Poolish Rye Bread

I recently posted about a wheat bread I made using the Poolish method.

As this was such success I thought I would try out a Poolish recipe this time using rye flour.

There are lots of steps and it takes most of the day, so it is best made when you are at home with other things to do in between.

A Poolish is a pre-ferment usually combing equal parts of flour and water (by weight) with some yeast.

This recipe is adapted from Bake it Better  – Bread – edited by Linda Collister, Hodder & Stoughton, 2015.

Ingredients – Poolish

  • 250g rye flour
  • 150g strong flour
  • 15g fresh yeast (7g dried)
  • 300ml  lukewarm water
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sugar

Method – Poolish

  • Mix the yeast, water and sugar in a jug
  • Leave for about 5 minutes.
  • Make a well and pour in the yeast mixture.
  • Bring it all together to make a thick lump free mixture.
  • Cover the bowl (a shower cap is good)
  • Leave at room temperature to rise for about 4 hours.

Ingredients – Dough

  • Poolish
  • 200g rye flour
  • 100g strong flour
  • 125ml lukewarm water
  • 2 teaspoons of caraway seeds
  • ½ tablespoon of salt
  • *
  • Milk to brush loaves
  • Extra caraway seeds for sprinkling on loaves

Method – Dough

  • To the Poolish add the water and mix to make a smooth batter.
  • Mix the flours and the salt.
  • Add the flour and salt to the Poolish  and mix.
  • You will have a soft and heavy, sticky dough.
  • Leave uncovered to rest for 5 minutes.
  • *
  • Add a little water if it feels too stiff.
  • Turn out onto a lightly floured board.
  • Knead the dough for 10 minutes (set a timer).
  • *
  • Put back into a large bowl and cover (a shower cap is good).
  • Leave to rest and rise for 1 hour.
  • *
  • Knock back the dough.
  • Roll into a ball.
  • Cover and leave for 1 hour.
  • *
  • Turn out onto a lightly floured board.
  • Knead a couple of times.
  • Divide into two.
  • Shape each piece into a ball.
  • Cover loosely with a dry tea towel and leave for 10 minutes.
  • *
  • Line a baking sheet with grease proof paper.
  • Knead and fold and shape each ball into an oval.
  • Place the two pieces on the baking sheet.
  • Cover loosely and leave to prove for 1 hour.
  • *
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM7 220°C
  • Put a roasting tin at the bottom of the oven to heat up.
  • *
  • Cut 3 slashes in the top of each loaf.
  • Brush lightly with milk or water.
  • Sprinkle with caraway seeds.
  • Put the loaves in the oven.
  • Quickly pour a glass of water into the roasting tin (the steam helps to give a good crust).
  • Close the door and bake for around 10 minutes.
  • Reduce to GM6 2O0°C  and continue baking for 25 minutes
  • Leave to cool on a wire cake rack.

Poolish Bread

A Poolish is a pre-ferment usually combing equal parts of flour and water (by weight) with some yeast.

The origin of the term Poolish is that it is named after a method used by Polish bakers around 1840 when it was brought to France.

However – Poolish is an old English version of Polish and this term seems to be most used in France where polonais is the word for Polish – strange!

Fermentation is carried out at room temperature for some time – long enough for the Poolish to bubble up and increase its volume. This can take anywhere from 3 to 24 hours.

Using  Poolish is said to give a light texture to the dough, develop a sweetness of flavour and also give a good colour in the crust.

This recipe is adapted from Bake it Better  – Bread – edited by Linda Collister, Hodder & Stoughton, 2015.

The original amounts made two very big loaves so I the second time I made this,  I cut it down, to make two small loaves – these are the instructions below.

Ingredients – Day One

  • 25g wholemeal flour
  • 150g strong flour
  • 10g fresh yeast (5g dried)
  • 175ml water
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sugar

Method – Day One

  • Mix the yeast, water and sugar in a jug
  • Leave for about 5 -10 minutes.
  • Mix the two flours together in a bowl.
  • Make a well and pour in the yeast mixture.
  • Bring it all together to make a thick lump free mixture.
  • Cover the bowl (a shower cap is good)
  • Leave a room temperature for 20 – 24 hours.

