Norm talked about "kornbrot" that the origin of the name sunk in.

And congratulations, varda, on getting this bread "headlined!"

David

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Hi David,

Don't mean to hijack but just read your comment on the glaze.  I made a similar loaf this weekend and used the glaze for the first time and have a question about consistency.  I prepared mine while the bread was rising a bit and let it cool.  I have never used corn starch before so didn't know what to expect.   I had arrowroot in the house so I used it since it is supposed to be 'the same'.  Mine, as it cooled, became very gelatinous and, while it was indeed spreadable, it did trail off of the brush like barley malt syrup does on a spoon.  I am thinking I made mine a bit too thick or is that the right consistency?  (I would describe it as being similar to egg white in consistency)

Janet

 

balmagowry's picture
balmagowry

I use cornstarch glaze before and after baking, but I make it MUCH thinner than any of the recipes call for. Where they use 2 Tbsp corn starch to about 1.25 cup water, I use slightly less than half that amount of cornstarch - about 1.5 tsp to 1 cup water. This gives me a consistency that works for me. I use a lot of corn starch slurries in Chinese sauces, so I've been around the block a few times with the gummy gloopy mess. Persnickety stuff, corn starch, but at these proportions it seems pretty stable from one use to the next - and I generally find one batch lasts me through about five 2-lb loaves over as many weeks.

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Thanks for jumping in here and resolving my quandary.  I really appreciate it. Next time I will go with the proportions you use as they make more sense based on what I experienced.

Janet

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I have gone through the same process as Janet and balmagowry. I also make my cornstarch glaze about "half-strength" and much thinner than Greenstein's formula, which is like what balmagowry cited. It seems to work just as well.

David

davidg618's picture
davidg618

Rye breads have been my passion this past year--and I still bake sourdoughs weekly. And wonderfully timely; I assume many of us have signed up to test bake for Stan's new Rye bread book.

Regards to all,

David G

Jaroslav's picture
Jaroslav

Please, can you tell me the sequence of the recipe ? I am very new at sourdough baking. I don't know where and when to mix in 86g whole rye and 69g of water. Thank you.

varda's picture
varda

Hi.  The table above has a column at left.   That is what you mix.   The second column with the 89g rye and 69g water tells me how much flour and water are contributed to the dough by the rye sour which is one of the ingredients used in the mix.   By breaking out the contribution of flour and water of the rye sour, that allows me to calculate the total amount of flour in the recipe (see the third column) and the total amount of water.   The 4th column tells me the baker's percent of each ingredient.   So if you take the ingredient weight and divide by flour weight (including the contribution from sour) then multiply by 100 you get the baker's percent of that ingredient.   These percents are very useful for understanding what type of bread a formula like this will produce.    If you think in terms of bakers percentages it also is helpful for making up your own recipes while standing at the counter (perhaps with paper and pencil or a handy tablet nearby.)   Please ask more questions if you don't understand what I've just said.   -Varda

Jaroslav's picture
Jaroslav

Hello Varda, 

thank you very much for your time and explanation.

Now I have to work at it and do my best. I am not very experinced yet, but I try.

thank you again.

Jaroslav's picture
Jaroslav

Hi Mr.Varda, 

 tonight I baked a bread. Took the picture , but don't know how to send it to you. 

thank you.

varda's picture
varda

Hi.   Would love to see your picture.   You can upload a picture from your computer using the green tree icon.   It is a little complicated.    That's what I do but I think a lot of people just use the url from a picture site like flickr.  So if you have your photos stored on an external site that is probably the best way to go.  Hope someone else who knows how to do that can point you in right direction.  -Varda (and that is my first name and I'm not a Mr. More of a Mrs.) 

Jaroslav's picture
Jaroslav

Yes, to send a picture it's not an easy task. Why is it so complicated. I am sure, it's not only me. But, my husband said " excellent bread". Will continue trying to send pics. Sorry about the name. 

Jaroslav's picture
Jaroslav

Hi again Varda, 

I should add to my previous comment, that bread is not that bad, but is little bit heavy,just little bit....what is the reason for that, please.

varda's picture
varda

Hi.   This will never be a light loaf.   It is very high percentage rye and so will be more compact than a wheat loaf.    However, if it is fermented properly it will have a certain lightness of being.    This is at every step.   The rye sour must be good and pungent, the bulk ferment isn't done until the color of the dough starts to lighten, you get a good smell, and a bit of puffiness to the surface, and proof isn't ready until the loaf really softens up.   Depending on temperature conditions and health/strength of your rye sour the times can vary a lot.   As I have found after baking this many times, it doesn't pay to rush it.   Patience, patience, patience.  

Jaroslav's picture
Jaroslav

Hi, 

thank you for the explanation. 

Next time , I'll be patiently waiting for bread to puff up!! 

I am a patient girl!   

Thank you again.

Skibum's picture
Skibum

I will definitely be trying this one! I initially had a couple of questions but the corn bread kornbrot post answered this quandry. When you let your rye sour go until 'pungent' I am guessing you like a sour kick to your flavour profile. How long do you let your rye starter go?

I just did a couple pf Per Reinharts's NY Deli Rye, a favourite of mine and this bread looks mighty interesting. Well done!!!

Happy baking, Ski

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