The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Mini's Favorite Rye

Syd's picture

Mini's Favorite Rye

A few weeks back I asked Mini if she would be so kind as to tell me what was in her Brotgewurz mix so that I could make some up at home.  I was hoping she could tell me the ratios but she did much better than that: she sent me some!  She said she just happened to be on her way back to Austria and was left with half a jar that she didn't know what to do with.  It was perfect timing she said.  She said she would mail it to me.  It arrived a week later. 


To be honest, I felt a little nervous at first as I had only just started to experiment with rye and had never made a bread with more than 20% rye, let alone 100% rye.  Now that Mini had given me the spices, I felt under pressure to succeed.  :)  I shouldn't have worried, though.  Mini's recipe is a cinch.



I used Mini's rye ratios.  1 part starter: 3.5 parts water:  4.16 parts rye flour


My final recipe read like this:

75g rye starter @ 100% hydration

263g water

312g rye flour

2 tsps of Brotgewurz

6g of salt

I gave it a 30 minute autolyse, a 2 hour bulk and a 4 hour final proof.  It was in the oven well before the 8 hour mark which Mini had warned against overshooting. 

The smell emanating from the oven was heavenly.  I gave it 25 minutes (covered) at 220 C and a further 25 at 200 (uncovered). 


I allowed it to cool and then wrapped it in cloth for 24 hours.  I have to say, I just love the taste of this bread.  This taste is new to me, but I am hooked.  I smeared it with some cream cheese and topped it with salami. 


So, a big thank you to Mini for sending me those spices.  I now have all the ingredients to make them up myself when yours run out.  I still have to figure out those ratios, though!  Thanks also for all the advice you have given me re: mixing, autolysing and proofing. 

yours sincerely,


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

And Thank you! 

Syd, you sure do know how to get a girl to blush!  (This week is off to a good start.)  :)

Eric Hanner has been after me for those ratios too but I don't work for Kotányi.  Wish I did.  I need to turn out a rye loaf myself.  Fed my mother starter yesterday and started up a spelt starter from rye.  

The house still smells of cookies from last night and coffee from this morning.  I was out walking in the crisp frozen air and see my entry did't take.  (I'll try again.)  The wind is a bit much but paints rosy cheeks on those who venture out.  The sun is bright and it's a good day to do stuff!


Nickisafoodie's picture

Mini or Syd, would love to find out what is in the spices if possible, or an approximation? Do you know of a source or recipe for the spice mix that may be similar?  Thank you both!

Syd's picture

It is a mix of coriander, caraway and fennel but nobody knows in what ratio.  So far I have tried using a tablespoon of coriander, a teaspoon of caraway and half a teaspoon of fennel.  It produced a really good flavour but when I got the spice mix from Mini I could definitely smell there was a lot more caraway and fennel in it.  Next time I will try ratios of 2:1:1 (coriander:caraway:fennel).  You need to lightly toast them in the oven or in a dry frying pan.  I just pulse them a few times in the grinder as it is not meant to be a fine powder, but rather has some medium sized bits in it.  Will let you know if I come up with the 'magic' ratio but really it is just a matter of taste.  I was really happy with my first version because I like coriander and too much fennel can be a bit overpowering. 

amolitor's picture

Kotanyi's web site has an english translation, but neither the german nor the english sites have any info at all on what's in the "Bread spice mixture"


hanseata's picture

Funny to find this thread wondering about something that seems so commonplace to me as a German.

Bread spices are not a uniform thing, mixed in a certain ratio. The spices, anise (which you didn't mention), caraway, fennel and coriander are used together or separate, just as the baker or the recipe sees fit. Whereas I know anise, caraway and fennel from Northern Germany, breads seasoned with coriander I had only in the South.

And the amounts you use depend on what you prefer: Aroma Bread (Maria Speck's creation from "Ancient Grains for Modern Meals") contains 2 tablespoons for a distinct spiciness (2 parts coriander to 1 part each of fennel and caraway), whereas in other breads, like Feinbrot, I use only 1 gram (mixture of anise, fennel, caraway, and/or coriander in equal parts).

There is another Brotgewürz out there, blue fenugreek (Schabziger Klee, Brotklee) a spicy herb that grows in the alps and is used for local breads like Vinschgauer Bread from South Tyrol (it tastes very different from the regular, brown fenugreek used in Indian cuisine.)


Syd's picture

Thanks for that information Karin.  Of course it makes sense that there must be thousands of bread spice recipes out there. Silly of me to think otherwise.  :) No doubt as many as the bakers that use them.  I guess it all depends of what you like.   I love coriander and fennel.  I like caraway, too.  Will definitely try some anise and will experiment some more with different ratios.  



Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

when I think of it.  The last loaf had all these Chilean pine nuts that after cooking or oven roasting taste like chestnuts or some kind of bean or even a mild jackfruit nut.  They were complemented quite well with bread spices and coarse black pepper.   Yes! One teaspoon (in you loaf 1/2 tsp) or 4% on flour weight, plus 100g chopped araucarian pine nuts  (these nuts are so smooth & big they pop out of a slice of bread like pine knots out of a board of knotty pine!)  along with 100g broken walnuts.  (working on a post) I have only a little piece left, hubby ran off with  sandwiches and half the loaf.  He stuffed his sandwiches with cold pork chops, sliced polish style gherkins smeared with a little mustard. 

A lot of bold baking lately but no one seems to mind the crust quite dark.  

Mini in Chile


Syd's picture

Mini, that sounds delcious!  I love the slight resiny taste of pine nuts.  And walnuts in anything are good.  Look forward to the post. Mini in Chile?  My Mini, you certainly do get around!


All the best,