The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


dmsnyder's picture

Greenstein's Sour Rye Bread

November 11, 2007 - 11:59am -- dmsnyder

I started baking bread again after a lapse of ... lets just say "decades" ... because I could not get good rye bread in my area. So, the first new bread book I bought was George Greenstein's "Secrets of a Jewish Baker." I do wish his formulas used weights rather than volumes of ingredients, but his rye breads are, indeed, "the real thing." In fact, they are better than any I have had from bakeries. (Yeah, I know. I'm in California.)

JMonkey's picture

As many of you know, I've been questing for a tasty, open crumb, 100% whole grain hearth bread for a long, long time now.

This weekend, I finally achieved my goal.

Nice open crumb, creamy texture, tangy and flavorful crumb, appealing slashes, crunchy crust.

Here's how I made it, and, to be truthful, it was mostly on a whim. The day before, I'd made some whole wheat sourdough sandwich bread, and had about 80 grams of starter left over. I didn't have time, really, to feed it, so I popped it in the fridge figuring I'd do something with it later.

The next evening, as I was thinking about what to cook for a visit from my folks (they'd come all the way from Atlanta, so I wanted something nice), I thought, "Why not try something akin to CrumbBum's miche?"

So here's what I did:

  • 40 grams of whole wheat starter at 60% hydration (Use 50 grams if at 100% hydration)
  • 375 grams water
  • 10 grams salt
  • 300 grams whole wheat flour
  • 150 grams whole spelt flour
  • 50 grams whole rye flour
So basically, its roughly 5 percent of flour in the starter, with a 60-30-10 wheat / spelt / rye flour combination at 75% hydration.

I mixed the starter into the water, added the salt until it was dissolved, and then stirred in the flour. I then did a stretch and fold at one hour, and then two more at half hour intervals. After the last stretch and fold, I shaped it into a ball, and let it sit overnight.

It's pretty chilly in our house at night, getting down to 63 degrees F, so your mileage may very, but the dough was ready to shape after about 12 hours. I preshaped it into a ball, shaped the dough into a batard after a 15 minute rest, wrapped it in baker's linen and then let it rise at 64 degrees for about 3.5 hours. After that, a few slashes and into a hot oven at 450 for 35 minutes.

I think the final piece that came into place for me was shaping gently, but firmly. And I suspect that the long fermentation helped with both flavor and texture. Anyway, I hope I can repeat this success.
JMonkey's picture

I love apples, and, at the Corvallis farmer's market, apples have been abundant lately. Everything from relatively new varieties like Liberty, to old varieties like Spitzenburg, to unusual European apples that are rarely seen in the U.S. like Calville Blanc, a very old French apple best suited for pies.

I decided that the height of the apple season deserved an apple-themed meal, whose centerpiece, of course, would be Normandy Apple Bread, a recipe from Jeffrey Hammelman's Bread that I've been eyeing for quite some time. The recipe is fairly simple. It's mostly white flour, with a bit of whole wheat, uses sourdough, substitutes half the water with apple cider and adds a healthy amount of dried apples. It also includes yeast, but I decided to omit it and let the starter work all alone.

I can heartily recommend it, based on my results:

And here's a picture of the crumb:.

The baked bread tasted almost like an apple pie, with the sourdough tartness substituting for the lemon juice I often add to a pie.

The rest of the meal included butternut squash stuffed with chicken sausage and apples, spinach salad with pecans and apples, apple cider and, of course ...

APPLE PIE. This is the "Best Apple Pie" recipe from The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion, but, instead of a traditional top crust, I decided to do a simple crumb topping. My daughter, Iris, is in the background, finishing off a slice of apple bread. She's had some fun with face paints earlier in the day, as you can see.

CountryBoy's picture

Rye Bread Recipe of HarryGermany

November 6, 2007 - 9:10am -- CountryBoy

Rye Bread of Harry Germany

My thanks, as always, to Harry.  Harry says this is going to be easy so since Country Boy loves easy; it sounds like a great recipe for me. However, I have 3 questions on the recipe that I have pasted below:

The 3 questions: 

1-When Harry says: type 1150 rye flour => "medium" rye flour (though I use whole-meal rye successfully. Just make sure that it's milled fine) I am a bit confused.  Should I sift the whole grain rye?

harrygermany's picture

rye-wheat bread German style

October 27, 2007 - 1:56pm -- harrygermany

This is a top rye-wheat bread, easy to make (after a recipe of Elkecarola at

The trick with this fantastic bread is, that it has a sourdough (SD) made from wholemeal. So the SD is a soaker as well, which binds a lot of liquid and thus makes the bread juicy.

rye-wheat bread   2 loaves of ca 850 g each; hydration 73%

harrygermany's picture

Newbie from Germany

October 24, 2007 - 11:31am -- harrygermany

Hi everyone,

I'm a newbie from Germany. New to this forum and not very well doing with English.

With baking bread I am not new.

My favorite breads are wholemeal rye-wheat breads or rye breads made with sourdough. Sometimes just a little yeast added. Also rye-wheat breads with whole seeds and grains.
Real rustic breads.

And also wheat breads with a poolish made of a tiny bit of yeast.

I am not perfect with baking bread, and so I hope to learn a lot here.


Joe Fisher's picture

A sour kind of day

October 19, 2007 - 7:05am -- Joe Fisher

There was a time when I thought sourdough was this intimidating, terrifying, impossible thing that required constant work and dedication.

Today I use almost zero commercial yeast. I've found that I can ignore my starter for a lot longer than I had thought. The night before I want to use it I give it a good feeding and in the morning it's ready to be fed again or used right away. I'll usually feed it again to get a nice sour tang.

yeastArt's picture

no wheat bread

October 13, 2007 - 11:37am -- yeastArt


I'm trying to "eat for my blood type", which is O. I miss my rye or sourdough toast in the morning. I can't use ww or oats or milk products or vinegar. Anyone know of any bread recipes using other flours? I don't think I can make an all-rye loaf because it wouldn't rise, and the bread bible says spelt has a funny taste. The recipes for essene bread have beans, which are also not allowed except for adzuki beans. Thanks!


Subscribe to RSS - rye