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Apr 19, 2007 11:07 AM

Nigella Seeds

Should I top my Eastern European Rye bread out of Baking With Julia with nigella seeds? The recipe calls for topping it with caraway, but I read that nigella seeds are traditional? Anyone know what is more authentic? Or just tastier? There is already ground and whole caraway in the bread... Thanks!


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  1. If you are going to put caraway into the dough, I think the nigella would be overkill. One spice or the other.

    2 Replies
    1. re: jen kalb

      I disagree. I like the combination of caraway and nigella and think it would be super tasty with both.

      A Swiss baker I know likes to put lots of seeds on some of the bread he makes for friends. I don't know if it's traditional, or just his own personal touch, but he says that bread with seeds given as a gift or shared with friends/family is a special thing, and that the number and variety of seeds is symbolic of blessings. I think it's that makes home made seeded bread extra nice (regardless of the authenticity!).

      1. re: Non Cognomina

        That's a nice idea, I am all for thinking of it as special blessing, the different seeds, different blessings. TY for sharing that.

    2. Nigella is very traditional in Eastern European baking (or at least eastern european Jewish baking)-- they are called 'tshernishka' in Yiddish (a borrowing from a slavic language; they're chernushka in Russian). I've never had them together with caraway (kiml), but definitely show up on breads, on top of casseroles (tsholnt), etc. They're certainly my favorite bread topping, I'm in favor of using them everywhere!!