Ingredients – Day Two

  • Poolish from day one
  • 125ml water
  • 250g strong flour (maybe a little more)
  • ½ tablespoon of salt

Method – Day Two

  • To the Poolish add the water and mix to make a smooth batter.
  • Add 125g of the flour and mix it in by hand.
  • Add the salt.
  • Gradually add the rest of the flour until you have a soft but not sticky dough.
  • Add more flour if necessary.
  • Knead the dough for 10 minutes (set a timer).
  • Put back into a large bowl and cover (a shower cap is good).
  • Leave to rise till double in size – around 3 hours.
  • When it looks nearly ready – line a baking sheet with grease-proof paper.
  • Knock back the dough with your knuckles to deflate it.
  • Cut the dough into two pieces.
  • Leave them to rest for 5 minutes.
  • Knead each piece for 1 minute.
  • Shape each piece and put it on the baking sheet.
  • Dust them lightly with some flour.
  • Cover loosely and leave to prove for 1 to 1½ hours.
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM7 220°C
  • Put a roasting tin at the bottom of the oven to heat up.
  • Cut 3 slashes in the top of each loaf (oops I forget the 2nd time!).
  • Put the loaves in the oven.
  • Quickly pour a glass of water into the roasting tin (the steam helps to give a good crust).
  • Close the door and bake for around 30 minutes.
  • Leave to cool on a wire cake rack.

Rye Scones

This recipe is a cross between an English scone and soda bread.

I used this recipe with spelt flour and it was a huge success.

I now tried it out with rye flour using equal amounts of rye to plain flour.

In Poland you might call these babeczki – little buns or bułeczki – little bread buns.

Ingredients

  • 125g rye flour
  • 125g plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 30g of demerara or granulated sugar  & 1/2 tablespoon
  • 80g of sultanas or raisins
  • 65g butter – chilled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons of yoghurt & milk to make 125ml
  • 1 egg

Method

  • Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
  • Preheat the oven to GM7 – 220°C.
  • Mix the flours, baking powder and salt together.
  • Add the butter and mix in with the flour to make breadcrumbs.
  • Add the 30g of sugar.
  • Add the sultanas or raisins.
  • Lightly mix the egg into the yoghurt/milk mixture.
  • Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in the egg mixture.
  • With a knife work the mixture together to make a damp rough ball.
  • Turn the ball of dough on the the baking sheet.
  • Form into a flattened disc around 20cm in diameter.
  • Sprinkle with the 1/2 tablespoon of sugar.
  • Deeply score the disc into eight sections.
  • Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until golden and firm.

They tastes delicious freshly baked with butter & the next day slightly warmed or toasted.

Served on Elizabethan Carnaby from the 1960s.

Variations

These were so delicious I made them again but instead of sultanas used –

  • 80g chopped dried apricots

 

 

 

 

Or

  • 80g dried cranberries

 

 

 

 

 

All versions are super!

 

Rye Bread 2

Recently I found my local Polish shop sold fresh yeast in small blocks, so I have been trying out lots of yeast buns and bread recipes.

This is one for Polish Rye Bread based on a recipe in the following book, which is easy to make and the bread is super.

 

 

Ingredients

  • 225g rye flour
  • 225g strong flour
  • 1 tablespoon of caraway seeds
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 20g of fresh yeast (or 10g of dried)
  • 140ml of lukewarm milk
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 140ml of lukewarm water

Method

  • In a jug mix the milk, yeast and honey.
  • In a large bowl mix the flour, caraway seeds and salt.
  • Make a well in the centre of the flour.
  • Pour the yeast mixture into the well.
  • Add the water and slowly mix the flour and liquid together until a dough forms.
  • Turn the dough into a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes (set a timer!).
  • Place the dough into a bowl and cover (a shower cap is good for this).
  • Leave until this has doubled in size (around 3 hours if warm).
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and lightly knock back.
  • Shape into an oval loaf.
  • Grease a baking tray.
  • Place the loaf onto the baking tray.
  • Dust with some rye flour.
  • Cover and leave to rise until doubled in size (around 90 minutes if warm).
  • *
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM7  – 220°C
  • *
  • Use a sharp knife to make 2 long cuts in the top of the loaf.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes.
  • Leave to cool before cutting.

 

Spelt Scones

This recipe is a cross between an English scone and soda bread.

In Poland you might call these babeczki – little buns or bułeczki – little bread buns. Spelt flour gives this a lovely taste.

