The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Another newbie

setsuuri's picture
setsuuri

Another newbie

Hi everyone,

 I'm another one of those long-term lurkers! I've been baking for a couple of years now, partly because it is cheaper and healthier, but mainly because I'm a huge rye bread fan and what seems to pass as rye in Buffalo is closer to caramelised fluff than anything resembling real bread. I lived in Finland for ten years and was absolutely spoilt with the wonderful range of dense ryes and heavy grainy loaves - and I've spent the past few years trying to recreate those breads, but while I've found some terrific recipes (I'm a huge Hamelman fan! and I love Leader's eastern european breads too) they don't seem to come close to what I remember eating. Maybe nostalgia is playing tricks with my taste buds, maybe the local grain is different, or perhaps it's the Buffalo sourdough beasties? Most likely its simply a question of more practice and a better technique, so I'd be grateful for any advice or tips! I've spent many a happy hour drooling over rye-porn on this site :)

Lindsey

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Lindsey.

Welcome to TFL from another rye bread lover! You've already discovered you are in good company here.

I've never lived in or even visited a European country with a rye bread culture, and I've not had French rye bread when I was there. I would love to hear more from you about how Hamelman's and Leader's ryes compare with those you had during your stay in Finland.


David

setsuuri's picture
setsuuri

Hi David - I have to say you've made some gorgeous breads! As to how Finnish breads differ - I've been puzzling over how to describe them... The texture is often less moist and spongy, and I think they have a slightly more caramelised taste on top of the rye tang, though I don't think that is from any added sugars or malted grains (the ingredients are generally rye yeast and salt). I think it could be that they go for longer, slower bakes - a bit like the Horst Bandel bread in Hamelman - at least a lot of them seem to be called 'jalkiuuni' bread - literally 'after oven' bread, I think (poor Finnish, getting worse!) so that would suggest they are baked in a cooling oven, overnight?  I once cat-sat in a really old farmhouse that had a wood-burning '16-loaf' oven that straddled two rooms. Aparently the farmer's wife used to bake a daily loaf for each labourer - those  coarse ringed loaves that were hung on a pole to cool (Reinhart has a version of those). Although it was a barn-like single story building there was a ladder to a sleeping nook above the oven and I used to try and imagine what it would have been like, lying snug above the oven and drifting to sleep to the intensifying caramely smells of the night's bake.

You can see some pictures of Finnish bread at http://www.suomikauppa.fi/index.php?cPath=23_25_99, but the pictures are a bit small.

Lindsey

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Welcome to TFL, Lindsey!

Your experience with rye bread far outdistances mine, but there are a number of very experienced bakers on TFL who will chip in on the subject once they see your post. Since rye is your passion, I will turn the tables on you: please share some pix of your efforts and let us know how you built the bread.

I will add that I spent a year in Austria, before I knew anything about baking, and the rye bread was phenomenal! I was fortunate to live quite close to a bakery in Salzburg's Old City, and my friends and I often went and bought just-cooled loaves of rye, took them home and feasted! (Good food makes great memories.)

Soundman (David)

setsuuri's picture
setsuuri

Hi David!

Actually I'm more like you in that I enjoyed eating the ryes long before I knew anything about how to bake them, and I'm still very much a learner at this stage (I wish my own efforts came close to some of the pictures on this site!). I've only started experimenting with sourdough for the last couple of years and I still don't have consistent results, but I certainly do have a lot of questions.

If I can figure out how to post pictures (I'm VERY technologically challenged) I'd love to have some feedback.

Lindsey

 

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Lindsey,

I want to save you time and aggravation.

Please read this post carefully:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/2960/posting-photos-faq

If you still have questions, please ask. Remember this: your digital camera probably creates pix with a higher resolution than you can upload directly to TFL. You can either let a third party site resize for you, or you can use a standalone resizing program, such as PicSizer, which is freeware, do that job for you on your hard drive and then directly upload the smaller version of the pix.

Soundman (David)

setsuuri's picture
setsuuri

Thanks so much for the link - it seems a little daunting, but I'll definitely give it a go! Somehow this part is harder than baking the bread...

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Lindsey,

I agree, the photo thing is more complicated than it should be. But I think everybody on TFL wants to see everyone else's efforts, so we will get you there. A little patience is a good thing.

If you don't yet use any of the photo-hosting sites, you may want to try something like PicSizer or Picasa. Some people prefer to use a hosting service, like:

http://www.flickr.com/

http://photobucket.com/

Here's a link to a Picasa download site:

http://picasa.google.com/thanks.html

Apparently the hosted sites like Flickr and Photobucket automatically downsize your photos, which makes it easy to upload to TFL. I'm a little lazy, and only tend to use Flickr when I have a special photo, so I don't mind using PicSizer on my own machine, to downsize the images manually. But a lot of people use the hosted sites.

Let us know how you progress on this front!

Soundman (David)