The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Jewish Sour Rye: an update

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Jewish Sour Rye: an update

Ten years ago, in October, 2008, I first converted George Greenstein's recipe for Jewish Sour Rye from volumetric to weighed ingredients. I posted my formula here, and I make this bread with some frequency. I recently noted that I apparently never did document the baker's math for this formula, which makes it more challenging to scale up or down. So, after making a 3 pound loaf of this wonderful bread today, I worked out the baker's math, and I will share it, along with a more heavily annotated set of procedures.

 

Jewish Sour Rye Bread

David Snyder

Total Dough

 

 

Ingredient

Wt (g)

Bakers' %

Medium rye flour

375

44

Bread flour*

480

56

Water

615

72

Sea salt

12

1.4

Instant yeast

7

0.8

Altus (optional)#

1/2 cup

 

Caraway seeds

1 tbsp

 

Polenta for dusting loaf bottom

1-2 tbsp

 

Cornstarch glaze #

 

 

Total

1489

174.2

* Traditionally, the wheat flour used in Jewish Sour Rye is First Clear Flour. Bread flour (13-14% protein) can be substituted. The flavor will be slightly different. If higher protein flour is used, some increase in hydration would be needed to achieve the proper dough consistency. All Purpose flour (10-11.5% protein) can also be used, but hydration may need to be decreased. See below for more details.

# See Ingredient Notes

Rye Sour (Levain)

 

 

Ingredient

Wt (g)

Bakers' %

Medium rye flour

312

100

Water

312

100

Active starter (rye or wheat), 100% hydration

126

40

Total

750

240

 

Final Dough

 

Ingredient

Wt (g)

Bread flour

480

Water

240

Sea salt

12

Instant yeast

7

Altus (optional)

1/2 cup

Rye sour

750

Caraway seeds

1 tbsp

Polenta (to dust loaf bottom)

1-2 tbsp

Total

1489

 

Procedures

  1. Two days before you are planning to bake the rye breads, active your rye sour and build it to sufficient weight, as described below.

  2. One day before you are planning to bake the rye breads, soak your altus, if using. The cornstarch glaze can be made a day or two ahead or at the last minute, while the loaves are proofing (Step 10., below).

  3. In a large bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, dissolve the yeast in the water, then add the rye sour and altus, if using it, and mix thoroughly with your hands, a spoon or, if using a mixer, with the paddle.

  4. Stir the salt into the flour and add this to the bowl and mix well.

  5. Dump the dough onto the lightly floured board and knead until smooth. If using a mixer, switch to the dough hook and knead at Speed 2 until the dough begins to clear the sides of the bowl (8-12 minutes). Add the Caraway Seeds about 1 minute before finished kneading. Even if using a mixer, I transfer the dough to the board and continue kneading for a couple minutes. The dough should be smooth but a bit sticky.

  6. Form the dough into a ball and transfer it to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowl and let it rest for 15-20 minutes.

  7. Transfer the dough back to the board and divide it into two equal pieces for 1.5 lb loaves. (Can be baked as one 3 lb loaf, with adjustments described below in Step 13.)

  8. Form each piece into a pan loaf, free-standing long loaf or boule.

  9. Dust a piece of parchment paper or a baking pan liberally with cornmeal, and transfer the loaves to the parchment, smooth side up, keeping them at least 3 inches apart so they do not join when risen. Alternately, transfer the formed loaves to floured bannetons/brotformen. If using a basket for proofing, place the loaves smooth side down.

  10. Cover the loaves and let them rise until double in size. (About 60-75 minutes.)

  11. Pre-heat the oven to 500ºF with a baking stone in place. Prepare your oven steaming method of choice.

  12. When the loaves are fully proofed, uncover them. Brush them with the cornstarch glaze. Score them. (3 cuts across the long axis of the loaves would be typical.) Turn down the oven to 460ºF. Transfer the loaves to the oven, and steam the oven.

