Understanding Rye with Karaway Bakery

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I thought I was hip to how good rye bread could be (and where it could be purchased in London). But soon into a rye workshop and tasting hosted by folks from Karaway Bakery, I realised I hadn’t know jack about how delicious these breads actually are.

Among the yummiest things I’ve had this year and definitely some of the tastiest breads I’ve come across in London are the ryes baked by Karaway. With more Great Taste Awards than any other bakery in the UK both this year and in the last five years, this family-run bakery is doing a phenomenal job raising the profile of Easter European baked goods – especially rye breads – and the standards of discerning shoppers seeking authentic, flavoursome and healthy alternatives to blander bread products crowding the shelves of bakeries and supermarkets.

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During the workshop (held at Borough Market’s Cookhouse), I learned how to make my own ryes from scratch. Depending on which type, homemade rye breads can be fairly easy and straightforward to whip up or rather more difficult and time consuming to produce. Good thing Karaway is around to offer its loaves for less inclined bakers like me.

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As much as I appreciated the DIY lesson in baking, what I really loved about the event was the chance to sample a range of Karaway breads and discover that ryes don’t have to be at all dense and heavy as so many I’ve had in the past. Karaway’s breads were exceptionally light, extremely moreish and most importantly full of flavour.

My favourites were the Lithuanian Scalded Rye with its mellow earthy flavour and soft texture, and the Dark Rye with Nuts and Raisins – a 50% rye, 50% wheat loaf with more nuts (pistachios, Brazil nuts, walnuts cashews and hazelnuts) and raisins in weight than bread. Amazing!

With high fibre content (way higher than refined wheat and even much higher than oats), and a low GI score, rye is much healthier option than most other grains and breads made with it should keep you satisfied longer without feeling bloated.

In addition to rye breads, Karaway does a variety of other breads, buns and rolls as well as brioches, pastries, cakes, biscuits and thins.

Look for Karaway products at Whole Foods Market, Harrods and Selfridges and at Karaway’s own shops inside Westfield Stratford City near the Waitrose (The Arcade, Westfield Avenue, E20 1EH) and in the Green Market at Borough Market (Borough High Street, SE1 9AH). Karaway’s production bakery is at Unit 11 Portland Commercial Estate, Ripple Road in Barking, IG11 0TW.

Find out more at karawaybakery.com.

About tikichris

London-Based Writer/Photographer

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