The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

rye berries

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Song Of The Baker's picture

Rye Berry Substitute Just To Get By?

December 26, 2012 - 12:35pm -- Song Of The Baker

I am planning to try pumpernickel for the first time but having a little trouble finding rye berries locally.  In particular, a bread as similar in ingredients as possible to Chad Robertson's Rugbrot.  Recipe here:

Is there a substitute for rye berries that will work close enough for what I am after?  I bought some steel cut oats today.  Maybe those?


dabrownman's picture

This fancy French named bread is really a Rustic Country San Francisco Sourdough.  It originally started out as a Glenn Snyder Country SD bread minus the rustic and the sweetbird, that she is,  took the recipe and tweaked it some and came up with the most amazing crust on a bread I have ever seen.   I just had to try my hand at it and converted it further to more my liking by; using a rye sour starter,  grinding my own WW and rye, increasing the rye to equal the WW, reducing the AP accordingly and then adding 50 g of whole WW and rye berries that were boiled in water for 30 minutes and then drained.  The berries were put back into the pot with 1 tsp of olive oil and then sauteed until caramelized.  I was hoping for a bread that would be more rustic, have a deeper more flavorful taste, a deep brown crust and crumb that was soft, moist and still somewhat open.  Well, I think all but the somewhat open crumb was achieved.  I guess you can't have everything.  It is the one of the best textured and tasty breads I have ever eaten.  It, like most breads, is much better toasted with butter and I'm guessing the flavor will be better tomorrow as well.  I can't wait to try this on a new sandwich creation tomorrow.  Here are some pix's.  The recipe follows the pix's

 Rustique Pain Comté de San Francisco

Yield: Two 750g Loaves


Levain Build

86 g AP flour

25 g Whole Wheat flour

25 g Whole rye flour

175 g water, cool (60 F or so)

30 g active culture (72% hydration)


   Final Dough (68% hydration, including levain)

600 g AP flour (77.5%)

87 g whole wheat flour (11.25%)

87 g whole rye flour (11.25%)

440 g warm water (80 F or so) (57%)

14 g pink Himalayan sea salt (1.5%)

313 Levain (40%)

Scald and Caramelize: 50 grams of WW and rye berries boiled in twice as much water as berries by volume for 40 minutes.  Drain berries and return to pan with 1 tsp of olive oil and sauté until the berries caramelize and start to leave color on the bottom of the pan.  When color starts sticking to the pan they are done.


 1.  Levain : Make the final build 10-12 hours before the final mix.

2. Mix: Add all the ingredients to the mixing bowl, including the levain, but not the salt or the scalded berries. Mix just until the ingredients are incorporated into a shaggy mass. Correct the hydration as necessary. Cover the bowl and let stand for an autolyse phase of 60 minutes. At the end of the autolyse, sprinkle the salt over the surface of the dough, and knead 4 minutes with dough hook on KA 3. The dough should have a medium consistency.  Add the scalded and caramelized  berries and mix on KA 3 for 1 minute   

3. Ferment with S&F: 3 hours. Stretch and fold the dough in the bowl once 10 strokes at the 30minute mark. Stretch and fold again, 5 strokes, at the one hour mark folding it into a ball in lightly oiled bowl.  Leave to ferment 1-2 more hours until the dough is at least 75% larger than when you started the ferment.

4. Retard: do 1 S&F in the lightly oiled bowl forming the dough into a ball again.  Refrigerate 8-20 hours, depending on how much time you have and sour your taste.

5. Divide and Shape:  take dough out of refrigerator and let it come to room temperature about 1 ½ hours.   Divide the dough into what 2 pieces and pre-shape, then shape into boules or batards 20 minutes later.

6. Proof: Approximately 1.5 to 2.5 hours at 72° F. Ready when poke test dictates.

7. Pre-heat: oven to 500 with steam apparatus in place - 45 minutes minimum.  I use a loaf pan half full of water and a dry12”cast iron skillet that go in the bottom rack of the oven at the beginning of pre heat and the stone on the rack above.  When the loaves go in, I throw 1 cup of boiling water into the cast iron skillet right after loading the bread on the stone.

8. Bake:  Slash loaves. Bake with steam, on stone. Turn oven to 450 F when it hits 500 F after loading loaves. Remove steaming apparatus after 15 minutes. Bake for another 15 minutes more or 30 to 35 minutes total. Rotate loaves for evenness as necessary. When done (205 Finternal temp), leave loaves on stone with oven door ajar, oven off for 10 minutes.  Move to cooling rack until loaf is room temperature.


Steve H's picture

Search For Rye Berries

July 6, 2009 - 5:33am -- Steve H

Any DC residents have any luck procuring rye berries?  I've looked at Yes Organic Market, Whole Foods, and Harris Teeter with no luck!

Its strange, I can get Teff flour, and all sorts of other things, but the pickings for whole grains seems to be rather slim  Whole foods comes the closest with some wheat berries.

xaipete's picture

Milling Rye Berries

July 1, 2009 - 10:33am -- xaipete

I grind my own rye berries with a Nutrimill and have noticed that the mill appears to have a much rougher time (takes at least twice as long to grind and seems to almost clog up at times) when grinding them than when grinding, e.g., hard spring wheat. Grinding rye also creates a lot more powder in my kitchen, so much so that I always grind rye outside.

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