Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Eastern European Rye

January 20, 2015 at 3:31 pm | Posted in BWJ, groups, savory things, tuesdays with dorie, yeast breads | 12 Comments
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eastern european rye

Before making Lauren Groveman’s Eastern European Rye, I began to daydream about a turkey reuben on homemade bread.  Liz Lemon is not the only one with very specific food fantasies.  I was out of rye flour, though, so I bought a bag of local (okay, not NYC, but NY state) farmer-ground organic rye flour from the Greenmarket and got to mixing.  I saw a tip to mix the dough in a stand mixer for 3 minutes, turn it off and let the dough rest for 10 minutes, then back on again for about 12 more minutes of kneading.  I did this mixing method, and the dough rose nicely, and apart from my three slash marks, it didn’t split open in the oven.  The final dough shaping and rising instructions are a little wacky when you read them in the book, but in this video, Groveman demonstrates those same steps on her pumpernickel loaf recipe.  They are still wacky, but are at least understandable after seeing them on video.

The bread that I wound up with was not the Levy’s-like sandwich loaf I was expecting, but a rustic loaf with more of a true whole grain bread feel and a craggily crust.  I couldn’t really get nice sandwich-sized slices from it, so no homemade turkey reuben for me this time (since I have a one-track mind, I did go to Mile End yesterday and get one!), but the bread does have great rye and caraway flavor and it’s nice with salty butter or a bit of good cheddar.  I think it’ll make a good tomato soup dunker, too.

I assumed that the whole grain rye I used was the culprit for the denser loaf that I got…after reading Alisa’s post this morning, if I make this again I’ll either just reduce the amount of rye I use or sub a bit of it with some extra white flour and see what I get .

For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan. Finally, don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!


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  1. It’s beautiful! I can’t find good eye out here in CA so I should make some!!!

  2. Love rye bread, this looks amazing.😊

  3. Hi Steph, your loaf looks wonderful! I did happen to have medium rye on hand, and I’m sure it helped. Adding vital wheat gluten can help too. One other option is to sift out some of the bran through a fine sieve to lighten up the rye. Still, Yours is gorgeous!

  4. Your loaf looks good and the idea of dunking in tomato soup sounds wonderful! Did you use high gluten flour for your other flour or did you use all purpose? From what I have read rye bread is best if you use high gluten flour in combination with the rye flour because of the low gluten content in rye flour. Or try Karen’s tip above of adding vital wheat gluten.

  5. This looks fantastic! I miss really “strong,” really rye bread 🙂

  6. As usual, your photo is beautiful. I’m sure it tasted wonderful toasted with cheese. I like to also add a slice of tomato under my cheese. 🙂

  7. Your loaf looks great! Especially with that big hunk of butter in the back. MmMmMm. And I’m glad you still got yourself a reuben. So good!

  8. I didn’t realize there were different types of rye flour. I used whole grain rye flour too, and had the exact same experience you did. I really liked the bread, but didn’t think it would work for the turkey sandwich I was craving. Oh well. I like your idea of dipping it in soup.

  9. congratulations for your wonderful blog ! wonderful recipes and photos . excuse my English is not good! I’m Italian ! have a nice day

  10. It looks wonderful! That rest in the middle of kneading does seem to do wonders for whole grain breads.
    I think I am going to have to take a trek to Mile End next week when I am in the City – you have me kind of craving a Ruben now…
    I hope you weather the storm okay.

  11. Your bread looks healthy and hearty. Glad you got the rueben in regardless.

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