The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Caraway rye? Perhaps not!

sphealey's picture

Caraway rye? Perhaps not!

For my weekly lunch bread I have been stuck in a bit of a rut lately, alternating between Rose Levy's Real Jewish Rye and Classic Pumpernickel. I would like to find something different but the problem since I depend on that loaf for sandwiches I have to be reasonably certain it will turn out well. Which of course Rose's recipes do if you follow them to the gram.

So I have been modifying the recipes just a little to get some variation. 1/2 tsp of cardamom powder in the sponge for the rye didn't make much difference; 2 tsp was quite noticable! And so on.

This Sunday I made the pumpernickel and decided to add a bit of cardamom. The loaf came out well [1]. I sliced the end off as usual to try it out. It was quite good but the flavour was a lot stronger than I had expected from 1/2 tsp of cardamom.

Well, this morning I was looking at the spice rack and I realized that not only was the jar of cumin seed right next to the jar of caraway seed, its level was much lower than I would have expected. A quick sniff of the jar and the end of the loaf confirmed my suspicion: I had made a cumin-cardamom bread rather than caraway-cardamom. My spouse was laughing at me as I figured this out.

Cumin-cardamom pumpernickel: not bad actually, although I am not sure I would make it on purpose.


[2] Until I got to the middle and found a huge hole where the dough had failed to adhere after shaping ;-( And I thought I was using excessive force to get that one shaped.



pmccool's picture

Let me make a shameless plug for my favorite spice vendor: Penzeys Spices.  (Let the record show that I have no affiliation with Penzeys, other than as a satisfied customer.)

A coworker first introduced me to Penzeys while I lived in Houston.  I was amazed to find out that a specialty store had top quality spices for less than I was paying in the supermarket.  When my employer transferred me back to Kansas in 2005, I was delighted to find that Penzeys had opened a store in Overland Park the year before my move.  They have been expanding aggressively in the past couple of years and have a number of locations across the U.S. 

If there isn't a store in your area yet, you can also get their products from their website,  Shipping costs wipe out the savings, but the goods are still better than you are apt to find on your supermarket's shelves.  Plus, their product line is much broader than you are apt to find locally.

Last but not least, their Penzeys One magazine features great recipes and stories each issue.

So, if you are looking at restocking your spices, whether used intentionally or otherwise, I'd recommend that you check out Penzeys.