  13. After 15 minutes, remove any container with water from the oven, turn down the oven to 440ºF and continue baking for 20-25 minutes more. (If baking one 3 lb loaf, turn the oven down to 425ºF rather than 440ºF and bake for another 35 minutes rather than 20-25 minutes.)

  14. The loaves are done when the crust is very firm, the internal temperature is at least 205ºF and the loaves give a “hollow” sound when thumped on the bottom.

  15. Transfer the loaves to a cooling rack. Brush again with the cornstarch solution.

  16. Cool completely before slicing.


This is a 3 pound loaf, twice the size of the Jewish Sour Rye I most often make. It was made for a "deli night" at my synagogue. It should keep a good-size portion of corn beef well-contained. This bread was made with Central Milling'a Organic Medium Rye and Breadtopia's Organic High-gluten Bread Flour.

For your interest, the slices are approximately 5 inches across and 4 inches high.

Notes on Ingredients

Flours: Jewish Sour Rye Bread, often called “Deli Rye” or “New York Rye Bread,” is traditionally made with white rye flour and First Clear Flour.

White rye flour is rye flour from which the bran and the germ have been removed during milling. It is comparable to all purpose (wheat) flour. It is pretty bland in flavor, which is fine, if you don't like the flavor of rye. However, I do like rye, and I prefer to make this bread with either “Medium Rye Flour” or stone ground whole rye flour.

First Clear Flour is a wheat flour made from what's left after the central part of the endosperm has been removed. The latter is used in so-called “Patent Flour,” which is the whitest (and blandest) of wheat flours, short of the bleached varieties. First Clear was regarded as somewhat inferior to patent flour in the past and was presumably relatively inexpensive. I would guess this is why it was used by the New York Jewish Bakeries for their rye breads. First Clear Flour is more flavorful than all purpose and has more color. Its flavor is distinctive. Chemically, it is relatively high in minerals, which is a good thing for both the organisms in the rye sour and for the human consumer. It is also high in protein, although the gluten is said to be of relatively poor quality. Today, First Clear is hard to find and is costly. I find that it does contribute to the authentic Jewish Sour Rye flavor, but the difference in flavor when a white high-gluten flour is substituted is pretty small.

Altus: “Altus” comes from the German/Yiddish word for “old.” In the baking context, it refers to bread – generally rye bread – from a previous bake that is soaked in water. The absorbed water is squeezed out and the altus is incorporated into a new batch of dough.

Altus was originally a way for a baker to re-cycle bread that had not sold the day before. Bakeries had a slim profit margin, and they could not make a living if anything was wasted. However, the practice of using altus became so prevalent that the German government eventually set a limit on how much altus a loaf of bread could contain. In truth, rather than detracting from the quality of rye bread, the use of altus – at least in small proportions – actually enhances the flavor and texture of the fresh-baked loaf.

If I have part of a rye loaf that is not going to get eaten before it gets stale, I wrap it in plastic wrap, put it in a food safe plastic bag and freeze it. Then, the night before I am going to be making rye bread, I take it out of the freezer to thaw overnight. The next morning, I cut the crust off of thick slices and cut the bread into 1” cubes. I place these in a bowl and cover it with boiling water. After an hour or so, I remove the bread in handfuls, squeeze out the water and set the altus aside to incorporate into the rye bread dough I will be mixing.

Cornstarch glaze: Jewish Sour Rye Bread is customarily brushed with something before and/or after baking to make the crust shiny. It could be brushed with egg white, water or cornstarch. I think cornstarch is most common, and that is what I use.

To prepare the cornstarch glaze, whisk 1-1/2 to 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch in ¼ cup of water. Pour this slowly into a sauce pan containing 1 cup of gently boiling water, whisking constantly. Continue cooking and stirring until slightly thickened (a few seconds, only!) and remove the pan from heat. Set it aside.

