caraway rye bread – 1st attempt

The other day, T suddenly had a hankering for Reuben sandwiches. Which means rye bread. But I’ve never made that kind of bread before so he had to buy rye bread. Horrors! We haven’t had to buy bread in ages!

Now, the kind of rye bread that I used to buy is made by the Toronto based Viking bakery. It is “sweet and sour light rye bread with caraway seeds”. And it’s fabulous. Or at least that’s what I remember. I tried to tell T to get it but he said he didn’t like caraway seeds in his bread….

I had never had a Reuben sandwich before; I’m not really keen on sauerkraut. So it didn’t really matter that the bread T bought didn’t have caraway seeds. I politely but firmly declined when he offered to make a Reuben sandwich for me. And the next day, I politely declined once more he offered again. But T swore that his sandwich he’d had the day before was fantastic. He insisted that I had to try a Reuben sandwich for my lunch that day. And he was right to insist! Reuben sandwiches are great. But they’d be even better with homemade bread.

(click on image for larger view and more photos)
caraway rye bread I looked on the internet at various recipes and then through all of my bread books. I was amazed to see that only one of our cookbooks had a recipe for rye bread with caraway seeds: “Sourdough Rye Bread” with caraway seeds in the Joy of Cooking (1975 edition).

It is a lean recipe, calling for rye flour, allpurpose wheat flour, yeast, water, caraway seeds and salt. The only changes I made were to add honey and substitute all-purpose flour and a bit of wholewheat flour for some of the rye flour. The bread turned out quite well as I hope you can see. (click on images for larger views)

caraway rye bread Actually, better than quite well. I’m very excited. It’s a bit different from any bread I’ve made before. And it’s not a real sourdough. I didn’t capture my own yeast…. And it takes several days to make (although that actual work time is hardly any at all). Kneading was particularly fun because the dough is quite stiff. I had to thwack it against the board because my hands got tired doing traditional kneading.

But I’ll definitely make this bread again. Next time though, I’ll add a bit of milk and perhaps a little more salt. But first we have to finish eating those two big loaves.

Poor us. It means that we will have to have Reuben sandwiches for lunch tomorrow. :whoohoo:

Oh yes, and T’s reaction to the caraway seeds in the bread? No problem! He just came upstairs and garbled happily (his mouth was full), “Good bread!

edit 26 January 2007: T has reported that caraway rye bread is the bread for Reuben sandwiches.

caraway rye bread

edit: Here are our recipes for Caraway Rye Bread made with active dry yeast, based on the recipe for “Levy’s” Real Jewish Rye Bread in The Bread Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum and Wild Caraway Rye Bread made with wild yeast, vaguely based on the recipe for rye sourdough in Joy of Cooking by Irma Bombauer

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  • tph

    WikiPedia has an entry the Reuben sandwich:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reuben_Sandwich

  • Rudi

    Sweet & Sour Rye (with caraway seeds!) is available in Toronto at two locations. There may be more shops selling this bread, but I have not found them… yet!

    Hillside Bakery on Mount Pleasant (west side), about two blocks south of Eglinton, is an Estonian bakery, that not only has this bread, but other Baltic goodies as well.

    Also, every Saturday morning, the Latvian Centre on Credit Union Drive (Wynford & Don Valley Parkway area), cross street, Eglinton East & Credit Union Drive, holds a market from their bakery and on-site kitchen. Not only can you buy Sweet & Sour bread, but bacon buns, cheese cake (Latvian style, of course), and many other dinner-worthy entrees.

    This sounds good, Rudi, but if you make the bread yourself (and it’s not that difficult), it’s easy to find the rye bread with caraway seeds. Just look in your bread box…. :-) -Elizabeth