Sunday, October 16, 2016


Hier geht's zur deutschen Version dieses Posts

Just in time for Zorra's 2016 World Bread Day event, I received my copy of Stanley Ginsberg's The Rye Baker in the mail.

I met Stanley several years ago at the The Fresh Loaf forum, when he looked for test bakers for his first book, "Inside the Jewish Bakery". Though, at that stage, some recipes still were a bit rough around the edges (my husband complained about feeling like a guinea pig!), the book was well worth it, and his Onion Rolls are still a great favorite with my customers.
Last year, I was happy to help with the translation of some German recipes Stanley considered for his newest book, devoted entirely to rye breads.

Leafing through the The Rye Baker, a cluster of spiral shaped savory rolls caught my eye. Not only because the "Swabian Rye Flower" looked so attractive - it was made with a laminated rye dough!

I had never even heard that such a thing existed.

The filling was easy: Trader Joe's Prosciutto (lightly smoked), and French Comté cheese were already in my fridge, and for the herb topping I snipped off fresh thyme in the garden.

The cottage cheese for the filling had to be rinsed and drained to make it, mixed with cream cheese, dry enough to emulate quark (what they would have used in Germany).

Filling ingredients
10 grams of instant yeast seemed a lot, I reduced the amount to 9 grams (and would try 8 next time), and it rose just fine.

Laminating the dough was a bit more challenging. The recipe requires vegetable shortening for the fat layer.

I had made croissants before, and if butter and dough are sufficiently chilled, the fat stays put during the rolling and folding process.

Soft shortening is more difficult to contain. I should have straightened the edges of the rolled dough with a knife before folding it. This step from croissant making could have prevented a raggedy seam where fat can be squeezed out.

Too late: on this day neither my hands, nor the rolling pin or work bench needed any more lubrication - Crisco took care of it! Fortunately, most of the shortening behaved, staying within the dough, and the fat leakage during baking was not more than to be expected.

Stanley chose shortening because of the water content of butter - shortening doesn't have any - that could make the sticky rye dough even stickier. His advice: if you want to laminate with butter, you should mix it with some flour (1 tbsp flour/200 g butter).

We loved the hearty rolls! The laminated rye layers came apart and had a satisfying crunch, and the filling was delicious. The pretty flower shape, though, prevented the crisping in those places where the rolls touched. Being a sucker for crispiness, I would sacrifice form for function next time, and bake the spirals separate from each other.

But I will definitely make the Swabian Rye Rolls again!

One of these tasty rolls are a meal!

SCHWÄBISCHES ROGGENBLÜMLE - SWABIAN RYE FLOWER (adapted from Stanley Ginsberg: The Rye Baker)

(7 Rolls)

102 g/3.6 oz white rye flour
93 g/3.25 oz water  (105ºF/41ºC)
5 g/0.2 oz rye mother starter

Final Dough
200 g/7.05 oz starter (all)
153 g/5.4 oz medium rye flour
245 g/8.65 oz all-purpose flour
218 g/7.7 oz cold water
10 g/0.7 oz salt
10 g/0.7oz instant yeast (I used only 9 g)
3 g/0.12 oz bread spices

200 g/7.05 oz vegetable shortening, at room temperature (68-72ºF/20-22º)

125 g/4.4 oz dry cured ham (like country ham or prosciutto) (I used Trader Joe's Prosciutto)
125 g/4.4 oz onion, chopped
2 tsp vegetable oil, for sautéing
125 g/4.4 oz hard cheese (like Gruyere, Parmesan etc.) (I used Comté)
85 g/3.0 oz cottage cheese, rinsed and drained
42 g/1.5 oz cream cheese, softened
black pepper, to taste
salt, to taste (I didn't add any - ham and cheese had enough salt)
chopped parsley, dill, or chives, for topping (optional) (I used fresh thyme)

The rye starter is made with white rye

DAY 1 
3:00 - 6:00 pm:
For the starter, mix ingredients in small bowl until all flour is hydrated. Cover, and leave at room temperature overnight (ca. 15-18 hours - it's ready when small bubbles appear on the surface, and it has a spongy structure underneath.)

