Book review by Kristina Sepetys
The Rye Baker: Classic Breads from Europe and America
By Stanley Ginsberg
(WW Norton, 2016)
Stanley Ginsberg co-wrote the award-winning Inside the Jewish Bakery: Recipes and Memories from the Golden Age of Jewish Baking. He also owns The New York Bakers, a website selling professional baking equipment and supplies, including rye flours. His second book explores the history of rye—its unique chemistry and historical baking methods—and presents more than 70 recipes, organized by region, covering immigrant breads in America as well as rye styles from France and Spain, Scandinavia, Russia and the Baltics, Poland, Southern Germany, and the Netherlands. In Ginsberg’s words, “For rye is more than just a strong-tasting, dark, unruly bread grain; it’s also a piece of our collective history that’s been overlooked and unappreciated for too long.” Besides recipes for familiar rye breads, you’ll find some that are more unusual, like a Breton Folded Rye featuring the natural sweetness of rye and milk, Salty Rye Rolls that pair the sweetness of rye with the bite of salt and caraway, Honey-Flaxseed Crispbreads, Lithuanian Christmas Bread studded with dried fruits and honey, and Weinheim Carrot Rye made with grated carrots and pumpkin, sunflower, and flax seeds. This is a definitive resource for anyone interested in bread-making and specialty flours.