Care and Feeding of a Rye Sour:

“Rye Sour” is the term used for a sourdough starter fed with rye flour. Whether you have a healthy rye sour already or are going to be making yours by converting a wheat-based sourdough stater to rye, I recommend building the sour up to sufficient quantity over three “builds.” This involves starting with a small amount of rye or wheat sourdough starter, feeding it water and fresh rye flour, letting that mix ferment, feeding it again and repeating this process a total of three times to end up with sufficient rye sour for making your rye bread dough. The rule of thumb is that, each time you feed a rye sour, you should be at least doubling its total weight. So, for example, to make the rye sour for the formula given above, I would proceed as follows:

First feeding (makes about 80g)

  1. Place 20g of rye sour (or wheat-based sourdough starter) in a small bowl.

  2. Add 30g of warm water and mix to dissolve the sour in the water.

  3. Add 30g of rye flour and mix thoroughly. This will make a fairly thick paste.

  4. Smooth the past out and cover it completely with additional rye flour sprinkled over the surface in a thin layer.

  5. Cover the bowl and let it ferment until it is ripe. The sour is “ripe” when it has increased in volume to form a shallow “dome” which pushes the dry flour on the surface apart to form widely spaced “islands.” (Depending on how active your seed sour is, this may take anywhere between 6 and 16 hours. I usually starter with a sour that hasn't been feed very recently, so it needs to be “activated” by this first feeding. I generally do this before bedtime and let it ferment overnight.)

Second feeding (makes about 280g)

  1. Transfer the rye sour into a clean, medium bowl.

  2. Add 100g of warm water and mix to dissolve the sour in the water.

  3. Add 100g of rye flour and mix thoroughly. This will make a fairly thick paste.

  4. Smooth the past out and cover it completely with additional rye flour sprinkled over the surface in a thin layer.

  5. Cover the bowl and let it ferment until it is ripe. (Since the sour is now more active, this “build” usually ripens in 6-8 hours. So, I might do this feeding in the morning and expect to do the third feeding mid-afternoon of the same day.)

Third Feeding (makes about 800g)

 

  1. Transfer the rye sour into a clean, large bowl.

  2. Add 260g of warm water and mix to dissolve the sour in the water.

  3. Add 260g of rye flour and mix thoroughly. This will make a fairly thick paste.

  4. Smooth the past out and cover it completely with additional rye flour sprinkled over the surface in a thin layer.

  5. Cover the bowl and let it ferment until it is ripe. (Since the sour is generally very active by now, I expect it to be ripe in 4-7 hours. If I have fed it in the mid-afternoon, it will be ripe between my dinner time and bed time. At this point, I usually refrigerate the rye sour overnight, tightly covered. This overnight “retardation” will result in more acid building up in the sour and a more sour flavor in the bread. I happen to enjoy that. If you don't like your rye bread as sour, you need to work out your feedings so the third feeding is ripe at a convenient time for you to proceed. This could include a shorter period of cold retardation, if that is more convenient for you.)

  6. You can save the leftover rye sour for the next time you bake, if you want. If so, put it in a clean small bowl with a tight-fitting cover, and keep it refrigerated. This will stay healthy for a couple weeks at least. If you want to keep it longer without using it to make bread, just do a First feeding, as described above, and refrigerate that without letting it ferment at room temperature.

Ripe Rye Sour, illustrating the dry rye flour divided into "islands" by expansion of the ripening sour.

Happy baking!

David

Comments

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

I am in awe of the size of this thing! And I am surprised that only 10 minutes more were needed to bake it through. I bet it was delicious!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

This was a trial bake. I judge it a winner. The bake time is actually 15 minutes longer. I usually bake the smaller loaves for 35 minutes total. This larger loaf was baked for 50 minutes total.

FYI, there are a couple tweaks for my next bake: First, if I do use the same high-gluten flour, I will increase hydration significantly. But, I will probably use a 12.5% protein "Bread Flour" rather than the 14% protein "Hi-gluten flour." Second, I will use a different shaping method. This time, I tried a new (to me) method, and I like my usual method better.

