The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Light Rye Bread

MadAboutB8's picture

Another weekend baking with 20% rye bread. This time I made the bread using white starter. I still continued retarding the shaped loaved overnight. I was aiming to reduce the sour flavour in the bread I made last weekend (same 20% rye and retardation, but with rye sourdough starter).

I also added chia seeds into the dough. Chia seed was turned into gel after they were soaked, and the gel turned into liquid when baked (I believe). This made the bread really moist and chewy. The bread turned out nicely with good oven spring. I was happy with the taste using white starter. It didn't have the same strong sour flavour as last week's.

I baked two loaves, one in pan and the other as a free-standing loaf. They were both baked at the same time, same temperature. It's widely recommended to bake the bread in loaf pan at slightly lower temperature (to get the softer crust and not to overbrowning them, perhaps). However, baking the loaf-pan at the same temperature as a hearth bread worked fine for me as well. The crust was soft with a good oven bloom. The crumb was also relatively open and moist. I believe it worked as the bread is lean bread, without sugar or fat. So, it didn't have any overbrowning issues as a result.

I also tried new steaming method from Chad Robertson's Tartine Bread book. This steaming method was in the baguette baking section. He suggested this method as the baguette won't fit into the combo cooker. Soaking wet towels were place in the tray while the oven is preheated. The wet towels are removed after 15 mins of baking. I combined this method with my usual, boiling water in cast iron pan. This method had created a lots, lots of steam. So much so that my smoke alarm went off, and kept going off everytime I opened the oven. It also gave a nice shiny crust, shinier than usual for me.

For a full post and recipe, you can find it here.


MadAboutB8's picture

My learning path of baking with rye flour continues from last week where I started baking light rye sourdough with 15% rye flour. This week I increased the rye percentage to 20% and added sunflower seeds and grains (millet and pearl barley) to the bread.

The method and recipes were largely similar to last week's. I also continued retarding the dough overnight. So far, there has been no issues with retarding low percentage rye bread. The loaves turned out nicely with nice and open crumbs, no gummy texture issue of overfermenting.

However, these breads were quite acidic, which I was not sure if it was due to the higher rye percentage & long fermentation. Or if it was something to do with the starter. Or if it was double effect of long fermentation and caraway seeds that lift sour flavour in rye. I plan to do a bit more experimenting this weekend, by removing caraway seeds and change the starter to see if the bread will remain highly acidic.

Note: if you like a sour sour sourdough, you would like this bread. I personally like bread with a balance of flavour. Though, my partner quite enjoyed this bread.

Full post and recipe can be found here.


MadAboutB8's picture

I have just started to move to Sourdough Rye bread section of Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread book after baking from the book for several months. I like the flavour that rye adds to the bread, the tang and acidic taste.

All recipes from rye bread section of the book require instant yeast in addition to sourdough starter, which I was so curious that I put a post in TFL asking what are the reasons behind it and if rye dough can be retarded (Hamelman didn't' give an option to retard any of rye dough in his book). I usually retard the dough in the evening and bake in the morning as it suits my schedule better and long fermentation provides better flavour. 

Thanks to Mini, Andy (ananda) and Sam Fromartz who gave wonderful advices to the post. I'm new to working with rye flour, those insightful advices were really helpful for me getting on the right rye track.

Light rye bread with 15% rye flour sounds like a good choice to start my rye-learning-path. The bread also contains 1.6% of caraway seeds, which lift the sour flavour of the bread even more.

I followed Hamelman's recipe roughly. I did retard the dough overnight so I omitted the yeast, increase percentage of rye sour in the starter built and increase fermentation time to compensate this.

I have to admit, even though I was assured by Mini that bread with 15% rye  can be easily retarded, after I retarded the dough, I was in bed thinking and wondering if the bread would be alright, what if it was over-fermented and turned gummy texture. First thing when I got up was to check on the doughs. It was a huge relief to see that the dough was alright, phew.

The bread turned out nicely with nice and open crumb and I am happy to report that this type of rye bread can be retarded.

More details and recipe are here.

I also made Portuguese Custard Tart last weekend, with home-made puff pastry. I usually made rough puff pastry instead of the classic one as it is much quicker and less complicated, yet the end result is relatively similar, the same buttery and flaky goodness with 50% less work.

The pastry post is here.

The puff pastry was also used for making chorizo pissaladière (the French take on Italian pizza).

 Rough puff pastry gives a decent layers with much less work

The pastry post is here.


Mebake's picture

Yesterday I baked this Boule... With 33% Rye this time. Success!

I have had the best oven spring because of using an improvised cloche. A ceramic clay oven pot i bought off a store, and replaced the cover (which was vented) with a stanless steel bowl on top, and preheated both to 250 C.

Now i know how baking accomplishment feels.

Hats off to Susan't magic bowl idea, and that.



dmsnyder's picture

San Joaquin Light Rye 1

San Joaquin Light Rye 1

San Joaquin Light Rye 2

San Joaquin Light Rye 2

San Joaquin Light Rye Crumb

San Joaquin Light Rye Crumb

 This bread evolved from Anis Bouabsa's formula for baguettes which he generously gave to Janedo when she visited his bakery in Paris. I have had fun applying Anis' long cold primary fermentation to variations on his baguette formula.

I have enjoyed the breads made with added sourdough starter and about 10% rye in particular.I have written about my pain de campagne made with these modifications. However, the second time I made it using a flour that absorbed more water, the crumb was less open. I decided to try the same formula but with a somewhat higher hydration. I added an additional 15 gms of water, boosting the hydration from 74% to 77%. This resulted in a dough of almost identical “feel” to the original dough made with the less absorbent flour.


Active starter                        100 gms

KAF French Style Flour           450 gms

Guisto's Rye Flour                    50 gms

Water                                    385 gms

Instant yeast                           1/4 tsp

Salt                                        10 gms

 The method I used was otherwise identical to that described before: ( )

Jane opined that this could no longer be called a “pain de campagne.” I'm not sure why, but I accept her authority in matters of French terminology. So, I am calling it “San Joaquin Light Rye.” I also am not sure what to call the shape of the loaf. Maybe it is “a stretch bâtard.” Or “an obese demi-baguette.” In “Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. II,” Julia Child pictured a French loaf shape called a “Jaco.” I have not heard of this shape otherwise, but it looks sort of like what I made today.

 If asked to describe the crust and crumb, I would say it is close enough to Nury's Light Rye that I would have difficulty telling which was which in a blind tasting. And that's not bad!



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