Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Jewish Rye Recipe

L.A.B. Rat's......

You guys know I'm married to a Jew right?

Each year, at this time of year, my mother in law tells me how glad she is that Christmas is over because all the "Christian Marketing" can be so overwhelming.

My mother in law is a lot like most of yours......she is pleasant, witty.....and boy can that woman cook.

Recently she asked me what made a Jewish rye different from all the other ryes, and I had to be honest.....I wasn't sure.

So I cracked open the Magic Bakers Vault and pulled out some of my bread formulas that were put together in the 50's.

The following is a Jewish Rye according to the Dunwoody Bakers Manual.



10#                                  Medium Rye Flour               40%
2#      8oz                         Bread Flour                          10%
          8oz                         Caraway Seed                      2%
13#                                  Water (Vairable)                  104%
          5oz                         Yeast                                  1.25%
          8oz                         Shortening                           2%
          10oz                       Starter Culture (Optional)

Mix in low speed

Temp 68 (F)

Sponge Fermentation 3 Hours

                                                    DOUGH  (Remix)

Place sponge back into bowl and add.............

1#       4oz                         Medium Rye Flour               5%
11#     4oz                             Bread Flour                          45%
2#       8oz                        Water (Vairable)                   62%
           12oz                      Salt                                       3%
           8oz                        Sugar                                    2%

43#    2oz Total Weight
Don't Overmix!
Temp 76 (F)
Floor Time: 10 minutes

OK Kiddo, you are looking at history here.

This dough is straight tripping old school.

So once again, I ask...what makes this rye a Jewish Rye?

Sure, I could have hopped onto Google, or pulled out some of my million dollar Euro bread books that I bought at some baking convention.....

But just because its in a cook book or the internet doesn't make it factual (Klecko wonders if his L.A.B. Rats understand this).

I'm curious about your interpretations.

At first glance, Klecko picked up several thoughts.

#1 - There is no sweetening agents (Honey - Molasses - etc) in this dough.

#2 - The rye is medium, so you won't get rye pieces that resemble chunks of tree bark. Chunky rye is pretty Euro ya know.

#3 - Their is no Dark Rye here either. So for several reasons, this dough should get all of it's sweetness through the limited sugar that is in the formula, as well as the natural sugars developed through fermentaion.

#4 - I think we will observe that unlike many Ryes, the Jewish version will be lighter, have better oven spring, and in some respects serve as a segue from a modern enriched bread to a dense old world rye.
It should contain some of the attributes of both, but will in all actuality resemble either.

OK friends, I am far from being an expert on this particular topic, but I figured it might be of interest if somebody got this ball rolling.



  1. I also find that Jewish rye also has a tart edge to it due to the starter. The traditional topping is caraway, to give a little added demention to a somewhat light rye.

    1. Thanks for weighing in sholamith.

    2. I'm curious. What am I misreading/misinterpreting; the hydration in the formula comes up a whopping 166% here. That cant be, can it? or can it? nooo, or... well, maybe... noooo, mwaaah enlightenment needed!

    3. Freerk, the master book is at the plant (and I am at home) but I am pretty confident this is it. I baked this dough several weeks ago. Have you ever worked with sponges before?

  2. yes, i have! i'm just having trouble scaling the baker's math down, and suspecting that i'm going wrong with the water. My guess is, in the end this loaf should have a 62% hydration? and does all the water go into the sponge? i think i got it figured out! or do I?

  3. Freerk, Yikes, I did copy this wrong and have since revised. Sorry for having such lame secratarial skills. This one is "FACT"

  4. thats okay my friend. i made a 45% rye and ended up going for a 62% hydration. I think I actually managed to undermix. I baked it quite boldly ( a little too bold). I got a great crust and a rather poor crumb, but then again, when moving into the higher rye%, that always seems to be my problem. I sort of start losing control above 25%. And THAT my friend, is why U are a baker, and I'm just a guy trying things out in his oven. The taste is wonderful though!

    1. Klecko will take a an OK rye over a superb Whole Grain any day of the week!

  5. This does not seem that different from the Polish Rye I remember from my youth. All the Polish bakeries sold a lighter rye with caraway seeds. Since Poland had a lot of Jews, not suprised a Jewish rye and a Polish rye are somewhat the same. The heavier ryes I have seen are more the German ryes.