The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Rye flour?

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asfolks's picture
asfolks

Rye flour?

I am working on a formula that calls for medium rye flour. I have some dark rye and white rye flour on hand. Is it faulty logic to assume that I can combine the two to get an approximation of medium rye?

Alan

Elagins's picture
Elagins

dark rye flour is what's left of the medium (i.e., whole grain) rye flour after the starchy endosperm (i.e., white flour) is sifted out. half and half by volume should give you a fair approximation.

alternatively, you can buy medium rye flour, aka pumpernickel flour, whole-grain rye flour, etc. from King Arthur, Bob's Red Mill, New York Bakers (my website), or any number of others.

Stan Ginsberg
www.nybakers.com

asfolks's picture
asfolks

I actually ordered dark, white and medium rye flours from you. The medium rye ran out first and I was just trying to make things stretch until I got my next order. Thanks again.

Alan

suave's picture
suave

I think the only manufacturer who calls its flour dark is Bob's RM, and that flour is very much whole rye.

Elagins's picture
Elagins

We (nybakers.com) sell Bay State Wingold Dark Rye, which is labeled and marketed as such. If Bob's is selling medium rye as dark, they're doing both themselves and their customers a disservice.

Mebake's picture
Mebake

I use splatter fine mesh screen to sift out bran from whole rye. Mix that with wholegrain Rye in 50%, as Stan said, and you'll have a hoome made medium Rye flour.

asfolks's picture
asfolks

Sounds like a good idea, I will give that a try.

joyfulbaker's picture
joyfulbaker

Mebake, I have done the same thing, only on a small scale.  After sifting out the bran from the whole rye, I thought that what remained was medium rye.  If I understand what you said, you are mixing the "white" flour that's had the bran sifted out with wholegrain rye, 50-50.  So if you buy "white" rye flour, can you mix that with the wholegrain as well to create medium rye, again 50-50?

Thanks,

Joy

Elagins's picture
Elagins

There's no diff between medium rye and whole rye. The white rye is the endosperm that's been sifted out and dark rye is what's left after sifting. Everything else is marketing :)

Stan

suave's picture
suave

Stan, I agree with you to a degree - I've seen medium ryes that were next to impossible to distinguish from whole ryes.  Or, if you look at it from the other side, whole ryes so light, that they behaved much like mediums.   I would not say that it works in 100% of the cases though.

Elagins's picture
Elagins

Medium rye IS whole rye and vice versa. White rye, the sifted endosperm is lighter in colore and denser,  while dark rye, which contains a larger percentage of bran, is darker and much less dense. Because the color of the whole rye kernels can range from dark to light, the whole rye flours may vary in color, but they won't vary much in makeup.

varda's picture
varda

that Suave is missing the point.   Medium Rye has a lower extraction rate than Whole Rye which is 100% extraction.    Certainly as Suave says different mills call different things Medium Rye, but that's just a matter of the fineness of the milling and the particular extraction rate.   -Varda

mariana's picture
mariana

Interesting, Varda!

It seems that in Stan's store light as in light rye flour is reflection of the degree of flour extraction, whereas medium and whole  are terms of the color of the rye bran, but the extraction in both cases is the same 95-100%!

I have never seen rye flour millers use the term light and medium as one being for extraction and another for the color of the bran particles. Medium rye flour is flour of special extraction, different from white rye, light rye, whole rye and pumpernickel rye.

Apparently Stan relabels his flours before selling them. When he notices that two bags of 100% extraction whole rye flour from his miller differ in color, he labels the lighter one as medium rye and sells it as such. 

In a store, where I shop for rye flour, they do carry rye flour that ranges in color, even though it is of correct extraction rate. Some light rye flours are so dark that look like regular medium rye flour to me. The same is with whole rye. Some of it is indeed of very light color, more like medium extraction.

With wheat flour it is different . There are two words in the name so it is easier. White whole wheat flour is 95-100% extraction with white bran particles. Regular (red or darker brownish yellow) whole wheat flour is the same extraction with red or yellow bran particles. Nobody calls one light (or white) wheat flour and another - medium or dark.

Elagins's picture
Elagins

They are labeled exactly as they come from,the mill, which we also identify.

mariana's picture
mariana

Then they are probably not both whole grain ryes of different colors.

