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Stanley Ginsberg

Stanley Ginsberg, author of the upcoming The Rye Baker (W.W. Norton & Co., Sept. 2015), is owner-proprietor of The New York Bakers (www.nybakers.com), an online purveyor of professional baking ingredients, supplies and equipment to home and hobbyist bakers. His first book, Inside the Jewish Bakery, received the IACP's 2012 Jane Grigson Award. A native New Yorker, he and his wife, Sylvia Spieler Ginsberg, live in San Diego.

Anise-Fennel Loaves/Rågkakor (Sweden)

Rye %: 100%
Stages: Straight dough
Leaven: Instant yeast
Start to Finish: Under 2 hours
Hands-on Time: 20 minutes
Yield: Four 10½ oz/300 g loaves, plus centers

These Anise-Fennel Loaves were a nice surprise that showed up while I was surfing the web for easy rye recipes. My wife and I were going out that evening, planning to get together with several friends who are regular fans of my rye breads. I didn’t want to disappoint them, but didn’t have the time to produce a full-blown sourdough bread, and this one filled the bill beautifully. Keep Reading

8-Hour Quick Sponge Deli Rye

Rye %: 40%
Stages: 2-Stage quick sponge, Final dough
Leaven: Rye sour culture, Instant yeast
Start to Finish: 7-8 hours
Hands-on Time: 30-40 minutes
Yield: Two 1½ lb/700 g loaves

Deli rye – that light, open-crumbed, caraway-fragrant New York classic – is what most Americans think of when they hear “rye bread.” Without getting into the rightness or wrongness of that fact, deli rye is without question the bread to wrap around a thick layer of pastrami, corned beef or pickled tongue – with or without Swiss cheese, cole slaw, sauerkraut, mustard and/or Russian dressing. So when my wife went shopping one morning and came back with a package of heavily peppered, deep pink pastrami, there was no question about how we were going to eat it. Keep Reading

Oldenburg Rye/Oldenburger Landbrot (Germany)

Rye %: 100%
Stages: Sponge, Soaker, Final dough
Leaven: Rye sour culture, Instant yeast
Start to Finish: 22-28 hours
Hands-on Time: 30-40 minutes
Yield: One 3 lb./1.36 kg loaf

For a bread that many Germans consider to be a best of breed Lower Saxony rye, recipes for Oldenburg Rye are surprisingly scarce; in fact, it took me several months, plus the help of a German baking friend, to locate this recipe on the website of a large north German baking ingredients company.

The search was worth the hassle: this is a bread that combines the robust flavors and mouth-feel of coarse rye meal with the moist crumb of a stale-bread soaker and the intense sour of an 18-24 hour sponge. Keep Reading

Muscovite Rye/Podmoskovny Rye (Russia)

Rye %: 69%
Stages: Sponge, Final dough
Leaven: Rye sour culture, Instant yeast
Start to Finish: 9-10 hours
Hands-on Time: 30-35 minutes
Yield: One  1 ½ lb/700g loaf

I recently was able to get hold of a couple of kilos of Russian rye flour, and so what better bread to try it out on than a Russian rye bread that specifically calls for this type of flour? The recipe comes from O Khlebe, the Russian-language blog that’s my go-to source for all breads Russian. Its name comes from its origin, Podmoskva, the region surrounding Moscow — so a northern bread with the lighter color and milder flavor associated with Russia’s largest and most cosmopolitan urban center. Keep Reading

Ketex’s Crusty Boule/Bauernkruste (Germany)

Rye %: 89%
Stages: Sponge, Soaker, Final dough
Leaven: Rye sour culture, Instant yeast
Start to Finish: 18-20 hours
Hands-on Time: 30-40 minutes
Yield: One 2½ lb/1.2 kg loaf

I found this flavorful, crusty rye bread in one of the first German baking books I acquired, Rustikale Brote aus deutschen Landen (Rustic Breads from the German Countryside) by Gerhard Kellner, a well-known German bread blogger who goes by the nickname “Ketex.” It intrigued me for a couple of reasons. Keep Reading

Latgalian Rye/Latgaliešu Maize (Latvia)

 

Rye %: 100%
Stages: Sponge, Scald, 2-Stage sponge-scald
Leaven: Rye sour culture, Instant yeast
Start to Finish: 28-32 hours
Hands-on Time: 45-50 minutes
Yield: One 3.15 lb/1.40 kg loaf

Latgalian Rye is one of those complex Baltic breads I’d been meaning to make for some time, but life, as usual, got in the way. Finally, having found the time to devote to this flavorful, technically interesting Baltic rye, I took the plunge.

Like other Latvian rye breads I’ve eaten, this one features a dark, chewy crust, close yet tender crumb and distinctive sweet-sour flavor profile. Likewise, the use of multiple pre-doughs, including not just a sponge, but also a scald and two sour-scalds, produce enormously complex and nuanced flavors. Keep Reading

Sourdough Auvergne Rye Loaf/Tourte de Seigle (France)

Rye %: 100%
Stages: Stage 1 sponge, Stage 2 sponge, Final dough
Leaven: Rye sour culture
Start to Finish: 14-16 hours
Hands-on Time: 25-30 minutes
Yield: Two 1¾ lb/800 g loaves

A couple of months ago, I posted a recipe for this Auvergne classic that used both a rye sour sponge and a yeasted rye sponge. Then I came across a video from the École internationale de boulangerie for this same bread, but built on a sour sponge only. Of course, me being me, I had to bake it as well – both for my own curiosity and also because I was teaching a rye baking workshop for the Bread Bakers Guild of America and needed about 2 lb/900g of stale rye bread, which I didn’t have on hand. This bread, being 100% rye and devoid of flavoring agents outside of salt, was the perfect candidate for staling (with enough left over for comparison tasting with my earlier loaf). Keep Reading

Tavastian Rye Rusks/Hämäläiset Ruiskorput (Finland)

Rye %: 100%
Stages: Straight dough
Leaven: Instant yeast
Start to Finish: 4 hours
Hands-on Time: 20 minutes
Yield: Two dozen 1¼ oz./35 g rusks

Someone recently asked me if I had a good recipe for rye rusks and this one immediately came to mind. Rusks – that is, bread that’s purposely dried for long storage – are not common in the US: biscotti and zwieback perhaps come closest. In northern Europe especially, however, they’re far more common.

This recipe comes from the central Finnish region historically known as Tavastia (Hämä in Finnish), and was a bread traditionally baked and eaten at the talvennapa – a pagan feast that took place in mid-January to mark the end of the joulu (Christmas) observance and to welcome the sun, Pälvätär, back into the sky after the long, dark days of midwinter.
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Applesauce-Buttermilk Rye/Omenalimppuja (Finland)

Rye %: 50%
Stages: Straight dough
Leaven: Instant yeast
Start to Finish: 3½ hours
Hands-on Time: 30 minutes
Yield: Two 1½ lb/725 g loaves

In terms of rye baking, it can be said that Finland is where East and West meet: The breads of eastern Finland are dense, dark and sour, much like the breads of their immediate neighbors, Russia and the Baltics. To the west, the breads have more in common with the sweet, fragrantly spiced mixed-grain breads of Sweden. Keep Reading