The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

rye bread

dmsnyder's picture

Hamelman's Rye with Flax Seeds1

Hamelman's Rye with Flax Seeds1

Hamelman's Flaxseed Bread - crumb

Hamelman's Flaxseed Bread - crumb

Jeffrey Hamelman's Flaxseed Bread from "Bread" is a 60% sourdough rye. It is almost exactly the same formula as his 66% sourdough rye, with the addition of flaxseeds added to the dough as a soaker. This is a delicious bread, but the wonderful flavor really comes together the day after baking.  One day 2, it is mildly sour with a prominant, hearty rye flavor mixed with a very distinct flavor of flaxseed. The seseme seeds on top, which Hamelman says are traditional, add another nice flavor and a nice additional crunch.

I have made many rye breads before and love them, but this is my first attempt at one of Hamelman's German-style rye breads. I must give credit to Eric (ehanner), whose beautiful rye breads from Hamelman inspired me to take the plunge.


ehanner's picture

Hamelman's 40% Rye with Caraway

I'm starting a string of rye breads using Jeff Hamelman's Bread. I just recently purchased this book and I can say "Bread" has had a huge impact on my baking. I strongly recommend this book for anyone who is a contributor here. Forget the comments that it is written for the commercial baker and ignores the home baker. Hamelman is clear in his writing and shares detailed information to help understand the handling techniques needed to produce beautiful bread. This is a great resource on so many levels you will never be sorry for adding it to your library.

Here is the recipe I used pretty much straight from the book. The details provided in the side bars give you more depth of understanding but this will get you close.

40% Rye Bread with Caraway
From Jeff Hamelman's-Bread

Rye Sour

  • 360 g Medium Rye Flour
  • 360 g Water
  • 20 g Sourdough Starter

Final Dough

  • 545 g King Arthur All Purpose Flour
  • 260 g Water
  • 740 g (all of the above) Rye Sour
  • 1 Tsp. Instant Yeast
  • 15 g Salt
  • 15 g Caraway Seeds

The evening before the bake, prepare the rye sour by mixing together the rye flour, water and mature sourdough starter until homogeneous. Cover with a light dusting of Rye which will show you the progress of the sour. As it cracks open you will know fermentation is causing it to grow. Let stand overnight for 12-16 hours at 75-80°F.

The next day, combine the all purpose flour, water, instant yeast and rye sour, adding additional water if necessary to obtain a dough of medium consistency. Turn the dough out of the mixing bowl onto your work surface and begin hand kneading the somewhat sticky dough until it just starts to come together. Add the salt and continue hand mixing until the dough reaches medium development, about 10-15 minutes. Add the caraway seeds and hand mix just until evenly distributed within the dough. Place the dough in a lightly oiled container, cover, and let ferment at 78-80°F for 1 hour. Divide the dough into 1 1/2 lb. pieces, lightly round and let rest under a plastic sheet for 10 minutes. Shape the pieces into batards, place the batards seam side down on a couche or in a banneton and let proof for an additional hour.

After an hour, turn the batards onto a peel or parchment, score and bake in a pre heated oven at 450F for the first 15 minutes of baking. After 15 minutes, turn the oven down to 420F and bake for an additional 20 minutes. A robust bake is more flavorful. Under baked is gummy. I shoot for 205F internal temp.

This bread needs to be completely cool before slicing. Enjoy!

ejm's picture

wild rye bread © ejm July 2008

Dark rye bread flavoured with onion and caraway seeds and made with wild yeast; based on a recipe by "Breadchick", one of the Bread Baking Babes (BBB)

My starter is extremely active these days. I think that's one reason this bread turned out so incredibly well. When I started to make it, I was sort of sneaking around about it. It was a bit warm outside (around 28C) and I wasn't absolutely certain that turning on the oven would be a big hit.

My fears were unfounded. We loved this bread. And no wonder. It was fabulous!

It was equally delicious on its own, or buttered, or toasted and buttered. And it made the most stellar Reuben sandwiches (made with home-made red cabbage sauerkraut)! Did we take photos of the sandwiches? Ha. Of course not. We were too busy stuffing them down our gullets.

I was particularly thrilled with the slashes on the bread. I've never managed to have slashes stay so well defined. I only hope I can reproduce this! I can't wait until we have enough freezer space so I can make it again.

wild rye bread © ejm July 2008

For a more detailed account, please see:

The all-purpose flour I use is "No Name" (Loblaws) unbleached (about 11.5% protein). The rye flour is "Five Roses" Dark Rye flour (no idea how much protein). The bread flour is "Robin Hood" 'best for bread' flour (about 13% protein).

And I used my shiny new digital scale to weigh the ingredients!

digital scale © ejm July 2008wild rye bread © ejm July 2008
dmsnyder's picture

Light Rye & pumpernickel

Light Rye & pumpernickel

Silesian Light Rye from Leader's "Local Breads"

Silesian Light Rye from Leader's "Local Breads" 

Silesian Light Rye crumb

Silesian Light Rye crumb 

Pumpernickel crumb

Pumpernickel crumb 

The Silesian Light Rye from Daniel Leader's "Local Breads" is even lighter than the usual "Jewish Sour Rye." It is a lovely bread that my wife and I always enjoy fresh or toasted.