 

Medium rye flour has 11.8% fiber and 1.52% fat, whereas

whole rye flour has 23.4% fiber and 2.22% fat

according to the US Department of Agriculture. These are different extractions, one with whole kernel, another with some bran and germ sifted out.

suave's picture
suave

No.   Medium rye is ~85% extraction rye with ~1.25% ash.   If you still buy GM Medium - check the bag.  There are manufacturers who mill whole rye to several levels of coarseness and call finer grind "medium rye" but it's a terrible practice.

varda's picture
varda

that medium rye had that clear a specification.   So for instance, King Arthur medium rye would follow the 85% extraction, 1.25% ash?   I thought only European flours had such definite specs.  

suave's picture
suave

You would have to ask KA people to what specs they have their flour milled, but I would imagine it'll be in the vicinity of 85%. 

Donkey_hot's picture
Donkey_hot

Are you familiar with "Light Rye" from Heartland Mill? If so, would it be similar to what we assume the conventional Medium Rye is?

Light Rye Flour

We mill our Light Rye flour from the same high quality grain as we do our Whole Rye flour. As with Golden Buffalo wheat flour, we remove only the coarsest bran to create a flour with finer texture and lighter flavor and color. We recommend this as the primary rye flour in lighter rye breads. While Heartland’s Light Rye is lighter than our Whole Rye, it is best used to replace conventional “medium rye flour.”

joyfulbaker's picture
joyfulbaker

Appreciate the information very much.  On the BRM website, they sell either "organic white" or "organic dark" rye flour.   Here's the link:  http://www.bobsredmill.com/search.php?mode=search&page=1.   The question is whether the "dark" is actually medium/whole rye.  My guess is that it is.  Otherwise, why would they sell rye bran (or flour that has a large percentage of bran)?  They also sell a rye bread mix, which contains "dark" and "light" rye flour, plus a host of other flours and additives.  No mention of "white" and no mention at all of "medium."  It does get confusing. 

Joy

pepperhead212's picture
pepperhead212

I buy much of my rye flour in an Amish market, and they have 4 different kinds of rye, that definitely look different.  The white, which I never have bought, the slightly darker medium, which looks like the Pillsbury medium I got many years ago (only rye available back then!), the whole rye (what I usually get),  which is much darker,  and has a better flavor, and the pumpernickel, which looks like a bunch of bran, cracked rye, and rolled grains, added to medium rye (never bought this).  These are Germans (Pennsylvania Dutch, or actually Deutsch) running these places, so I figure they have to have good rye, and I have always liked it.  Still, pumpernickel is one of those misused terms, for bread and flour, so I doubt that is what you would find in Germany labeled pumpernickel.  

Dave

Farmer Brown's picture
Farmer Brown

Hi folks, I'm with a mill that regularly makes rye products. I'm not here to claim that that there is a standard for all these different ways to make rye because - as evidenced above - there are no clear standards; only interpretations. And, everyone (every mill that is) has their interpretation.

----

We mill a few rye products and here is how I describe them:

Whole rye berries

Cleaned, sorted, and sized rye berries, ready to do whatever you want to them. 

Steel Cut Cracked Rye
Whole rye ran through a cracker mill to a granulation slightly smaller than a pin head.

Pumpernickel Rye
Whole rye milled to a coarse rye meal; nothing taken away. 

Dark Rye
100% whole rye milled to a fine granulation.

Medium Rye

This is our dark rye flour with 15-20% of the bran sifted off, which - this year - results in an ash around 1.3-1.4%. 
This is the flour in question ...  there are many ways to make this flour and its end result depends on the style mill it is milled on. If this is milled on a stone mill or a short flour roller mill, then sifting will inevitably have to occur to achieve anything that could be considered 'medium rye'. If it is milled on a long flow mill, a stream would be pulled that contains the outer layers of bran shortly after the first few breaks and then remaining bits would continue down the line and wind up in your bag ... all the endosperm, most (if not all) of the germ, and the inner soft layers of bran. A hammer mill or a pin mill would be a wacky way to make this flour. But, if that's all you got, then your head miller - if he's got any skills - can make it happen with the appropriate bolting equipment. 

Premium Patent Cream of Rye

This is all the endosperm and nothing but the endosperm ... to us. 

----

One observation we've seen over the years that may be useful here: a sifted of extracted rye will change from year-to-year. A year like this one - dry - will yield rye berries that are smaller with lower ratio of bran to endosperm giving you a darker medium rye. On a year where Mother Nature gives the farm plenty of water, the berries will have a higher ratio of bran to endosperm. In this case, a lighter medium rye would be the result.

One other note about what someone above already touched on: Medium Rye should not be confused with Rye Medium. See above for what I call Medium Rye. Rye Medium - to us - would be 100% whole rye milled to a medium granulation. 

I hope the mud is a little clearer. 

mariana's picture
mariana

Thank you, Farmer Brown!

joyfulbaker's picture
joyfulbaker

Great to have this information from the miller!  Much more complex than I (and no doubt many other bakers) ever knew.  Thank you!

Joy