David

WatertownNewbie's picture
WatertownNewbie

Another great bake from you as well as superb documentation and a lesson in how to make this fine bread.  One look and I wanted to have a couple of slices for a nice sandwich.  Must be truly yummy.

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

I’ve been making a lot of rye breads lately using different recipes but today I decided to get ready to make my favorite Greenstein’s rye. I’ve always used your directions for this and I decided to check if you’ve made any changes or additions to the method. I typed your name and rye bread in google and up this came. Amazing, you added this just yesterday. Timing was perfect.

thank you for the update, the new information is a great help. Your breads are always beautiful. Now I have to decide if I want to spend the money for first clear flour or not. Any suggestions about best FCF and where to buy it?

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Nice to hear from you! I must have heard you broadcasting sour rye vibes. ;-)

If you really like Jewish Sour Rye, I would say you should at least once make it with First Clear flour, if only to see if it makes a significant difference to you. For me, I taste the difference and prefer it with First Clear, but not so much that I would not make it if I didn't have any First Clear. Hope that makes sense.

I usually get First Clear from King Arthur Flour. theryebaker dot com also carries it. I haven't used the latter, but I trust Stan's quality products.

Happy baking!

David

Elsie_iu's picture
Elsie_iu

Just one question: what alteration is needed if I want to omit instant yeast in the formula? You've probably answered in elsewhere so please bear with me :)

I've attempted at making 30-40% rye with either regular whole rye or sprouted rye. The bread often came out under-proofed and sticky though it was baked to 208°F and was sliced only after 6 hours of cooling... I'm not eager to give up on rye yet but don't want to get discouraged again.

If only nice rye bread like yours would come out of my oven one day...

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I don't believe I have ever omitted the instant yeast from this bread. Note that it is a very small amount. If it were left out, the main effect would be to slow the bulk fermentation and proofing. But, since both are short already, this should be manageable. Just remember to watch your dough, not the clock.

What you describe is not likely due to under-proofing. Are you pre-fermenting your rye flour or using it without fermentation? You will be more successful with rye breads if most, if not all, the rye flour is pre-fermented. The acid that develops inhibits amylase activity. It sounds like you may be experiencing the famous "starch attack."

I recommend you try either this recipe with our without the IY. Or try another rye bread recipe from an authoritative source like Hamelman's "Bread" or Ginsberg's "The Rye Baker." 

David

Elsie_iu's picture
Elsie_iu

The 40% rye bread I baked had two problems: under-proofed (dense at the bottom) and sticky crumb. I'm not sure why but the dough seemed reluctant to rise. It took notably longer to bulk ferment than any other dough I have worked with, which included all kinds of flour combination with whole grain red & white wheat, spelt, kamut, eirkorn, durum, buckwheat, masa harina, rice, barley, millet... :)

I didn't put all the rye flour into the preferment in my previous bakes so I'll try it this weekend. For the time being, I should pray to the amylase god so that he would have mercy on me.

Thanks for the help, David!

Elsie

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Pastrami from Katz's happy.  Some mustard, sauerkraut and some of your fermented pickles would be perfect.  I wonder if there is such a thing as Jewish fermented mustard?  This is some fine bread David.  Thanks for sharing and happy baking.

I checked and there is a Jewish tradition of making fermented mustard too.  So I am making some with your pickles too!

Syd's picture
Syd

Looks absolutely delicious David.  Would so love a slice of that.  The sheen on the crust so enticing.  It's been a while since I visited these parts, and reassuringly not much has changed: you're still baking fabulous loaves.  :)

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Thanks! Nice to hear from you again!

Happy baking!

David

Mike Wurlitzer's picture
Mike Wurlitzer

This looks/sounds fantastic.

