Thursday, June 23, 2016

Sprinkling Caraway Seeds for Quick Rye-ish Fix

A few weeks ago, I had a yen for rye bread. Being ignorant of rye bread dough, and seeing that caraway seeds always seemed to be in rye bread, I simply thought of these seeds as the add-in that makes rye bread rye bread.

I wondered why rye breads weren't called caraway seed breads. I wondered if one-syllable "rye" edged out three-syllable "caraway". Turns out that rye is its own item—a grass.

Numerous rye bread recipes call for both rye bread flour and white flour. Some recipes call for additional type(s) of flour. Almost all specify one or two tablespoons of caraway seeds. FWIW, my bottle of Morton & Bassett caraway seeds states a serving as 1/4 teaspoon of caraway seeds. Thus, I infer that each pound of bread should have 4 teaspoons of seeds.

Looking at several recipes for rye bread, which require more ingredients than I wanted to bother with, my eyes glazed over. Rather than pay a king's ransom for rye bread at the store, I decided on a cheapie, quick way to get a rye-ish fix—a jar of caraway seeds for sprinkling onto buttered carb delivery products (grin). Some suggestions:

With room-temperature bread, toasted bread, or toasted English muffin, spread butter or peanut butter on it, sprinkle seeds, and use the knife to pat the seeds down.

With a toasted English muffin, another suggestion is to sprinkle seeds, add shredded or sliced jack cheese, and microwave until the cheese melts. Melting cheese with added seeds works well also for crackers. If you spread butter or peanut butter on crackers, it's optional to use the knife to smear and "glue" the sprinkled seeds.

At the supermarket's spice aisle, I found caraway seeds from McCormick, McCormick Gourmet, and Morton & Bassett (no relationship to Morton of salt game). Tabulation of the three brands is as follows:
Brand Weight Price Price/
Ounce
McCormick   .9 $4.34 $4.82
McCormick
Gourmet
1.62 $3.78 $2.33
Morton &
Bassett
2 $6.42 $3.21

I'd have chosen McCormick Gourmet for best economy. However, the store displayed a coupon for $2 off for Morton and Bassett, reducing the price per ounce to $2.21. (Yay!) As the nutrition table states each serving as 1/4 teaspoon (.7 grams), about 81 total servings, I'd be shaking about 6 cents of seeds for each bread slice or muffin half. (FWIW, if the seeds were the density of water, the amount of servings would have been only 48 servings.)

While perusing the spice areas, I noticed that Morton &Bassett also sells whole cumin seeds, 2 ounces for $6.68, a smidge more than the normal price for caraway seeds. Cumin seeds are yummy with jack or cheddar cheese. One bread loaf came out divine when I mixed in cumin seeds and shredded cheddar.

Thinking about the caraway and cumin seeds, I recalled having bought something called kuminost cheese many years ago. Did not think to look at the list of ingredients, but associated the name with cumin. All-dictionary.com provides the following information:
Kuminost Cheese; Kumminost meaning in Cooking Dictionary
Danish semifirm mozzarella cheese made of entire or skimmed cow's milk, having either a natural or waxed rind and a pale yellowish to orange interior; flavored with cumin, caraway seed and clove. Kuminost is great in casseroles as well as for treats and sandwiches. Also called nokkelost.
Quickie DIY kuminost cheese sounds like a reason to buy cumin seeds and mozzarella or jack cheese on my next store trek. Maybe I'll skip the cloves, though. Hmmm, a flour tortilla rollup with cumin/caraway seeds and melted jack cheese sounds tempting.
Some websites about caraway seeds and rye:

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