Riga bread: scalded white rye with caraway seeds, using CLAS

Riga bread: scalded white rye with caraway seeds, using CLAS

As I planned and discussed with Paul last week, finally made Riga rye bread (aka Rizhsky bread). It’s a famous Russian bread (I guess historically based on Latvian recipes). It’s a white rye bread with 10% wheat flour.

I followed the advice of Rus Bread to adjust the process to using CLAS. First a portion of flour is scalded with diastatic malt (I used barley malt instead of traditional white rye malt, due to availability), which produces a very sweet liquid, which is then fermented for a long time with a small amount of yeast and CLAS. Then final dough is made by adding most of the flour, salt, malt extract and more yeast for a quick rise. Here is the formula, with time and temperature: https://fgbc.dk/1qeb (note that barley malt is stronger than rye malt so scald was very liquidy, and I omitted a little water that would be added to pre-dough otherwise).

Two small defects in the final bread. Liquid dough applied before bake was probably a little too liquid, and I got small bubbles on the surface after the bake. Rus Brot confirmed that with white rye the ratio of dough to water should be 30:21 g instead of 30:25 g due to lower water binding capacity of white flour, and this is probably the reason. Lesson learned. Also one of the two breads “exploded” a little (crust got torn) on one of the sides, and that I am not sure why.

I particularly like the flavour and aroma of the crust here, very full and nice. Very caramelized, as you can see, yet very soft (at least in part from the corn starch glaze I applied after the bake).

The crumb is amazingly soft for rye bread, feels almost like wheat bread! And kind of open even. The flavour of the crumb is very subtle and delicate, except when you get a caraway seed, which explodes with aroma. I expected something stronger from the crumb itself to be honest, but perhaps it is as it should be? I’ve only had commercial Riga rye in Moscow, and didn’t like it that much due to a rather dry mouthfeel it gave (which is not at all the case here), but I thought it did have stronger flavour. It’s been many years since I’ve had it though.