Not the drink.

I'm interested in making this bread: King Arthur Flour Caraway Rye. The recipe recommends the addition of vital wheat gluten or King Arthur's rye bread improver. This is how the King Arthur product is described on the web site: "A blend of rye flavors and sours, diastatic malt, vital wheat gluten (for a good, strong rise) and potato flour (to help combat the "dry crumblies")". I'm disinclined to buy the King Arthur product mostly because their shipping fees to Alaska are ridiculous, and also because I've been meaning to try this: Honeyville Dough Conditioner. But am I missing something without "rye flavors and sours"? The recipe suggests possibly replacing some or all of the water in the recipe with pickle juice, a concept I find rather intriguing, and it gives a range for caraway, which is one the flavors in the King Arthur rye bread improver.

1 Answer 1


The King Arthur website lists the ingredients for that item: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop-img/labels/1416587131567.pdf

It looks like the "sour" flavor comes from several acids (acetic, lactic, and citric). I assume the recipe calls for "sour" flavor instead of being a sourdough recipe like a traditional rye bread would be. Pickle juice may be a good substitute, since it's mainly vinegar [i.e. acetic acid]. The "bread improver" also includes wheat gluten, which may be helpful if you're using a non-bread flour (bread flour contains more gluten than whole wheat or AP flours).

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    Specifically, the ingredient list you provide breaks down "rye sour" as: rye flour, yellow corn flour, naturally fermented lactic acid, sodium silicoaluminate (processing aid), corn starch, acetic acid, citric acid, mono-calcium phosphate, salt and yeast. That does sound like a sourdough starter "cheat".
    – Jolenealaska
    Dec 19, 2014 at 5:50
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    Hi. You may find [ this ](cyber-kitchen.com/rfcj/BREAD/…) interesting. Also, as you mentioned a starter "cheat", there is a recipe [ here ](my-recipes.com/recipe/hearty-sour-rye-bread) that uses yogurt in place of the starter.
    – Cindy
    Dec 19, 2014 at 10:43
  • @Cindy I think I'll make that (the cyber-kitchen one, the other link doesn't seem to work). I am looking forward to doing a corned beef brisket with my new sous-vide circulator. I want great rye bread for reubens.
    – Jolenealaska
    Dec 20, 2014 at 4:14
  • @Jolenealaska: if you want to make a great rye bread why not do a classic rye sourdough? They're not that hard once you get your starter going. Then you don't need to buy anything.
    – Hank
    Dec 20, 2014 at 4:27
  • @HenryJackson Actually, now that I know that rye bread is traditionally sourdough, I plan to do exactly that! :) The link in Cindy's comment looks good.
    – Jolenealaska
    Dec 20, 2014 at 4:30

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