Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Bialy-Blended Eastern European Rye

Inspired by a recent visit to New York, I played with this recipe for Eastern European Rye, from Lauren Groveman, via Baking With Julia

In the window at Zaro's Bakery, I noticed a rye loaf with poppy seeds and onions. Genius! I thought -- what could be better than a bialy-blended rye bread?

I still think this two-for-one bread idea is just this side of a miracle, but my execution of it was a bit off. Here's what I'll change when I make it again:

  • First, I'll start with my favorite rye bread recipe, from the Cook's Illustrated Baking Book. This is the bread that's in regular rotation in my house, and the one that we sing about. (Think One Direction: "Best Rye Ever.") It is simple, richer, and slightly healthier, in that it calls for canola oil instead of butter and vegetable shortening. Also the texture is not quite as soft, and therefore makes slices more spread-ready.
  • Though I sautéed a full onion in a large hunk of butter, the flavor got lost in the dough. Next time I will use dried onion flakes as well as onions sautéed in oil. (Maybe a few for the top as well?)
  • As much as I love caraway, the Groveman recipe called for double the amount of seeds as our favorite recipe (some whole and some ground).  As a result, it overpowered the mere tablespoon of poppy seeds I added. One tablespoon of each, plus a little extra for the top of the loaf should be perfect.
  • I will skip the sling rise, and just use a floured towel or couche. I've tried the recipe both ways, and the results are the same, with less fuss.
  • I'll also skip the salt on top. Although my gut told me this would pump up the intensity of the crust, it turns out sometimes your gut can be wrong. The salt just didn't blend well with the other flavors in the bread.

Still, I'm looking forward to perfecting the bialy-rye loaf. Stay tuned for more adventures in bread-baking.

To see how other bakers fared, check out their links here.


  1. bialy-rye loaf-- what an idea! I love it. i'll for sure have to try out that Cook's rye bread you recommend.

  2. I recently made a rye bread with raw onions in it and it was wonderful.. since you are experimenting =) Your loaves look wonderful!

  3. Sure looks good! The addition of onions do sound quite flavorful.

  4. Love that mash up - bread experiments are fun.

    My personal favorite bread experiment was a peanut butter and jelly loaf.

  5. Lovey looking loaf, as I love rye bread!


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