The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

50% rye

ph_kosel's picture

I had a hand at making a sourdough Limpa loaf similar to something I had at a potluck recently.  The Limpa I had at that party was very moist, around 50% rye, and flavored with molasses, fennel, caraway, anise and perhaps orange zest.  I found a recipe that may well be the same one HERE, and followed it.  I decided to bake it as a pan loaf instead of as an artisan loaf because the dough is extremely moist and (because of the high rye content) incredibly sticky.

This is probably the best of several Limpa recipes I've tried.  The seed mix and orange zest, coupled with the molasses and the tang of the sourdough, gives it a unique, rather festive flavor.  I think it might be even better with some raisins in it but I've never heard of Limpa with raisins.

These are the ingredients I used for this sourdough (there's also a yeasted version on the breadtopia site linked to above):

Water: 400 grams, 1 3/4 cups
Sourdough Starter: 70 grams, 1/3 cup
Dark Rye Flour: 245 grams, 1 3/4 cups
Unbleached Bread Flour: 245 grams, 1 3/4 cups
Molasses(full flavor, not mild): 44 grams, 2 Tbs.
Fennel Seed: 8 grams, 1 Tbs.
Anise Seed: 2 grams, 1 tsp.
Caraway Seed: 3 grams, 1 tsp.
Salt: 12 grams, 1 3/4 tsp.
Zest of 1 Orange

Here are a couple photos:

dabrownman's picture

Happy Rosh Hashanah to all  -  A New Year Knotted Roll for dinner made here:

but eaten tonight.  It is a 50% Rye SD Knotted Rolls With Wheat Germ, Barley Scald, Caraway and Sunflower Seeds and was just as good as the day they were made.    They are all gone now but we will make some more sometime in the New Year.  The best to you and yours.

Forgot the New Year's sunset.

dabrownman's picture

These nice looking and good tasting rolls are some thing we normally don’t do since rolls are usually reserved for holidays and bread is served for dinner otherwise.  We wanted a 50% rye SD knotted roll that also used the WW Joe Ortiz cumin starter we like so much.   So we mixed together our standard rye starter and the WW Joe Ortiz one.  It sat in the fridge after the 8 hour build for 4 days while we decided what to do with it.  We probably should have refreshed it again but no time was available.

We also wanted to boost the browning, a little sweetness and yeast activity by adding molasses, barley malt syrup and home made diastatic malt powder.   We love berry scalds and seeds in bread, especially rye ones, so a cracked barley scald was prepared and once done, some caraway seeds and sunflower seeds incorporated into it.

It is just plain fun to make knots so we do so when ever we can.  We added different individual seed toppers to the rolls to make each a little different than the others.

The sour taste is slightly muted since we didn’t retard them.  The crust is nice and brown and softened as it came out of the oven.  The crust was not as open as we would have liked even for such a high percent whole grain bread but not brickish either.  But it was, soft and moist.  It probably could have baked a few more minutes too.  They should be baked to 205 F but ever since I fried the temperature probe in a 500 F oven, trying to stupidly test how hot it really was,  we have to play the 'is it done' guessing game again. 


 These were baked in the mini oven using (2) 0f Sylvia’s steaming method developed for the little beast.  The spring was good as a result.


This WWW and Rye SD levain was made over (2 ) 3 hour builds and (1) 2 hour build and ended up at a  78% hydration and 160 g. for each roll.   The seed was a combination of a sour rye and the Joe Ortiz Cumin Desem starter.  It was very active and doubled after the last build in 2 hours.  Any sourdough starter will do though.  The starter was refrigerated for 4 days but it doesn’t need to be refrigerated at all.

The barley is cracked in a spice mill and then brought to a boil and allowed to sit at room temperature until cooled. The caraway seeds and sunflower seeds are then added to the barley scald and reserved, covered in plastic wrap until needed.  


The dough was a 50-50 combination of rye and bread flour.  The levain was mixed with the dough water, molasses and barely malt syrup to break it up.  The dough flours, wheat germ, salt and home made diastatic malt were then added and mixed by hand in a bowl with a spoon for 1 minute and allowed to rest covered with plastic for 20 minutes.


