SCOTT QUESTION AND COMMENTSYour Bread Bible is my favorite Christmas present this year. I spent almost four months in Germany on business this summer and can't handle store-bought American bread anymore, so I've gone back to baking my own, something I learned from my mother and grandmother--although they always made white bread and I longed for the great European style wheat/rye breads. The first thing I did was use your sponge method on my favorite bread recipe and was amazed at the difference. So thanks! In Germany I came across a great bread called Gassenhauer, my favorite of the many breads I ate over there. It's a wheat/rye sourdough with a gorgeous crust. Apparently it's trademarked, though, and I haven't been able to find a recipe anywhere. Ever hear of it? I'd sure like to make something as close to that as I can manage in this country. Now a question: I made your Tyrolean Torpedo to go with the New Year's Eve bean soup I made, and it went over really well--although I can think of a couple things I could have done better. My wife and our guest thought I was crazy saying it could have been better, but you know the drill. It's never quite good enough, especially on the first try. They enjoyed it and I dissected it. And then enjoyed it. But--what I really learned to love when I lived in Austria for a couple years in the eighties and on my German stay last summer is that taste of a combined wheat and rye bread. I know you say you shouldn't substitute, but what would happen if I replaced some of the flour in the Tyrolean bread with rye? Anyway, thanks again for helping me push my bread to a higher level and helping to guide me on my quest for really great bread. If only I had a better oven. The quarry tiles help a lot, but still... ROSE REPLY coincidentally, i'm making the tyrolean bread tomorrow for a party friday night. it's one of my favorites and i add about 75 grams/2.6 oz. of week-old starter (i still use the same amount of instant yeast) and an extra 1/8 teaspoon of salt since the starter has no salt in it. this gives it more depth of flavor, and keeps it fresher longer not that any of it will remain by the end of the party! i sometimes replace some of the flour with durum flour. it would be fine to do the same with rye but you have to be careful not to use too much as even with the acidity of the sourdough the pentosans in the rye will cause it to be gummy. i would start by replacing no more than 20% of the flour with rye. re the german bread--i totally agree--i adore the breads of germany. i never had the pleasure of encountering the "gassenhauer"--anyone out there hear of it or have a recipe? i'll ask hans welker of fci next time i speak to him as he's from germany and surely knows. i'm so thrilled when other people get excited about the breads i love so much. thanks for sharing! do let us know how the rye works with the tyrolean!
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