The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

rye bread

dmsnyder's picture

Hamelman's 5-grain Levain and Seeded sourdough from "Bread" have been among my favorites for some time, but his 5-grain Sourdough Rye somehow had escaped my attention, in spite of several posts by others, until LindyD recently made it. At first, I was not clear that this was a different bread from the 5-grain Levain, but I eventually caught on. When I looked at the formula, I knew I would love it, and I do.

Thanks, Lindy! This is a wonderful bread.


dmsnyder's picture

I haven't baked the Polish Cottage Rye from Daniel Leaders "Local Breads" for a year! In the past, I have used First Clear Flour or another high extraction flour as a substitute for the bread flour called for in Leader's formula. This time, I followed the formula exactly.

The dough was very wet and sticky, even with very good gluten development. I actually enjoyed working with this dough, which must indicate I've reached a new level of comfort with slack doughs. In spite of the slackness, it had enough integrity to take my slashes without any dragging. I think proofing the loaf in a linen-lined banneton resulted in just enough drying of the surface.

The resulting bread was similar in profile to the Polish Cottage Ryes I had made before, but the crumb was much more open and chewy. I attribute this to the flour I used, in large part, but also to the better gluten development.

This is a "sourdough rye." There is no added yeast. It is made with a rye sour. I made my sour from my usual starter by giving it two feedings with whole rye flour. All the rye in the dough is from the rye sour.


Polish Cottage Rye -2-1/2 pound boule

As you can see, this bread has a rather low profile. The slack dough spreads once it is dumped from the banneton onto the peel. It has only moderate oven spring. I should have put a ruler on the cutting board to provide a sense of scale, but this bread is just about 11" across. 

Polish Cottage Rye - Crumb close-up

As with most sourdough rye breads, this one benefits from deferring slicing until at least 12 hours after it has baked. I am so proud of myself! This is the first time I actually had the self-control to leave the bread uncut for 12 hours!

The flavor of this bread is marvelous. It is moderately sour with a complex flavor. The rye flavor is very much "there," but it does not dominate. 

I recommend this bread to any rye-lover who wants to explore beyond "Deli Rye" but isn't quite ready for the 70-100% ryes. Because it has a high percentage of bread flour, the dough acts like a "regular" sourdough, not like the sticky dough of a high-percentage rye. I also recommend it to any sourdough lover. There are so many things to be said about adding some rye flour to a "white" sourdough, the topic deserves it's own entry.  For now, I'll just leave it at, "Try it! You'll like it!"


ema2two's picture

Handleman's Light Rye (15% preferment) question

December 23, 2008 - 7:40pm -- ema2two

I've been somewhat obsessed with rye bread, and haven't had much success.


I made the rye starter Handleman describes, and nurtured it for almost 2 weeks, with it demonstrating plenty of activity, and using the discards from feedings to make some successful 1-2-3 sourdough.  So I know the starter is good.

countrygirl84's picture

"Light Rye" Molasses Bread Recipe

December 20, 2008 - 1:31pm -- countrygirl84

Well this bread smells great but its not quite what I was expecting. It turned out a LOT darker than the pictures in the recipe I used. I am waiting for it to cool right now so we'll see how it tastes later. I got some good rise in the oven but they kind of split open on the side. I'm thinking this was probably due to inexperienced shaping methods.

I found the recipe at

Kuret's picture

This is what I pulled out of my oven today, a good 2kg of dough worth. First a small batch of light rye rolls made somewhat according to the instructions for making sourdough italian bread that was posted here earlier by Dmsnyder i think. The formula does only call for white flour but as I live in sweden I find that breads should contain at least a small portion of rye!

I made the dough with 20% rye flour wich gives you a dough that handles exactly like a wheat dough but with greater taste and also a somewhat drier feel, due to the high ash content of my whole grain rye flour, I also topped them with a mixture of wheat bran and rolled oats so they resemble the kind of "fake healthy" bread you can buy in stores and bakeries here in sweden.

The other breads were two sunflower ryes as per BBA, made with 30%rye starter and really coarse rye meal for the rye content in the dough. Lightly toasted sunflower seeds make for a lovely taste, can´t wait to open these babies! I have started tt get a bit better at shaping since I studied Marks videos, that technique is far superior to my prevoius attempts. Now I only have to make room for the loaves in my freezer! '

holds99's picture

This is Michel Suas version of N.Y Rye from his book Advanced Bread and Pastry.  It's a great rye bread with great taste and texture.  His formula calls for a pre-fermented dough that is made up the night before you bake, left out at room temp. for an hour, then refrigerated overnight and used with the final dough mix the following morning.  This is not a sourdough bread but still has excellent flavor and texture.  I doubled his test recipe and made 4 lbs of dough rather than 2 lbs.  I mixed the preferment into the water for the final dough with my K.A. to break  the preferment up as much as possible.  Then, added the combined flours (equal parts bread flour and medium rye flour), yeast and salt for the final dough, mixing it into a rough mass, then worked it by hand, slapping and folding for about 5 minutes.  Then at the end of the mixing cycle I gave it an initial stretch and fold, then 2 more, at 20 minute intervals during the first hour of bulk fermentation, which took a total of about 1.5 hours.  At the end of bulk fermentation I divided the dough in half and, without letting any gas out of the loaves, carefully shaped them and put them in my proofing baskets.  Yeah, they're weird looking proofing baskets, but they work great.  Anyway. I then baked the 2 loaves in a 450 deg. F. preheated oven, with a blast of steam (1 cup microwaved, boiling water into a cast iron skillet on the lowest rack in the oven).  They baked for 38 minutes in the middle of the oven, turning them around at mid way in the baking cycle.

Here's Mr. Suas description from AB&P: "Rye flour and caraway seeds are a typical flavor combination found in breads from Eastern Europe.  When people from this area of the world immigrated to New York City, they brought their bread making tradtions along.  Rye bread came to be thought of as being native to New York City, where it is particularly associated with Jewish delicatessens."

Here's my first try at Mr. Suas N.Y. rye bread, which I think is a real winner. 

Michel Suas' New York Rye Bread - Advanced Bread and Pastry

Michel Suas' New York Rye Bread - Advanced Bread and Pastry

proth5's picture

Finnish Rye

October 17, 2008 - 12:21pm -- proth5

My neighbor, who is from Finland, is craving rye bread.

And not just the 70% Detmolder stuff that I am working to master (yeah, after I master bread at all...) - Finnish rye.

This is a flat bread shaped in a rectangle or a round bread with a hole in the middle.

I was wondering if the collected wisdom of the TFL'ers could help deliver a taste of the homeland...


BoiseBob's picture

NY Style Jewish Rye

October 6, 2008 - 2:22pm -- BoiseBob

I have been looking for a good NY Style Jewish Rye here in Boise, and can not find one. Therefore, it's time to bake myown. Here is a link to the recipe, slightly modified from another source, but very good and the bread does resemble the Jewish Rye of New York. All I need now is a pickle, some ham, good cheese and mustard! I am happy with the crumb and the general density of the bread.

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