I just baked 2 loafs from theryebaker site: 8-Hour Quick Sponge Deli Rye and was very pleased with the ease and results.

While this recipe appears to be more complex it seems much closer to what I've been told how a Jewish Rye is made.

Thanks for taking the time to post it.

vstyn's picture
vstyn

   My Bake today:  Flours: I Milled Breadtopia Rye Grain Berries and used The New York Bakers Miller First Clear Flour.      Baked in Romertopf.    Thanks to David!                                                                                               

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

How do you like it?

By sheer coincidence, I also made a couple loaves of Jewish Sour Rye for the first time in many months. Mine is still cooling, so no crumb photo yet. 

Happy baking!

David

vstyn's picture
vstyn

They were so good!  I had to make a reuben last night.

 

Thanks

 

Vic 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

One just has to take the call when reuben rings.

Happy baking!

David

 

Christine_P's picture
Christine_P

Hi David and other deli rye experts.  I am a regular lurker here and have accomplished wonderful things with my sourdough baking.  This was my first foray into yeast bread (other than pizza dough) and I knew that the deli rye would be tricky.  But I'm a New Yorker living in Dallas, I wanted to try...   I read and read.  I found a place to order First Clear flour.  I purchased a decent bakery German rye loaf just to have something to make an altus (overkill, I know).  I used mostly commercial light rye and added just a bit of home milled, filtered rye to approximate a bit of "medium".  

I bought "Secrets of a Jewish Baker" and used David's helpful posts alongside the original, especially since I wanted to seed my rye sour with sourdough starter vs with commercial yeast.  I made a single loaf, so halved the recipe.  I weighed and reconfirmed with the original recipe in the book.  I added a little extra flour because it was quite wet, but with the altus that was to be expected and I didn't exceed the range in the original recipe.  I used a Kitchen Aid followed by hand kneading.  I shaped using the method from a Cooks Illustrated deli rye bread video to get the torpedo shape vs using my usual sourdough batard shaping techniques.

A little obsessive, no?  Well, this was a near complete failure.  My worst bread attempt ever.  Picture a turtle run over by a Mack truck, but with a nice shiny crust.  That's my loaf.  Interestingly, the taste and crumb is pretty good.  It's just a dead turtle pancake.

Why does this recipe call for shaping the loaf so early and then letting it rise?  It split on me.  The tear started well before it was doubled.  Once the tear started, it continued to burst open, turning my loaf into a sad blob even before it went into the oven.  I had the shaped loaf on cornmeal-dusted parchment on a quarter sheet with a roomy shower cap cover and in my Brod & Taylor proofer set to 78.  It might have been overproofed (not sure) but the split happened relatively early during the rise and I feel like there was no saving it once that started.

I ALMOST decided to use a banneton to let the loaf rise, but decided not to.  I regret this, but in theory I should have been able to get it to work as a free form loaf rising, just like the recipe indicates.

What could I have done differently to prevent this split?  I am wondering if a recipe that shapes later in the process would be less prone to problems?  

Thanks for any ideas.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I suspect at least two problems: First, you do need to shape with no weak spots to avoid splitting. Second, you need to support the sides of the loaf while it proofs or you get a pancake. I you did that and still got a pancake, you may need to reduce dough hydration some. I can't rule out over-proofing. For me, under-proofing has been more of a problem.

The very short bulk fermentation is typical of sour rye breads. Remember, all the rye in this recipe is pre-fermented.

David

Christine_P's picture
Christine_P

Thanks, David.  I do a good job of shaping high hydration, multigrain sourdough but this was a different beast for me.  I thought I did an okay job, but maybe not.  I don't have a good sense of the desired consistency with this dough or how to build strength the way I do with my usual sourdoughs.  I'll need to learn.

I did not support the sides while the loaf was proofing.  I was afraid the dough would stick and it didn't really register that this would be important, having never seen a formed loaf split before (but I always use a banneton, so it's all new).  I do have a couche and that might have helped.  

