Join Us on This Year’s
European Rye Tours

“Thank you for such an amazing tour. Everything about it was truly an experience we will remember for a long time. I’m so glad we had the opportunity to join you on the tour and I hope you keep the adventure going.” — Janice Holmes (2019)

Join The Rye Baker, Stanley Ginsberg,
on a once-in-a-lifetime baker’s journey.

Openings are limited; Contact Us!

Bohemian Forest Bread/ Böhmerwaldbrot
(Austria/Bavaria/Czech Republic)

Rye %:

86%

Stages:

Stage 1 Rye Sponge, Stage 2 Rye Sponge, Wheat Sponge, Soaker, Final Dough

Leaven:

Rye sour culture

Start to Finish:

20-22 hours

Hands-on Time:

45-60 minutes

Yield:

Two 2 pound/900 gram loaves

I found this bread in Dietmar Kappl’s’ ever-fascinating blog, homebaking.at and was immediately intrigued by its provenance – the region once known as Bohemia, and which today straddles the borders of three countries – Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic. Keep Reading

Halme Bakery’s Ring Rye/Ruisreikäleipä (Finland)

Rye %: 91%
Stages: Sponge, Final dough
Leaven: Rye sour culture, Instant yeast
Start to Finish: 17-21 hours
Hands-on Time: 30-40 minutes
Yield: Two 1¼ lb/575 gram loaves + two 2¾ oz/50g rolls

During the 2019 Rye Tour to Finland and Latvia, our guide in Helsinki, sourdough baker and author Eliisa Kuusela, arranged a visit – actually two (of which more in a bit) – to Leipomo Halme, a 120 year-old bakery in Espoo, about 30 minutes northwest of central Helsinki. Keep Reading

Carrot-Potato Tarts/Sklandrauši (Latvia)

Rye %: 100%
Stages: Straight dough
Leaven: None
Start to Finish: 1 hour
Hands-on Time: 40 minutes
Yield: About 1½ dozen three-inch tarts

During my first full day in Riga, I had lunch with Ieva, who helped me plan the 2018 Baltic Rye Tour. We met at a traditional Latvian restaurant nestled by a cobblestoned street and surrounded by 18th century buildings in the Old City. As we discussed the itinerary, which centered on Riga and southeastern Latvia, she said, “You should really go to Kurzeme (Latvia’s western province). They make these wonderful rye tarts filled with carrots.” I sipped my beer and filed the thought away for further consideration. Keep Reading

Finnish Malt Bread/Mallas Leipää

Rye %: 51%
Stages: Scald, Final dough
Leaven: Instant yeast
Start to Finish: 4-4½ hours
Hands-on Time: 30 minutes
Yield: Three 1¾ lb/800 g loaves

One of the breads I discovered on Baltic Rye Tour 2018 was this simple and lovely Finnish malt bread. I first tasted it at the Wi-Box Bakery in Raseborg, on Finland’s southwestern coast, where Swedish influence is very strong. It was an immediate hit, not just with me, but with all 18 members of our jolly band of bread nerds. Keep Reading

Reflections: Baltic Rye Tour 2018

It’s been a couple of weeks since my return from The Rye Baker Baltic Rye Tour 2018 – enough time for the impressions and memories to mellow and integrate and for me to gain some perspective on a whirlwind of sights, sounds, tastes and human interactions. In all, we were 18; most of us dedicated bread nerds, both professionals and home bakers, united in our desire to experience rye on its home turf and hungry to expand our knowledge of the unruly grain. Keep Reading

Experience Baltic Rye at its Source


On September 25, 2018, I’ll be leading a group of up to 20 bakers and bread enthusiasts on a 12-day bakers’ tour of coastal Finland and Latvia. We’ll explore the cities and countryside, visit farms and mills, meet with national bakers’ associations. And, most important, we’ll learn from the bakers who produce some of the world’s finest rye breads. For details, visit the tour website. Keep Reading

Palanga Rye/Ruginė Duona iš Palangos (Lithuania)

Rye %: 90%
Stages: Sourdough sponge, Scald, Scald-sponge (Opara), Yeast sponge, Final dough
Leaven: Rye sour culture, Instant yeast
Start to Finish: 24-30 hours
Hands-on Time: 45-50 minutes
Yield: One 3¼ lb/1.46 kg loaf

My weakness for Baltic rye breads took over when I found this recipe in a Polish blog. Just to set the scene, Palanga is a coastal resort in western Lithuania, on the shores of the Baltic whose white sand beaches attract tourists from all over Europe, especially Poles and Germans. I suspect that this bread, which is lighter in both color and flavor that the other Baltic ryes I’ve encountered, is intended to appeal to the tastes of the town’s economically important summer visitors. Instead of the wholegrain rye flour that’s commonly used in Baltic breads, this one uses Type 1150, a much lighter blend that can be approximated by mixing 2/3 medium rye and 1/3 white rye. Keep Reading