Monday, April 12, 2010

BBA Challenge Bread #31 — NY Deli Rye

Here we are at the second bread in the sourdough section of the book—New York Deli Rye. 

I'm baking my way through Peter Reinhart's award winning book, The Bread Baker's Apprentice, along with a number of other amateur bakers (I'm not sure how many are still with us, and a few have finished!). Want to join in the madness, or just learn more about this semi-crazy undertaking? Check out the following links:

In addition to a rye starter (made using our regular ole starter), this formula contains instant yeast. That always makes me feel a bit better about how the bread will turn out. I'm comfortable with commercial yeast. Wild yeast starter all by itself—not so much.

This bread also called for 2 cups of onions. I'm not much of an onion person, so I skimped on that, adding less than 1 cup. I have texture issues with onions. With the way the onions just melt right into the bread, though, it wasn't an issue here. Next time, I'll add the full amount.

I also omitted the optional caraway seeds, but I found something else. These:
NYDeliRye-charnushka seeds

Charnushka seeds. I discovered them while pouring over a Penzey's catalog. I placed a large order before Christmas, purchasing both presents for family and friends and a few things for me. I can't help myself, plus I love seeing all of the new-to-me spices available. And this was one. It caught my eye because, according to the description in the catalog, charnuska is
"Tiny, black, smoky flavored seeds found atop Jewish rye bread in New York. Used in Armenia, Lebanon, Israel, and India. Also referred to as black caraway or kalonji, charnushka is used heavily in garam masala."

I knew I had a number of rye breads coming up in the BBA Challenge and thought I'd give them a shot.

Before anything can happen with the bread, though, you have to sift rye flour. That is, if you can't find "white rye" flour ready to go. To get white rye, you need to sift regular rye to remove the bran. In fact, you need to sift it twice. So I did. There was a fine mist of flour dust all over my kitchen.
Rye sifted bags
I was really surprised at the amount of bran in the flour.

This recipe made a LOT of bread. Two nice sized loaves, so I gave one to a friend. It was perfect timing, too, as St Patrick's Day was just around the corner (I made this a while ago) and corned beef would be aplenty!


I wasn't sure what to expect with this bread, but I ended up really liking it. The crumb was soft and flavorful and the crust was nice and crusty. The charnushka seeds added an almost pepper-like flavor to the bread, giving it a bit of a "bite" that I really enjoyed.  So far, this is the one sourdough I would make again.


              1. Looks beautiful! And the new spice is intriguing! We really enjoyed this bread, too. =)

              2. When I saw the picture I thought these were black sesame seeds. I learned something new - have never heard of Charnushka seeds. The loaf looks gorgeous!

              3. Loved how you changed up this bread with the seeds....beautiful!

              4. Never saw those seeds before. I do enjoy a good trip to penzeys, they have so many neat things in there to try out. Too bad I spend too much though!!

              5. I LOVE those seeds. I'll have to remember that when I finally get to the sourdough section of the challenge (oh, about six months from now!) Both the photo and the bread are gorgeous.

              6. Amazing. And the seeds add a beaufiul stark contrast to the crust. I also loved the texture of this bread. I also doubted the amount of onions, but it actually added to the texture!

                You know, it's actually happened that I've taken a look at your breads and have been inspired to try again. And this one will definitely be made again soon!

              7. Thanks everyone!

                Daniel- I think that every time I read someone talking about the focaccia or Portuguese sweet bread - or any number of the past BBA breads -- I want to make them all again! Very few duds in the bunch, that's for sure.


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