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.

No Knead Sourdough Rye Bread

This recipe is taken from Tomek Lach.  He has many extremely good videos on YouTube – they are however in Polish.  His videos include ones on yeast, sourdough, bread and pizzas.

I have tried out several recipes and tips.

This recipe is so easy as there is no need to knead – you just need time and patience. It can take up to three days.

You need to have some – zakwas – sourdough starter.

To make this you put 50g of rye flour and 50ml of water into a large glass preserving jar on day 1 and stir, cover and leave for 24 hours. On days 2, 3, and 4 you repeat this. On Day 5 it is ready to use or you can keep it in the fridge – topping up once a week with a couple of spoons of flour and water.

Ingredients – Day One

  • 2-3 tablespoons of zakwas – sourdough starter.
  • 150g of rye flour
  • 150ml of water

Method – Day One

  • Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl.
  • Cover with a shower cap.
  • Leave for 12 hours minimum (overnight is good)

Ingredients – Day Two

  • The mixture from day one
  • 200g of rye flour
  • 200g of strong white flour
  • 200ml of water
  • 1 + 1/2 teaspoons of salt

Method – Day Two

  • Mix all the ingredients into a thick paste.
  • Get a large loaf tin (often called a 2lb tin).
  • Use one rectangle of grease-proof paper to line the tin.
  • Spoon all the mixture into the tin and smooth the top.
  • Cover again with the shower cap and leave for at least 5 hours – I have found that overnight is good here again.
  • Put the tin into the cold oven.
  • Put the oven on to GM7 –  220°C.
  • Bake for 50 minutes.
  • Take out and leave for at least 30 minutes before cutting into the loaf as it is still baking.

Variations

  • Adjust the types of flour – maybe use a light rye if you used a dark one before.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of seeds into the dough mixture – such as caraway, pumpkin or sunflower.
  • Add seeds to the top of the loaf.

Note

The bread keeps for several days and is good toasted or you can slice it up and freeze it.

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.

 

Pierniczki

Piernik is Polish honey spice cake – pierniczki are little honey spice cakes

My Polish friend in Leeds was in Poland in November and bought some new bombki *(Christmas Tree ornaments).  These have wycinanki – Polish paper-cut designs(folk art popular since the mid 1800s) as their inspiration.

*Bombki – Glass baubles – in the past these were often blown eggs decorated with glitter. There are also many straw decorations – angels or stars.

Glass baubles originated in Germany in the 19th century  but they were soon being made in Poland with their large glass blowing industry.  Many are made in small family run workshops, some now specialise in individual and unusual designs.

She has included these and some angels in decorating a window in a chapel in Lancashire.

 

 

She also sent me a recipe for pierniczki – made with wheat and rye flour.

I tried them out – yummy – easy to make & cut out!

Ingredients

  • 100g butter
  • 100g runny honey
  • 300g plain flour
  • 100g rye flour
  • 130g icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of mixed spice (or 1 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, cloves & cardamon)
  • 1 tablespoon of cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 2 large eggs – beaten
  • Icing made with water or lemon juice to decorate

Method

  • Put the butter and honey into a small saucepan and heat gently to melt.
  • Leave to cool.
  • Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl.
  • Add the beaten eggs and the butter & honey mixture.
  • Mix together to make a soft dough.
  • The dough will be slightly sticky – do not add extra flour.
  •  Pre-heat the oven to GM 4 – 180°C.
  • Line baking sheets with greaseproof paper.
  • Divide the dough into four.
  • Use rye flour to flour the pastry board.
  • Roll out the dough to around 4mm thickness (no less).
  • Use cutters to cut out shapes.
  • Place them on the baking sheets with a little room between.
  • Bake for 9 -11 minutes.
  • Leave to cool on a baking rack.
  • *
  • These piernicki should be soft.
  • They are only semi-sweet.
  • You can have decorating them with icing – I just did a bit of drizzling.

 

 

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.

