A dense and wholesome hug of a loaf from Karaway Bakery
Dense, chewy and wholesome, rye is a hug of a bread. Naught is more appealing than a handsome slice smothered in proper butter on a wet and windy day. And when it comes to cracking rye bread, Karaway Bakery is our first port of call: pumpernickel and borodinsky; Lithuanian scalded and Russian black—and now, super rye.
Super by name, super by nature, this new addition to the stall “has a deep, rich flavour,” says manager Egle. Herbal with crunchy caraway seeds and enrobed in a thick crust, it’s “yeast, wheat and sugar free, which has a bunch of benefits,” she continues. “It’s not a secret that wholegrain foods are good for the gut, and rye has much less gluten than other breads so it’s suitable for those with stomachs sensitive to it. And all of this is achieved through natural, traditional bread-making methods.”
The sourdough starter is fermented for 12 to 18 hours. The rye, rye malt and caraway seeds are scalded with boiling water “which takes around two hours to soak in,” Egle explains. “This process adds moisture and adds a light sweetness to the overall flavour, as well as allowing the bread to stay fresher for longer.” Once the starter is ready, it’s mixed with the scalded flour and left to rest for another one and half to two hours, “depending on ambient conditions”—timings and temperatures are, therefore, monitored closely by Karaway’s expert bakers.
Baked for 90 minutes, the final loaves are like works of art. “Once the loaves reach a certain point of baking, we open the oven’s windows and let some magic do the trick!” The surface of the bread cracking irresistibly, before being lightly dusted with flour. “As you can see, this recipe requires a lot of time—but the results are so worth it,” Egle enthuses.
“It’s moist on the inside, crusty on the outside, and goes amazingly well with smoked salmon, prawns, or tomatoes. My personal, all-time favourite is super rye with some avocado—I can never resist that,” she grins. “Who knew that a humble loaf could be so healthy and delicious?”