Recently, someone asked me for advice on how to get their cookbook published. On rereading my response, I thought that others might find it helpful, so here goes:
|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.
|Stages:||Scald, Final dough|
|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.
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.
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.
|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.
|Stages:||Stage 1 sponge, Stage 2 sponge, Final dough|
|Leaven:||Rye sour culture|
|Start to Finish:||26-30 hours|
|Hands-on Time:||35-45 minutes|
|Yield:||Two 2¾ lb./1.25 kg loaves|
The Danes are known for their rye breads, of which there are dozens of variations, all of which are called “Rugbrød.” Most are sweet and dense, loaded with seeds and coarse rye meal to provide both richness and a satisfyingly rustic coarse mouth feel.
by John Melngailis – Partner, Black Rooster Food, LLC
NOTE: I first met John Melngailis at Bread Furst, James Beard winner Mark Furstenburg’s Washington DC bakery. Mark had been kind enough to arrange for me to appear at the bakery to publicize The Rye Baker, and invited John, whose love of his native Latvian rye breads prompted him to found Black Rooster Food and start baking them commercially. Needless to say, John and I hit it off immediately, spending a good part of the morning talking about the marvels of Baltic rye. He was also kind enough to bring me a loaf of each of his breads — dense, sweet-sour rupjmaize, and a triangular loaf of his fruit-and-nut holiday bread, both of which were extraordinary. So when John sent me this essay on his relationship with the bread he loves, I simply had to share; it’s a fascinating read.
|Stages:||Sponge, Scald, Scald-sponge, Final dough|
|Leaven:||Rye sour culture|
|Start to Finish:||11 hours|
|Hands-on Time:||40-50 minutes|
|Yield:||One 2¼ lb/1.0 kg loaf|
I’d been meaning to make Vitebsk Rye for some time – ever since I found it in Mike Zhuravel’s magnificent Russian-language bread blog, O Khlebye. The result made me wonder why I’d waited so long: this is a truly splendid Belarusian rye bread.