Ingredients

  • 250g spelt flour
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 30g of demerara or granulated sugar  & 1/2 tablespoon
  • 80g of sultanas or raisins
  • 65g butter – chilled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons of yoghurt & milk to make 125ml of liquid
  • 1 egg

Method

  • Line a baking sheet with grease-proof paper.
  • Preheat the oven to GM7 – 220°C.
  • Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together.
  • Add the butter and mix in with the flour to make breadcrumbs.
  • Add the 30g of sugar.
  • Add the sultanas or raisins.
  • Lightly mix the egg into the yoghurt/milk mixture.
  • Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in the egg mixture.
  • With a knife work the mixture together to make a damp rough ball.
  • Turn the ball of dough on the the baking sheet.
  • Form into a flattened disc around 20cm in diameter.
  • Sprinkle with the 1/2 tablespoon of the demerara sugar.
  • Deeply score the disc into eight sections.
  • Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until golden and firm.

They tastes delicious freshly baked with butter & the next day slightly warmed or toasted.

Served here on  Ansley – Las Palmas tea plates from the 1960s and on Queen Anne tea plates.

Scufflers

A few weeks ago I had lunch in Holmfirth (Last of the summer wine country) in a little café called Scufflers.

I wondered what the name meant – was it to do with fighting or a garden implement?

I have now discovered it is a Yorkshire word  from the area around Castleford – and it is a used for a triangular shaped teacake or bread bun. In Poland these would be called bułeczki

I found a recipe and made some.

The enriched dough was super to work with – my shapes were a bit “random” – it would be easier to make round buns. They were delicious and I will certainty be adding this to my list of favourite doughs.

Ingredients

  • 450g strong flour
  • 30g butter
  • 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon of dried yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 250ml water

Method

  • Rub the butter into the flour until the mixture is like breadcrumbs.
  • Stir in the sugar, salt and dried yeast.
  • Mix together the egg and water.
  • Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture.
  • Add the egg mixture.
  • Using a knife at first and then your hands bring this together to make a dough.
  • Knead the dough for 10 minutes. (There is only one kneading so try and do the full time here).
  • Put the dough into a bowl and cover with a tea cloth and leave till it has doubled in size.
  • Dust a tray with flour.
  • Preheat the oven to GM7 – 220°C.

 

  • Press the dough into a rough rectangular shape  – cut this into two squares and then divide these diagonally so you have eight triangles.
  • Place the triangles onto the floured baking tray.
  • Lightly dust with flour.
  • Bake for around 15 minutes – until golden brown.

 

 

Paragon – hand painted tea-plates – I could not resist the lovely shape and bought them recently.

Amusing Thought

In the café, some of the choices for  lunch were sandwiches on baguettes, ciabatta  or  pannini   – but despite its name –there was not a scuffler in sight!

Sauerkraut Rye Bread

My cousin who lives near Chicago recently sent me a recipe that has been used by her mum for Polish sauerkraut rye bread.

The recipe was from a bakery in Chicago and was printed in the Chicago Tribune on 2 March 1989.

Well of course I had to try this out!

 

The recipe is in cups, which except for liquids, I find hard to work with for consistency – so I  did some conversions into grams.

Note -The amount of sauerkraut was  3/4 of a cup – I measured out a loosely filled cup and weighed it.

This recipe makes one very large loaf – you can use it to make two loaves.

There is a large amount of flour – I mixed it by hand which was quite hard work but after the first rise it was a good dough to work with.

Ingredients

  • 880g plain flour (650g & 250g)
  • 170g rye flour
  • 40g butter
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of dried yeast
  • 100g sauerkraut
  • 500ml warm water
  • Cornmeal or semolina for the baking tray
  • 1 egg yolk & 1 tablespoon of milk to glaze
  • 2 teaspoons of caraway for topping.

Method

  • Into a large bowl add 650g of plain flour and rye flour.
  • Rub in the butter.
  • Add the salt, sugar and yeast.
  • Chop the sauerkraut with a sharp knife into small pieces.
  • Add the sauerkraut to the flour and mix together.
  • Slowly add the water and bring the mixture together.
  • Slowly add the rest of the flour (you may not need it all) until the dough does not stick to the sides and start to gather it together into a ball.
  •  Knead the dough for around 5 minutes.