I'll try this one again at some point.  For now, I'm trying Reinhardt's New York Deli Rye tomorrow.  The methodology is more like what I'm used to doing. It could be a good stepping stone. Maybe I will have better luck this time.  Every failure is a learning experience. 

Thanks again!

 

Another Girl's picture
Another Girl

Hi Christine_P. Like you, I am a long time lurker on this site. I'm wondering whether you made Reinhart's NY Deli Rye and how it worked out for you. I started baking bread many years ago because I was on a mission to re-create the Jewish rye of my childhood. Greenstein's Jewish Rye was my go-to recipe for a long, long time. Over the years, I tried other recipes but always went back to Greenstein. At some point, I tried Hamelman's Forty Percent Caraway Rye and found it to be a surprisingly close approximation of the bread I enjoyed as a kid with the added advantages of using more readily available flours and having a simpler overall process. It has long since superseded Greenstein as my go-to recipe for Jewish/Deli/NY Rye even though it's not named Jewish/Deli/New York Rye. I have a copy of Reinhart's BBA, but never noticed that it has a deli rye formula until I read your post. I see that it is an enriched dough which seems "off" to me, but the proof is in the pudding. If you don't mind sharing, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it. Thanks.

Christine_P's picture
Christine_P

Hi Another Girl.  Yes, I made Reinhart’s NY Deli Rye.  It was tasty and made nice sandwiches but it was not a deli rye.  I think your suspicions are correct.  

One annoying factor is that in my ebook edition, there was an error in amount of oil.  It’s used to sauté the onion but also added in the next phase.  When reviewing the total dough formula, it confirmed my suspicion that the second instruction was incorrect, but I had already added it.  My ebook version also had a whole section with stretch and folds for 80 minutes that didn’t quite make sense with the rest of the recipe.  I started trying to do them, then decided it seemed like an editing error and text just pasted into the wrong recipe.  Online versions of the recipe repeated by bloggers don’t try to have stretch and folds.  So it was confusing but thankfully tasty.  I wimped out and dumped it in a bread pan but I think it would have been a failure as a free standing loaf.

I need to try Greenstein’s recipe again.  I think part of my problem is that I halved the recipe to make just one loaf, but tried to use a stand mixer and I think it wasn’t enough dough to really ball up and do its thing.  I generally do everything by hand when making sourdough loaves.  I will forgo the mixer next time, and I think my hydration may have been too high.  I also think I’ll just use a banneton for my next attempt until I get better at rye.  I am also wondering if my flour is really all that it should be.  I struggled to find white rye and finally found something on Amazon from an unfamiliar supplier.  The first clear was hard to find too but this one is from Bay State Milling so probably okay.  It may seem like I’m making excuses, but I get such good results with all sorts of sourdough loaves, even when I experiment with different types of home milled grains.  My first porridge loaf was even a success!   The rye... not so much.  Oy.

Another Girl's picture
Another Girl

If you have been missing "the real thing," you will be very happy with it. I spent longer than I should have struggling with consistency issues, but rye was new to me back then and I had no real sense of what the dough was supposed to be like. The weights and handling advice on this site will get you there. Thanks so much for sharing your experience on Reinhart's NY Rye. With the availability of flour being what it is these days, I guess I better save what I have for my tried and true formulas. I appreciate your help.

Happy baking!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I have been using a "white rye" flour from Central Milling for a few years now. It is not like the usual white rye. It still has some bran and germ. It is supposed to be a clone of German Type 110 rye flour. I have also been using "bread flour," but the flavor, while good, has not been "right." KABaking has been out of First Clear Flour. I found some organic first clear sold by a farmer and miller in Illinois - QualityOrganic dot net. It is milled to order, so very fresh stuff. It is darker than the King Arthur First Clear, and the loaf crumb ends up much darker in color. The flavor is excellent though. I am relieved, because I bought 12 pounds of the stuff! No affiliation, etc

Here are photos of my recent bake:

David

 

Christine_P's picture
Christine_P

Nice bake!  I think I spotted you posting this on one of the FB bread groups last week.  Looks delicious.  The color reminds me of the shissel rye loaves from Russ & Daughters.  I think I need to order some herring soon (yes, they deliver overnight) since who knows how long it will be until I am in NY again.  