 Leader's recipe calls for free form loaves, but I've usually made it in brotformen. I recently bought a couple of oval brotformen from SFBI, and this was their maiden voyage. The dough was quite extensible. It was hard to form the loaves short enough for the brotform, so they ended up sort of brot-deformed. 

Also, Leader calls for caraway seeds as an optional coating, but I like them in the bread, so I added them for the final minute of mixing.

Greenstein's pumpernickel is another favorite of mine. It is made with rye sour, pumpernickel flour, first clear flour and altus (stale rye bread, soaked in water, then wrung out and added to the dough). I use granular caramel coloring, which not only makes the color "black" but adds a bitter flavor without which this bread just doesn't taste "right" to me. This is a bread that makes good sandwiches, but my favorite way to eat it is spread with cream cheese , untoasted, as an accompaniment to scrambled eggs. That's my breakfast for tomorrow morning.

Dough for Nury's rye is retarding to bake tomorrow. I'm thinking of cutting some of the dough into squares to bake as rolls (hamburger buns?). I may set up another bread or two, if time allows.

Hey! I haven't baked for the past two weeks. I was getting kind of twitchy. I feel so much better now. :-)


CountryBoy's picture

Is 100% Rye without Sourdough Possible?

July 17, 2008 - 7:41pm -- CountryBoy

I tried this question before but am not sure I got a direct answer.  So here goes.  I just made the recipe listed below but want to make a 100% Rye.  Can I just substitute all rye flour for the whole wheat flour and proceed?  (Flour is getting costly and I don't like messing up) Thanks.

Rye Hearth Transitional Meteil of Peter Reinhart, p. 178, of  PR, WGB;



dmsnyder's picture

Nury Light Rye baked 6-21-08

Nury Light Rye baked 6-21-08

Nury Light Rye crumb baked 6-21-08

Nury Light Rye crumb baked 6-21-08

Delicious as always!

 But ... I've never baked a loaf that came out of the oven winking at me before.


holds99's picture

These are pictures of the process beginning after mixing.  I made Jeffrey Hammelman’s Light Rye Bread from his book BREAD, A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes (page 197)albeit a slightly modified version.  I would have to say that this recipe is wonderful and very easy to make.  His recipe ingredients consist of 2 parts.  (1) SOURDOUGH, (2) FINAL DOUGH.  He makes what I would call a sponge, which he calls “Sourdough” as the first step in his recipe.  This takes 14-16 hours to ferment.  Then he mixes the SOURDOUGH with the FINAL DOUGH ingredients.  That’s it! The 5 basic steps of the process consists of:

SOURDOUGH:  (sponge/levain)

MIXING: 7-10 minutes



FINAL FERMENTATION: 50-60 minutes at 78-80 deg. F

BAKING: 35-40 minutes

I made a couple of minor changes to his recipe:

For his SOURDOUGH (sponge) he calls for Medium Rye Flour.  Instead I used K.A. First Clear Flour.  I did this because K.A. says it works well with sourdough starters.  After 16 hours I had a terrific sponge.

In his FINAL DOUGH, He does use some yeast (1 ½ tsp.)  For the flour I incorporated  4.8 ounces of medium rye flour (called for in the sponge) with the high gluten flour.  I used K.A. Bread Flour with Arrowhead Mills rye flour and added 1 tablespoon of vital wheat gluten.

Caraway Seeds:  He calls for 2 ½ tablespoons.  I recently purchased a bottle of McCormack which smelled very fresh and pungent.  At first I thought maybe they were a bit too strong.  But after my second bite I think they’re fine.  My wife really likes this bread very, very much and she’s a very tough critic.  Anyway, there you have it, and here are the photos.


 Mixed Dough Photo No. 1

Jeffery Hamelman's Light Rye Bread: Mixed Dough Photo No. 1


 Folding Photo No. 2

Jeffery Hamelman's Light Rye Bread: Folding Photo No. 2

 Folding - Photo No. 3

Jeffery Hamelman's Light Rye Bread: Folding - Photo No. 3

 Bulk Fermentation - Photo No. 4

Jeffery Hamelman's Light Rye Bread: Bulk Fermentation - Photo No. 4

 Ready for Final Fermentation - Photo No. 5

Jeffery Hamelman's Light Rye Bread: Ready for Final Fermentation - Photo No. 5

 Final Fermentation Complete - Photo No. 6

Jeffery Hamelman's Light Rye Bread: Final Fermentation Complete - Photo No. 6

 Ready for scoring - Photo No. 7

Jeffery Hamelman's Light Rye Bread: Ready for scoring - Photo No. 7

 Scoring complete - Photo No. 8

Jeffery Hamelman's Light Rye Bread: Scoring complete - Photo No. 8

 Light Rye Loaves - Photo No. 9

Jeffery Hamelman's Light Rye Bread: Light Rye Loaves - Photo No. 9

 Light Rye Crumb Photo No. 10

Jeffery Hamelman's Light Rye Bread: Light Rye Crumb Photo No. 10


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