(4) sets of  S&F’s were done on 15 minute intervals on an oiled surface with the dough being returned to a plastic covered oiled bowl between sets.  During the last set of S & F’s the barley scald,  caraway and sunflower seed mix is worked into the dough on a floured work surface as this is very sticky dough because of the rye.

The dough is then allowed to develop and ferment for 90 minutes.  You want it to alt least gain 80% in volume before dividing up the dough into (6) 140 g balls to form into knotted rolls.  Form the balls into 14” ropes, make a knot in the middle and then tuck in the two ends into the middle, one from the top and one from the bottom.


Allow to nearly double in size on semolina or corn meal sprinkled parchment paper, wrapped in a kitchen trash bag.  We baked ours after 2 hours and they were under proofed by 30 minutes or so - couldn't wait though as dinner needed attention too.  Should have retarded them in the fridge overnight instead of balking them.  We brushed the tops with egg yolk and sprinkled each witha different seed or topping.  We used bran and seeds; chia, flax, basil, white and black sesame and poppy before baking in a 450 F preheated mini oven with (2) of sylvia's steamers for 10 minutes.  After 2 minutes, turn the temperature down to 425  F.  At the 10 minute mark, remove the steam and turn the temperature down to 375 F baking with convection this time.


In another 10 minutes or so, the rolls should be done and be 205 F on the inside.  Let them cool in the oven with the door ajar for 10 minutes then move to a cooling rack.

50% Rye SD Rolls With Wheat Germ, Caraway and Sunflower Seeds     
Mixed StarterBuild 1Build 2 Build 3Total%
SD Starter2000205.39%
Total Starter60802016056.94%
Levain % of Total22.28%    
Dough Flour %   
Diastatic Malt10.00356   
Bread Flour14049.82%   
Dough Flour281100.00%   
Dough Hydration71.17%    
Total Flour371    
T. Dough Hydration72.78%    
Whole Grain %64.15%    
Hydration w/ Adds73.35%    
Total Weight718    
Add - Ins %   
Barley Malt82.85%   
Wheat Germ82.85%   
Caraway (2) & Sunflower Seeds227.83%   
Cracked Bulgar258.90%   
dabrownman's picture

A blend of Seigle d’Auvergne and Borodinski where diastatic malt is used in the dough on the French side and non diastatic malt with scalded rye berries is used on the Russian side.  Thank goodness no retardation is required, no matter how nice it would be, to produce a nearly classic clash of multicultural bread with different colored malts and multi grain flours that ends up being slightly unique in the end - in a peaceful and united way.   The loaf rose well during final proof but the spring was more of a sprawl.  The crust is chewy the crumb is moist, soft and quite airy.   It tastes like your eating really good Russian Rye bread while walking down the Champ de Elysee in the springtime.  Recipe follows the pix's. 

Pink Himilayan Salt, the scald, dough and levain

Red Non D and White D Malts

Rye berries being scalded with the Red ND Malt

White D Malt on white flour

Before final rise

 French / Russian 57% Rye, 11% WW Rustic Bread

Starter - 10 g















































Levain- 220g









1st build

2nd build

3rd build



















B. Flour
























Scald – 53 g after scald and























ND Malt


















Bread –391 g
























B. Flour






D. Malt






























T. Weight












Grains& Flour


Including scald and starter




Including scald and starter














Levain is


of the total weight.




 Take 10 g of 100% hydration starter and add10 Geach; Rye, WW and AP flour along with 30 g of water.  Mix well, cover with plastic and let sit for 6 hours on the counter.  Then add 20 g each of the same flours and 60 g water.  Let sit on counter for 6 hours.  Refrigerate overnight.  In the morning add10 geach of the flours but no water and let sit on the counter covered in plastic wrap.

 Scald the rye berries and red non-diastatic malt in50 gof water.  Boil until the water barely disappears.  Turn off heat and reserve covered with plastic wrap on counter with the levain. Let sit 2 hours then start autolyse.

