Yes, it’s a lame Queen reference, but we like it and it’s also an excuse to talk about Karaway Rye Bread.
Rye bread has a bit of a bad rep; some people think it’s the bread you eat when your country can’t grow wheat. A bread that brings to mind frozen fields in Eastern Europe and war-tossed people eating it topped off with a slice of raw beetroot and a dressing of mud.
Of course that’s all nonsense, rye is an ancient grain for sure and rye breads are never going to be as light as wheat breads, but interest in rye has doubled in the last five years, according to Google.
And that’s not surprising as it has five times the fibre content of refined wheat and a low GI score, so it doesn’t spike your blood sugar. And the carbs are slow-releasing, fuelling you for longer.
We tried three rye breads from Karaway, they’re available from their stall in Borough Market and Westfield as well as Whole Foods Market, Harrods and Selfridges. It’s also served at La Gavroche
Lithuanian Scalded Rye
Often known as Ajeru Bread this is the largest of the three, being about 10 cm square and about 30 cm long with the added visual attraction of calmus leaves baked into its base. It has a wonderful earthy, slightly sour, flavour and is as black as the cover of Spinal Tap’s Smell The Glove.
We loved this as breakfast toast, it being just the right size for the toaster, and the caraway seeds adding to its delicate flavour. It was also perfect sliced thin and topped -with smoked salmon. Another feature we found was the longevity. A good four days later we were still enjoying its soft texture. No surprise that it won 3 stars at the Great Taste Awards.
100% Rye with Grains
This was a real looker, the white grains singing out against the dark bread. This one has no yeast in it and the grains are super-healthy- linseed, oats and cracked rye. A slightly sticky texture with a great nutty taste, we had this with jam and also with some extra special Parma Ham, actually brought back from Parma, later for lunch. A small bread, tiny square slices, but with rye a little goes a long way as it’s pleasantly filling.
Light rye sourdough
A round loaf, very thin, this was not ideal for the toaster but then it’s probably best served as it comes. That way you get to taste the well-floured crust and enjoy the lighter flavour that is has compared to the others. It’s 100% yeast-free. We found it perfect for scooping up taramasalata and humus and it also worked rather well with our own home-made blackcurrant jam. Like the others it had remarkably good shelf life with its aromas and texture largely undimmed after a day or two stored wrapped in a muslin bag.
Karaway do a range of breads, all of which look rather lovely and I am sure taste good too. I personally am going to try and buy more whenever I can, not just for the taste but for the health benefits, too.