 

 

  • Cover the dough with a cloth or clingfilm.
  • Leave it to rise until it is double in size.
  • Punch the dough down and knead it again for a few minutes.
  • Allow the dough to double in size again
  • Punch the dough down again and knead it again lightly.
  • (You can divide it into two here if you want to make two loaves)
  • Put the dough onto a board and flatten it into a rectangle.
  • Shape into an oval.
  • Cover a baking tray with cornmeal or semolina.
  • Place the dough onto the baking tray.
  • Cover and let the dough rise until it is double in size.

 

  • Pre-heat the oven to GM 6  – 200°C.
  • Brush the glaze onto the loaf
  • Sprinkle with caraway seeds note I would cover the seeds with glaze again as well next time.
  • Using a sharp knife make 4 or 5 diagonal cuts in the top of the loaf.
  • Bake for 20 minutes
  • Turn the oven down to GM4  – 180°C.
  • Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes.

 

It was delicious with a great texture!

I sliced up some of the loaf and froze it  – that worked well.

I might just add some more caraway seeds to the dough itself next time.

Scalded Rye Bread

I came across this recipe recently which I was told originates in Sweden*.

  • The recipe makes two loaves and the bread is very soft and tasty.
  • Boiling water is poured over the rye flour and it is left overnight. This must start the breakdown of some of the starch in the flour to sugars.
  • I used dried yeast when I made this.
  • The bread is baked at a lower temperature than many other breads.

Ingredients

For scalding

  • 100g dark rye flour
  • 300ml of boiling water

For  the rest

  • 650g strong white flour
  • 1 tablespoon of dried yeast
  • 250ml of water
  • 1.5 tablespoons of salt

Method

  • Put the rye flour into a bowl and pour the boiling water over it.
  • Mix this to a stiff paste.
  • Cover with a cloth and leave overnight.
  • The following morning, place the plain flour into a bowl and make a well and add the dried yeast followed by 100ml of water.
  • Cover and leave for around 15 minutes until all the yeast has dissolved.
  • Add the rest of the water (150ml), the salt and the scalded rye mixture.
  • Mix everything together well.

 

 

 

  • Now you need to knead this for around 5 minutes – this can be hard as the dough is sticky  – I do this in the bowl for some of the time and then with wet hands I hold the dough up and sort of kneaded it in the air!
  • Put the dough back into the bowl and covered with clingfilm or a cloth and leave it for around 2 hours.
  • Divide the dough into two.
  • Flour your hands and stretch each piece into a rectangle around 2cm in thickness.
  • You now need to fold the dough into a long loaf.
  • With the short side facing you, fold this up a third gently onto the dough and then taking the top third pull this down to cover the two layers of dough.
  • Get a clean tea towel,  flour this and using a cake lifter place the loaf on this and cover it with the rest of the tea towel.
  • 20181208_092916

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Repeat this for the other loaf.
  • Leave the loaves to rest for around 1 hour.
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM8 – 230°C.
  • Use rye flour to flour two small baking sheets.
  • Place each  loaf onto a prepared sheet and place them side by side in the oven.
  • Turn the temperature down immediately to GM4 -180°C.
  • Bake for 40 minutes.
  • Remove and leave to cool on a wire rack.

 

 

Variations

  • Add 1.5 tablespoons of caraway seeds to the dough mixture.
  • Divide the dough into 4 pieces and shape them into cobs.
  • Change the proportions to use more rye – I used 200g of dark rye & 550g of strong plain flour & an extra 100ml of boiling water for the overnight scalding & baked the loaves in long loaf tins after shaping the dough.

 

 

Tea plate is by Taylor and Kent of Longton

*Polish – Swedish Connections

The Polish King Zygmunt III Waza (1587 – 1632) was the son of King John III of Sweden and Katarzyna Jagiellonka (daughter of King Zygmunt I Stary (the old) of Poland).  He was also the King of Sweden from 1592 – 1599.

PotopThe Deluge – was a period of invasion and war with Sweden in the mid 17th Century.

Szwed – The Swede is a very common surname in Poland . One of my father’s best friends had this surname.

There are 72 ferry sailings a week from Polish Baltic ports to Sweden.

Note – this post was updated in March 2020.

 

 

Mixed Grains Bread

I have been concentrating on a variety of rye breads and had gone to my local Polish shop to buy some more rye flour when I saw some mąka orkiszkowa which is spelt flour.

Spelt –  Triticum spelta – is an older type of wheat known to have been used from around 5,000BC

Modern wheat is Triticum sativum.

