We used to get our rye bread from the Brooklyn bakery out of Waterbury at our local German butcher, Adolphs. But since the bakery stopped delivering and Adolphs stopped going to pick it up, a wide gap appeared.
And…since I got heavily into baking last fall, I have been experimenting with various recipes to try to reach a similar bread.
Today, I think the formula has finally been reached. I’ve been hanging out on a forum called The Fresh Loaf and found a recipe for Jewish style sour rye that I used parts of along with another recipe posted by goodcooking.com. After some trial and error, today the bread came out almost perfectly…I’d like it a little higher so maybe I’ll proof it a little less.
Just out of the oven and gorgeously golden brown. The flavor has lots of sour but I think the next time I make it I’m going to back down the caraway seeds to a single tablespoon.
Sour Jewish Style Rye Bread
1.5 -2 cups warm water
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. yeast
700 -750 grams Rye Sour*
1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
¾ cup Potato Flour
1 cup Rye Flour
1.5 tbsp. kosher salt
2 tbsp. caraway seeds
4.5-5 cups Bread Flour
1 egg, beaten with a little water for brushing or cornstarch glaze*
In a mixer or by hand combine 1 cup warm water with sour starter, sugar and yeast, mix and let sit for 10 minutes. Add the potato flour, whole wheat flour, rye, salt, caraway seeds and 2 cups of the bread flour.
Mix on low speed for 2-3 minutes with a dough hook, adding additional bread flour while increasing the speed to medium and mix 6 minutes longer, until all the flour is absorbed into the dough to form a sticky, slightly stiff dough.
Remove the dough from the bowl and transfer to a floured surface and knead a few times with a few handfuls of flour. The dough will be quite soft and sticky so use wet or floured hands. Transfer to proofing bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rise 2 hours @ 70 Degrees F. or until doubled in size.
Divide dough into two pieces (or one large depending on your choice) and shape into oblong loaves, place on parchment covered baking pans that have been sprinkled with semolina flour or fine cornmeal . Cover and let rise for 40 minutes at @ 75-80 Degrees F.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. When the loaves have been fully proofed, carefully remove cover. Slash the dough 3 times across the top with a very sharp knife or razor blade about 3/4 of an inch deep and then brush the dough surface with the egg wash or cornstarch glaze. Pour a cup of boiling water into a pan that has been placed on the oven’s bottom to create steam. After 2 minutes, place the loaves into the oven. After 10 minutes reduce the oven to 375 degree F. Continue to bake for 30 minutes or until center is 190-200 degrees F. turning the loaves after half the baking time for even baking. If making one large loaf increase baking time to 45 minutes or until center reaches appropriate temperature. Remove to cooling racks and wait at least 1 hour before slicing.
*Rye Sour – If you already have a wheat sour, you can use it as a base for the rye sour. Feed a cup of wheat sour equal amounts of rye flour and water 2-3 times a day for 2-3 days, sprinkling the top with a layer of rye flour after each feeding, until it has at least doubled in volume and the top forms cracks and little islands. You can keep this sour in the fridge. The night before baking, remove a cup and feed it with one cup each of rye flour and water. Before bed, feed it again with 1/2 cups of rye flour and water, again sprinkling the top with rye flour and leave overnight. It should be doubled in volume the next morning, ready for the bake and be the correct amount for the recipe.
**Instead of the egg wash, you can also use a cornstarch glaze:
Add 1-1/2 to 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch that has been dissolved in ¼ cup of water into 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.
Brush the loaves with the cornstarch glaze before placing in the oven, once again when turning the pans halfway and once again after completely baked. Cool the bread on wire racks for at least 1 hour before slicing.