The Fresh Loaf

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Light Rye Bread with Orange and Caraway

codruta's picture

Light Rye Bread with Orange and Caraway

Hi everybody. I made a light loaf with 19% rye flour. I took my inspiration from hamelman's Vermont Rye Sourdough and from txfarmer I used a liquid levain 100% and 20% of the total flour was in the preferment. The dough had a 72% hydration, but I was surprised of how easy was to handle it. I usualy have difficulties in handling very wet dough, especially in final shaping.

The formula was:

270g AP flour

80 g Rye flour

230 g Water

160g Liquid Levain 100%

9 g salt

9 g caraway powder

zest from a big orange.

After autolyse, I added the salt and caraway, I mixed the dough with my tiny spiral mixer, I added the orange zest, and did the rest of the mixing by hand. I let the bulk ferment for two hours, with 2 S-F at 40 minutes interval. It is very hot here, maybe 29-30C, or even more. After shaping I put the dough directly in the fridge for 10 hours. It increased its size very much during second fermentation. I baked it directly from he fridge, on a baking stone, with steam in the first 15 minutes.

I thought the taste from the orange zest would be more fragrant, but it wasn't. Even the caraway flavor got lost somehow... it's distinct, but not like it would have been if I'd used whole caraway seeds. The loaf was very very light, like a feather, I have no idea why. The crumb is sweet, soft, with no sour taste at all. I liked it, but I don't consider it a favorite.

You can read full post with more pictures at my romanian blog, with sidebar translation. Apa.Faina.Sare.


ehanner's picture


What a nice looking loaf! I would say you baked  a near perfect savory bread with the powdered caraway. It is interesting the caraway didn't come through considering the amount that was added. I sometimes use a combination of seeds and ground and have always liked the results. You might like a few drops of orange oil in the dough along with the zest.

Thank you for sharing.


arlo's picture

A very nice loaf and wonderful pictures too Codruta. I am envious of your skills with the camera.

I have often thought of using orange and caradamom in a loaf to try and go for a 'Witbier' flavor. Caraway and orange though does sound rather tasty.

lumos's picture

Very, very good looking loaf!  I have baked bread with lemon zest or orange peel, but never made one with orange zest. I'll definitely try this myself soon. Thank you for sharing. :)

btw, the cloth liner for proofing basket looks really thin with delicate material. Did you make it yourself? I've seen a liner made of linen which is much thicker than yours, but never seen anything so delicate and pretty.


Janetcook's picture


Very pretty loaf and I live the imprint your basket liner left on your loaf.  My liners are much bulkier (linen) and the stitching is less frequent so there are always folds in the basket which leave creases in the dough.  I like the way yours were stitched together....will have to see if I can replicate one when I get into a sewing mood again.

I just made an onion dill loaf and the friend who told me about the formula told me the seeds provided much more flavor than the ground or leaves would.  I used the seeds and they were very aromatic.  Maybe in  your loaf the seeds would add a more pronounced flavor too but I don't know because I have never used caraway powder.

It is interesting that the orange flavor didn't come out stronger as that is a lot of zest!

Anyway, a very pretty loaf and your photos are great!


breadsong's picture

Hello Codruta,
Your loaf is beautiful! baked an orange rye today too, with anise though, not caraway. :^)
I agree with Eric about the orange oil - a little bit goes a long way - but it gives a really nice orange flavor boost.
I've started grating citrus zest right over my bowl of scaled flour, to capture every little bit of essential oil from the citrus peel.
Lovely baking - so glad you're posting your outstanding results.
:^) from breadsong

holds99's picture


Sounds like a very nice combination of ingredients.  It's interesting that after shaping you did your second fermentation in the fridge and went directly from the fridge to the oven.  I'll have to try that, because it sure produced a lovely loaf.  As Janet said, it's interesting that the orange flavor from the zest didn't stand out more, considering you used the peel of a whole orange.  That's a lot of zest.  FWIW,  if you've had your caraway powder around for a while it may have lost some of it's flavor.  If spices sit on the shelf for a long period of time their flavor diminishes, espccially in hot weather.   I've found that this is especially true of ground spices as opposed to whole spices.  When possible I buy whole spices and grind them as needed.  Also, the more expensive ones (caraway seeds, mace, anise seeds, etc.) I keep in the freezer.

Anyway, your bread looks beautiful as well as your photos.   What kind of camera and lens are you using?

Best to you in your baking endeavors.'


codruta's picture

Thank you all for your comments. It's really nice to hear kind words coming from people with same interests.

@ eric & breadsong: orange oil sounds very good, thank you for the tips! I'll try it next time.

@ arlo: cardamon is on my list, too. It pairs well with fennel seeds, but I guess it has to be ground when using, and use only a small quantity, cause it has a very strong taste.

@ lumos & janet: I made that tool out of necessity. I don't have bannetons, or linen cloth, so I improvised with what I have. I tried this material before, and I saw it doesn't stick, so I used it to make this proofing cloth. It was really easy to make. My boyfriend suggest to make a football ball pattern :))

Next time I'll use caraway seeds, or freshly ground seeds.

@howard: I used caraway powder that I recenty bought, and i didn't open the package till the day I made the bread. It had a strong flavor when I added to the dough. My conclusion is that the powder got lost in the general amount of dough, leaving a nice aroma, but without that strong bite you get when you use whole seeds.

It's ironic somehow, that everybody seems to like my photos, when I don't know anything about photography. I use a SONY DSC-R1 (the lens are the default ones...), I'm sorry because I'm not able to give you more specific details.


ww's picture

codruta, you make the loveliest loaves, truly. A very talented baker, you are and such nice photos too.

the picture of the upturned bread in the linen is so soft and pretty, it reminds me of a baby's hat. And the one just below it minus the fabric looks just like a mandarin hat.

what is this non-stick fabric you are using??

codruta's picture

@ ww: Thank you, your comment is very nice.

The fabric I'm using is a textile from IKEA, but I don't know what is made of.

lumos's picture

::mental note:: Got to go to my local IKEA next week.

Thanks, codruta! :)

bnom's picture

I used to buy an orange rye from
Brenner bros in Seattle and it made the best French toast I've ever tasted. Try it!

And thanks for the mouthwatering post.