Ingredients

250g spelt flour

250g strong wheat flour

150g oat flakes

50g sesame seeds

1 1/2 teaspoons of salt

20ml of sunflower oil

250ml milk

150ml water

1 tablespoon of fresh yeast

1 teaspoon of sugar

Method

Mix the milk and water and heat them slightly to hand heat.

Add the sugar and the yeast and wait for the yeast to froth up.

Mix all the other ingredients in a large bowl.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the yeast mixture.

Use a large wooden spoon to mix everything together and then use your hand to bring the dough into a soft ball, kneading it lightly for around 3 minutes.

 

 

Leave to rise for at least 1 to 2 hours.

Grease a long Continental loaf tin (or a 2lb loaf tin).

Lightly press the dough into the tin.

Leave to rise – I found this took around 5 hours.

Pre-heat the oven to GM6 – 200°C.

Bake for 35-40 minutes , checking after 25 minutes and cover with foil or greaseproof paper if it has browned too quickly on the top.

The base of the loaf will sound hollow  when it is cooked – put back for a few more minutes if not.

 

Once cool, I wrap the bread in a cloth.

 

 

I have found that the sliced bread, packed in a plastic box with a lid freezes very well.

Chleb – Bread

Today is the third anniversary of my blog – I started posting on 4 July 2015 and this will be my 155th post!

I am really enjoying the research, the cooking, the photography  and the writing and have many more recipes to share with you all.

Chleb – Bread

A wedding tradition in Poland is to greet the bride and groom on their arrival at the reception with bread & salt.

The bread is seen as a gift from God and is a wish that they never go hungry.

The salt is a seen as a gift from the earth and is a wish that they overcome the bitterness of life.

Rye

To be called bread in Poland the loaves or rolls must contain some rye.

Wheat loaves or rolls are called bułki or bułeczki but this is also the name  given to some cakes and buns – hence there is often some confusion!

Żyto is the Polish for rye.

Rye   – Secale cereale  is a grain and is used for bread and for making some of the best vodkas.

It grew  wild in Turkey and  since the Middle Ages it has been cultivate widely in    Central and Eastern Europe.

Rye grows well  in poor soil and in cold and harsh conditions.

Nowadays rye is grown primarily in Eastern, Central and Northern Europe and the top three rye producing countries are Germany,  Russia & Poland.

Poland consumes the most rye per person at 32.4 kg/capita (2009) followed by Nordic and Baltic countries. (From an article in Wikipedia).

Sour dough

This method of bread making uses the natural yeasts that are found on the grain and in the atmosphere.

I had never tried using a sour dough method before.  I have now tried it out twice –  even as a former science student  – it felt like MAGIC! – the results were wonderful!

This recipe is adapted from one in found in my American book – Polish Heritage Cookery by Robert & Maria Syrybel.

20170619_162207

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It takes around 3 days to make 2 loaves.

I suppose I could halve the recipe but I am quite happy to cut and freeze any surplus and the bread keeps for several days and can always be toasted.

Whey

This recipe uses whey which I often have if I have made any twarog – curd cheese.

If I do not have any whey I make a mixture of around 2 parts yoghurt to 1 part water instead.

Method

Day 1

At around 5 pm mix 150g of  rye flour with  250ml of hand hot water in a bowl.

Cover with a tea towel and leave for 24 hours.

Day 2

Again at around 5 pm,  mix 150g of  rye flour with  250ml of hand hot water and the mixture from the night before in a bowl and leave overnight or around 12 hours.

 

Day 3

In the morning

Ingredients

350g rye flour

350g (strong) plain flour

2 tablespoons honey

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon of granulated sugar

2 tablespoons of caraway seeds

450 – 500ml  of whey  or a mixture of 2 parts yoghurt & 1 part water

Plus the starter mix from the days before

Method

Combine all the ingredients together.

Aim for a “wet” mix – it is harder to handle but gives the best results.

Knead for around 5 minutes – longer if you can!

 

Shape the dough – cut  it in half and make 2 oval-shaped loaves and place them on greased baking trays or you can put them into tins – I used  a round – loose bottomed tin – 20cm in diameter in my second bake.

Leave to rise  for around 5 hours.

Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180°C

Place some water in a roasting tray at the bottom of the oven.

 

They take around 50 minutes to bake – I swap the two trays around after about 20 minutes.

 

Delicious with just butter – Well worth the wait!