Sautéing ham and onion

For the filling, in medium skillet over medium heat, sauté ham and onion in oil, until onions are translucent. Let cool to room temperature.

In medium bowl, mix all three cheeses, until well blended. Stir in ham, onion, and season with pepper to taste. (I did not add extra salt). Cover, and refrigerate until needed.

Tasty ham and cheese filling

6:00 - 9:00 am:
For the final dough, mix ingredients at low speed (KA 2, dough hook)), until dough pulls back from sides of bowl, 5-6 minutes. Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.

For laminating, transfer dough to lightly floured work surface, keeping extra flour and a pastry brush at hand.  

Always lightly re-flour work surface as needed, to prevent sticking, and brush off any excess flour from dough before folding!

It's easier to roll out the dough under a piece of plastic wrap

1. Turn:
Roll out dough into a rectangle (45 x 20 x 1.25 cm/18 x 8 x 1/2 inches). Spread 1/2 of the shortening in an even layer over left 2/3 of dough (leave a 2 mm free rim along the sides, since the soft shortening spreads a bit when rolled). 

Starting from the right side, fold rectangle into thirds like a business letter. Using a bench knife, straighten and square edges, so that layers are neatly stacked. (You can put cut-off pieces on top of dough, so that they are rolled in at the next turn)

Spread shortening over 2/3 of dough - I should have left a small free rim

2. Turn:
Turn dough 90 degrees, re-flour work bench as needed, and repeat rolling, greasing (with remaining shortening) and folding. Wrap dough in plastic, and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.

Wrap dough package in plastic and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes

3. Turn:
Roll out dough to the same size, and fold into thirds again.

4. Turn:
Roll out dough to a rectangle (60 x 20 cm/24 x 8 inches). With bench knife, straighten and square short edges as needed (to get an even seam). Fold rectangle into fourths, bringing left and right side towards center, the fold in half, like closing a book. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.

If I had remembered to straighten the edges, my folded dough package.....

.......could have looked like this (croissant dough) - no smearing of grease!

Roll dough out into a 20 x 45-50 cm/8 x 18-20 inches rectangle (1.25 cm/ 1/2 inch thick), short end facing you. With rolling pin, taper dough on near side (so that it's easier to seal the seam later).

Spread filling over 4/5 of the dough rectangle

Starting 2.5 cm/1 inch from far edge, spread filling evenly over ca. 4/5 of dough. Roll dough towards you into a log, like a jelly roll. Moisten free bottom edge with water, and press to seal.

Cut log into 7 slices with a sharp knife

Using sharp knife, cut log into 7 even slices. Place one slice in center of a parchment lined baking sheet, and arrange others around it so that rolls touch each other. Sprinkle with herbs. (If you want your rolls all around crispy, forgo the pretty flower shape and place them separately.)

Assembled "flower"

Cover, and proof rolls at room temperature for 20-25 minutes. They will not have grown much in size, but the spaces between the rolls will have shrunk a bit.

Preheat oven to 410ºF/210ºC, adjusting a rack in the middle, and place a steam pan on bottom or top rack (I use a broiler pan.)

Place rolls in oven,  creating steam by pouring a cup of boiling water into steam pan. After 5 minutes, remove steam pan, and continue baking for another 17-19 minutes (rotating baking sheet 180 degrees after half the baking time for even browning). Rolls should be medium brown, and the cheese melted and bubbling.

We loved the hearty rolls!

Serve warm or at room temperature.

STORAGE: The rye rolls can be frozen, individually wrapped in plastic, then placed in a freezer bag.
Thaw, then re-crisp for a few minutes at 400ºF. Or microwave frozen rolls, until halfways thawed (not fully!) then finish in the oven.

Reprinted with permission from "The Rye Baker" by Stanley Ginsberg, copyright © 2016. Published by W.W. Norton & Company