Central Milling has something called a medium white rye which they say is in between a white and a dark, so I always assumed that was really "medium rye".  Rye vocabulary is so inconsistent. Is that what you mean when you say "white rye" from Central Milling?  

I do mill my own rye and filter it (imprecisely) but I do that for small portions of rye in my multigrain sourdough loaves and was hesitant to try it for the deli rye until I really know what I'm doing.  The revival of this thread made me search again this morning and I found white rye from Janie's Mill, available in small quantities, so jumped on that to order it.  

Bakers Authority sells small quantities of First Clear that they leave unbranded, but if you look at the spec sheet it is from Bay State Milling out of Boston.  That makes me think it might be okay, though it's not organic.  I only purchased a small amount.  I probably have enough left for 3 or 4 more loaves, so I may check out the other source without too much guilt.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Thanks!

Probably wine herring is my favorite meal with this bread. I am getting some cold smoked salmon tomorrow. I personally prefer lox and cream cheese on a dark rye bread to bagels. It makes wonderful toast when darkly toasted. My MIL ate rye toast with halva! 

I have not used Bay State's First Clear flour, but only because the shipping cost from the two sources I know is so high.

The rye I used is the "Medium White Rye" to which you referred. I have also used it in a 90% rye formula and a 70% rye. All have been very good.

David

harum's picture
harum

organic first clear?  Thank you for the link!  I could only find "Clear First Flour" for Transitional Hard Red Spring (Bread) Wheat at the qualityorganic site but not for their two organic varieties, Hard and Soft Red Winter.   Would like to try their flours however not sure where "transitional" wheat is on the scale between "conventional" and "organic".   

Best wishes, h.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I am not sure what "transitional" means either. I suggest you communicate with Brian Severson himself. I have the impression he is accessible to customers.

Let us know what you find out.

David

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I know little about rye breads. While participating in the Rye CB, I came upon this post. I wanted to thank you for such a thorough and informative writeup. The historical mentions made it even more interesting.

Thanks for the many post that you have published over the years. The baking community is blessed by you...

Danny

Lee-In-VT's picture
Lee-In-VT

Sir, Having rediscovered sourdough baking recently, for me the holy grail is Jewish Rye bread that tastes and chews right.  After some disappointment I've had two very successful loaves following (mostly) your generously detailed directions.  I grew up in east Cleveland, so I know the taste! I think your three stage rye sour development is key, unlike recipes that sour the white flour then work in rye.  I don't use added yeast, without it, as you said it just makes for longer proofing , which can only improve the taste. To me using yeast is a little like cheating.  I use KA whole wheat flour which worked great, with a little Durham flour too. I don't know why, maybe to boost the KA flour but it really didn't need it, it's a great flour I think, high protein, works so well. And I do a good amount of kneading.

Being an opinionated person, allow me to comment on a couple of statements you made previously.  Firstly, if you're going to eat rye bread with herring, I vote strongly in favor of cream herring rather than wine. Unless you're lactose intolerant.  But the ultimate Jewish rye bread topping of choice must remain home rendered schmaltz melting on warm bread.  Which brings me to your final instruction "Cool completely before slicing".  Well, maybe you can wait.  After maybe ten minutes or so, I'll cut off an end, then carefully cut a slice using a very sharp bread knife, cutting carefully up from bottom of the loaf (where it's softer) to avoid crushing, then plugging the cut end back it place for further cooling. I'm afraid I don't possess your will power.

Thanks for the guidance,  Lee