 Mix the bread flours, white distatic malt and water well, cover and autolyse for 1 hour after the scald and the levain have rested 2 hours on the counter.

 Mix in the levain and let autolyse for 1 hour.  Then add the scald and the salt and mix well.  Do 5 S&F’s on an oiled surface and place in an oiled bowl.  Then do 5 S&F’s every 20 minutes 2 more times.  Pre-form into ball using the final S & F’s at the 1 hour mark and let sit in an oiled bowl for 20 minutes.

 Shape as desired, I did an oval, dust with rye bran or other bran, flour or rice flour and place in prepared basket.  Place basket in plastic bag and let proof until dough has risen 70% - 80%.  You can also proof in a DO.

 Pre heat oven to 500 F for 45 minutes, with your stone and steaming apparatus in place.  No steam needed if using a DO.  Take dough out of benetton by overturning onto a piece of parchment on a peel.  Slide bread and parchment paper into oven onto the baking stone.  Turn oven down to 450 F and bake for 15 minutes.  Remove steaming apparatus and turn down oven to 425 F with convection on now.  Bake about 20 minutes more until bread reaches 205 F in the middle.   Let sit on stone, in off oven, with the door ajar for 10 minutes.  Cool on rack.

 If using DO, bake at 500 F for 20 minutes with lid on, then remove lid and turn down temperature to 450 F.  Bake about 20 minutes more until middle of bread is 205 F. 

codruta's picture

In the last 2 weeks, I baked a lot of breads. I hope I'll have time to write about every one of them, and I start with these two loafs.

The first one was 50% whole-wheat with roasted wheat germ using a liquid levain. The hydration is 75%, and prefermented flour is 20% of the total amount of flour. I kneaded only by hand, with folds in the bowl, then I transfered the dough in a lightly oiled container and I did 2 S-F at 50 minutes interval for 2h:30 min fermentation time. Shape a batard and refrigerated for 21 hours (I didn't intended to ferment the dough so long, but I had a busy day). I loved the aroma of this bread, tangy with a nutty flavor. My boyfriend took a half of it on a mountain trip and it held very well, in sunny and rainy weather. I ate the other half toasted, and this increased the nutty flavor. It was a simple formula, with a good result.


The other loaf, made two days later, was 50% rye with roasted fennel seeds, using a liquid levain. The hydration was 80%, prefermented flour 20%. I thought I could refrigerate the dough overnight, but I checked the dough after 4 hours in the fridge and it was proofed, so I had to bake it in the middle of the night (bad planning, sleepy eyes, ugly scoring). The aroma of rye and fennel filled the room. The bread was light (the huge amount of water evaporated during baking?), and I was surprised to see the open crumb, given the fact that was so much rye and the dough was at the limit of overproofing. I loved eating this bread, especially with goat cheese and olive oil.

Here is a picture with a comparative section of this two breads.

Complete recipes and more pictures can be found on my romanian blog,  Water.Flour.Salt., first one, here, and second one, here.


varda's picture

A few weeks ago, I made an accidental very sour rye bread, which had an addictive quality to it, but unfortunately failed in every other regard.   So armed with advice from some very helpful people on the forum, I have been trying to make a successful loaf with that same tart and delicious taste.   This I have not yet succeeded in doing.   Yesterday I decided to try to follow the Hamelman pain au levain approach with some notable deviations to see where that would get me.   So I started with the basic pain au levain formula, but upped the ratio of rye to bread flour to almost 1, and even higher on the starter.   Then for the second ferment, I placed the shaped loaves in linen lined bread pans for support, and refrigerated for 20 hours.   Then baked for over an hour in my WFO.   I thought that the long ferment and the higher percentage of rye flour would get me to sour (without turning the entire dough into starter which is why the original bread was such a failure) but it didn't.   But I did get a delicious rye bread with a much higher percentage of rye flour than I have ever dared to try.   So I'm not yet daring to make 100% rye (for which I'll follow Mini Oven when I do) and I still haven't managed to get back the sour without the flopping, but nevertheless I'll pause for a minute to enjoy this very tiny milestone. 