 

 

Soda Breads with Rye

These are two variations of a classic wheat flour soda bread recipe.

I think the slow rise breads you get with sourdough or bakers’ yeast are better but they take time to make.

These are a quick bake if you want some bread for lunch or supper.

I use a yoghurt & whey mix as I nearly always have these in when I make yoghurt cheese, but you can adapt by using a milk & water mix or buttermilk if you have it instead of the whey.

I add caraway as I love the taste but you can experiment with other flavours using fresh or dried chopped herbs.

Version 1

Ingredients

150g rye flour

250g plain flour

1teaspoon salt

1teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon caraway seeds

150ml yoghurt

200ml whey

Method

Pre-heat the oven to GM 7 – 220°C

Flour a baking tray.

Mix all the dry ingredients in a big bowl.

Mix the yoghurt and whey together in jug or bowl.

Add the yoghurt mixture to the dry ingredients and use a wooden spoon to mix it all together.

 

 

 

 

Use your floured hands to bring it all into a soft dough ball.

Place the ball onto the floured baking tray.

Using a sharp large knife cut a cross or star on the surface.

Bake for 5mins then turn the heat down to GM 6 – 200°C and bake for 30 – 35 minutes.

The base should sound hollow when the bread is cooked .

Leave to cool on a cooling rack.

 

 

Version 2

Ingredients

100g rye flour

250g wheat flour

50g rolled oats

1teaspoon salt

1teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon caraway seeds

150ml yoghurt

200ml whey

Method

Pre-heat the oven to GM 7 – 220°C

Flour a baking tray.

Mix all the dry ingredients in a big bowl.

Mix the yoghurt and whey together in jug or bowl.

Add the yoghurt mixture to the dry ingredients and use a wooden spoon to mix it all together.

Use your floured hands to bring it all into a soft dough ball.

Place the ball onto the floured baking tray.

Using a sharp large knife cut a cross or star on the surface.

Bake for 5mins then turn the heat down to GM 6 – 200°C and bake for 30 – 35 minutes.

The base should sound hollow when the bread is cooked .

Leave to cool on a cooling rack.

 

 

 

Note

Soda bread does tend to go stale quickly but is is still delicious toasted and served with butter.

 

 

Tea plates are Las Palmas by Aynsley from the 1960s.

 

Rye Bread

Having made a super sour dough rye bread   ,  I now thought I would have a go at one using baker’s yeast as this is a quicker option.

Only rye flour is used which does make it a harder to handle dough.

Ingredients

500ml yoghurt & water ( around 1:1 ) at hand heat

1.5 tablespoons of dried yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

100g rye flour

**********

650g rye flour

2 teaspoons of salt

2 tablespoons of caraway seeds – plus extra for sprinkling on top

Method

Day 1

In a bowl mix the yoghurt and water , yeast , sugar and flour.

Leave for a while until it starts to bubble.

Mix the rest of the flour, salt and caraway seeds in a large bowl.

Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture and mix with a wooden spoon.

Aim for a “wet” mixture, adjusting with water or flour as necessary.

Cover this with a cling film or a cloth and leave overnight.

Day 2

This will make 2 loaves – either two round or oval loaves which you can place on greased baking sheets or you can use small baking tins – shallow ones rather than loaf tins work out best I think – I used a 16 x 27cm mermaid tin.

This dough is very hard to work with – I cut it into two and shape each piece without much kneading and try not to add much extra flour.

Cover and leave to rise – this may take several hours – you do not get much of a rise.

Pre-heat the oven to GM 4 – 180°C.

Brush the top of the loaf with hot water and sprinkle with caraway seeds. You can make 1 or 2 cuts on the top of the loaf.

Whilst experimenting with this recipe  I found  that if you make the loaf too thick then it can burn on the outside and still be uncooked in the centre.

I found that a flatter loaf and the one in the rectangular tray came out consistently better.

Bake for 50 – 55 minutes – I swap the trays around after 20 -25 minutes.

 

 

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!