The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Latvian Rye Bread -- My Bake

WatertownNewbie's picture

Latvian Rye Bread -- My Bake

This bread continues my adventures with rye bread, having done a couple of Borodinsky recipes as well as Lithuanian recipes.  The inspiration to give it a try came from the recent posting by alcophile, and I actually began this loaf before Benito posted his bake.  The process differs from almost anything else that I have baked and involves essentially a forty hour poolish followed by one hour for the final mixing, shaping, and proofing.

For the most part I followed the steps outlined in Stanley Ginsberg's recipe.  One deviation was to mix the final dough by hand, but I could feel the dough gain some strength as I worked it and do not believe that a hand mixing cost me anything.  The dough is fairly dense and could be done in a stand mixer for those who prefer that approach.  I also did not return the loaf to the oven after applying the cornstarch glaze.  The heat from the loaf itself seems sufficient to set the glaze.

Here are views of the top from an angle and of the side.

There were more cracks than in the other types of rye bread that I have made, and my general sense is that perhaps a slightly longer final proofing (mine was 43 minutes) might get the bread closer to its final height and avoid the sudden expansion from oven spring.  The loaf weighed 1537 grams, and the dimensions are 10" x 6-1/2" x 3".  Despite being fairly dense, the bread has a tender crumb and great flavor.

Here are views of the crumb and of a slice.

This is yet another rye bread that I will be baking again.  Thanks to alcophile for his posting and for the others who have baked this bread and shared their experiences.

Happy baking.



squattercity's picture

brīnišķīgi - which googletranslate tells me means 'marvelous'

WatertownNewbie's picture

Many thanks for your comment and for taking the time to read the blog.  I wonder how "marvelous" is pronounced.

Benito's picture

That is very nice Ted, in particular the oven spring you attained, I would take the cracks for the excellent spring and tall profile of your loaf.  Well done, it is such an interesting process isn’t it?


WatertownNewbie's picture

The overall dimensions are nice.  Yes, this process seems more about waiting a long time and then doing something that takes a couple of minutes and then waiting a long time again.  But the result is fine.  Overall so far I think my favorite of the rye breads is the classic Borodinsky.

alcophile's picture

That loaf looks excellent! I'm glad that you like the finished result.

I can't take a lot of credit for this recent Latvian rye craze, as it was Econprof's Christmas bakes that finally got me off the mark on this delicious bread.

I'll have to tackle the Borodinsky sometime for comparison.

WatertownNewbie's picture

Thanks for your comments.  One thing leads to another, and you were my impetus.  Perhaps my bake will nudge someone else to bake this bread.  One of the beautiful aspects of this site.

If you decide to do a Borodinsky, do the classic 1940 version.  I am certain that you will enjoy it.

Econprof's picture

The one I made during the holidays didn’t turn out right, but after seeing everyone else’s beautiful bakes, I had to make it my first bake after I got back. It’s in process now.

WatertownNewbie's picture

Hope your bake turns out well.  Please post the result.  In the past year I have baked recipes from Lithuania, Russia, and Latvia and have found all of them to be a great use of dark rye flour.