Yes, I scored two different ways - just to see - and got some extra scores besides.   Could have proofed even longer?

ryeaskrye's picture

I have been meaning to start a blog here at TFL for quite some time. So...

I want to start this blog with a post influenced by why I began a bread-baking adventure in the first place. My quest began several years ago in an attempt to recreate a sourdough "pumpernickel" I and my extended family of Austrian descent relished when I was a kid growing up outside Denver. (Hi Pat.)

There was a local bakery near I-70 and Josephine whose name I can't recall and that has long since disappeared. However, the memory of their "pumpernickel" lingers among numerous family members that still talk about it at holiday gatherings. I decided I would bring those memories back to life. 

As my knowledge of bread has grown, in no small part due to the TFL community, I realize this is not really a true pumpernickel, but basically a 50% Rye with Caraway.

I adapted a recipe from Charles Van Over's "The Best Bread Ever" (my first bread book) by eliminating commercial yeast and converting to a full sourdough, increasing the percentage of rye, increasing final hydration, and pre-fermenting 39% of the flour overnight. Below is just the latest tweak of the formula and the resulting bake from a few weeks back. Being a bit of a purist, I dropped the cocoa for a little while, but discovered it does add essential flavor undertones in addition to being a coloring agent. (Hey...some people like chocolate in their bread.)

Despite ongoing refinements and continual variations, I have a base formula that finally satisfies cravings from a now distant era.

I used a 50-50 mix of Bob's Red Mill Pumpernickel and NYBakers Dark Rye, BRM Vital Wheat Gluten, Ghirardelli unsweetened coca, Eden Organic Barley Malt Syrup and KAF Bread Flour. And yes, I like poppy seeds.

Prefermented Flour = 38.89% Total Flour = 900g Total Water = 610g Final Hydration = 67.78%
General method:

  • Late evening the night before baking, combine starter, water and rye flour to make rye sour. Cover and ferment overnight.
  • In the morning, combine together all ingredients (except salt and caraway) just until hydrated. Let autolyse for 30 minutes.
  • With mixer running, add salt and mix for 5 minutes (KitchenAid @ Speed 2). Add caraway and mix for 2 more minutes.
  • Proof for 40 minutes in a warm place (76-80°F) then perform a stretch-&-fold.
  • Proof for another 40 minutes and perform a 2nd stretch-&-fold.
  • Proof for another 1.5-2 hours.
  • Preheat oven, stone and cover to 475°F.
  • Divide and shape dough into two boules or batards. Place either in covered brotforms or en couche. Proof for another 1 hour.
  • Lightly brush with cornstarch glaze (or spray with water) and sprinkle poppy seeds on top. (simmer 1 TBL cornstartch with 1 cup water for 2 minutes and allow to cool to room temperature for glaze) 
  • Score and bake covered for 15 minutes at 450°F before lowering temperature to 420°F and baking uncovered for a further 15-20 minutes. 
  • Allow to cool completely on wire rack. Flavor builds when left uncut as long as you can wait. Goes well with european unsalted butter, cured meats and pungent cheese.


While the crumb make look dense, it is actually very even, light and moist. I normally have a more open crumb, but let this round overproof just a touch and was heavy-handed on the slashing. The flavor is clean and full with very little aftertaste..and meets the approval of all family members. The crust is thin and crunchy.
The non-poppy-top loaf was for those who get drug tested at work...


yozzause's picture

50% rye sour dough

January 7, 2010 - 11:55pm -- yozzause


i recently aquired a couple of kilos of rye meal from the local bakery that belongs to a friend of mine he had been dabbling in making a ryebread he gave me some to play with.

So the other day when i was refreshing my sour dough starter i decided it was time to have my go at this BREAD

I USED 200g  rye flour, 200g white flour, 200g starter, 10g salt, 2 bantams eggs, 1 teaspoon full of black strap molasis,

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