The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Dear All, 

I am posting here aafew photos taken along the way of making a Russian Rye, procedure and formula as in the first recipe in my blog (there it's called Russian Rye, Andy's version (85% Hydration, preferment 167% hydration, 35% flour from preferment)):

Here the rye sour ready to go:

The ingredients mixed into this clay-like paste:

Shaped immediately without a bulk rise:

After 60 min at 30C:

30 minutes later - ready for the oven:

My current batch of rye ferments rather quickly ...

After the bake (10 min at max temperature with steam plus 25 min at 210C):

The crumb - dense but not too heavy, as expected:

I hope this is useful to someone.


Happy Baking,



breaducation's picture

As much as I love making and eating light, open crumbed french breads I have always had a soft spot for a nice dense rye. There is something about holding a brick of pure whole grain goodness in your hands that is, in many ways, more satisfying than a delicately scored baguette. For one thing a baguette starts to stale in a matter of hours while vollkornbrot can stay good for weeks. Then there is the level of nourishment. There is really no comparison between the two. Vollkornbrot is packed with all sorts of nutritious grains and seeds while a baguette contains nothing but highly refined white flour. This week I decided to push vollkornbrot's nutrition and flavor even further by adding sprouted rye to the mix. The results were more than I could have hoped for.

I started with a formula I have used in the past that I have gotten great results from. This formula really has it all, soured coarsely ground rye, a coarse rye soaker, soaked stale bread crumbs and toasted and soaked sunflower seeds. I decided to modify the formula in a few ways: 1) I replaced the coarse rye soaker with ground up sprouted rye berries. I was a little nervous about making this switch but it ended up working beautifully. 2) Instead of using only sunflower seeds I used a combination of sunflower, flax and sesame seeds. 3) I darkly toasted the bread crumbs before soaking them. 4) I used agave nectar instead of honey. On top of all this I ground all the flour and grain for this bread myself using the methods I describe here. I have never ground my own flour at home as I could never justify the expense of a flour mill but using a coffee grinder worked great! I'll probably be grinding much more flour at home from now on.

The process for this bread requires a lot of prep as there are so many components but the reward is very much worth it. I highly recommend you dedicate a weekend to making this bread if you have any interest in rye at all. This is the best vollkornbrot I have tasted and even though it was a lot of work it I will definitely be making it again.

For the formula, process and more photos visit aBreaducation.

madisonbaker26's picture

After putting my bread baking on hiatus, I decided to return and try out the 47% rye from Wild Yeast Blog.  It's my first rye loaf, save for the major disaster I made several months back.  I ended up finding the dough relatively easy to work with, which definitely surprised me.  It's also my first time trying out a chevron cut, so I'm looking forward to practicing that more.

UPDATE: This bread is awesome!  It's got a pretty assertive rye flavor for only 47%, it's quite tangy and a little sweet.


 And, as promised the crumb shot:

milkitten's picture

How to store high percentage rye bread appropriately?

July 10, 2012 - 3:33pm -- milkitten


I'd like to know how you guys store your rye bread? What if they contain fruit, nuts or cheese?

I used to wrap in baker's linen and just put on the table at room temperature. However, the weather is so hot these day, I'm worried it might spoil...

Any suggesestion?


milkitten's picture

I've wanted to make this bread for a long time. Since I always finish my bread entirely, I don't even have the chance to have leftover to make altus.

Because lately I made too many loaf simultaneously, I finally got my 'old bread'.
However, I don't have rye berries and blackstrap molasses, I change the recipe a little bit. Moreover, I add some dried fruit and nuts, in case of that if the bread is gummy, I still can swallow it. I hope this won't ruin what the bread should taste like originally.
Hamelman mentions that blackstrap molasses is used to provide a slight bitter note and deeper color, for the reason, I took it upon myself to use 1T cocoa powder and a packet of Starbucks via(approximately 1/2T), and the old bread I used is Peter Reinhart's rye bread in ABED but with high percentage of first clear flour.
I was quite exciting when I made the old bread soaker. After they absorbed the water, they just look fat and cute. And the smell is depth, complex, and pleasant. When I squeezed it, because of its confortable touch, I smiled.:)

The whole process was pleasant, too. As Hamelman says, "The aroma will fill the entire room", the keep-coming aroma give me a high expectation of this black bread. The only torture is that : you have to wait at minimum for 24 hours to slice it while you're smelling the bread.
When the time I sliced it in the morning, I felt like I'm in the Christmas morning, opening up my present under the tree...I took my first bite, I felt surprised. It is truly delicious! The sour-sweet taste make it unique and totally please my palate. And the texture, the crumb is better then fruit cake for me. Though the crust is a little bit hard, but I enjoy chewing, it is flavorful. I also toasted some of crust, they've just become biscotti.~:)
I will appreciate if anyone can give me comments or suggestions! 

codruta's picture

I'm posting this bread hoping that it will inspire other TFL members to bake it, because it is a great bread. It took me a long time till I decided to make it and now I regret that I haven't done it sooner. Full of flavor, easy to make and friendly with rye beginners, it is light and healthy and for my taste, it's perfect.

I followed mr. Hamelman's formula from "BREAD" page 194, with few modifications:

- I didn't used commercial yeast.

- I increased hydration from 68% to almost 73%.

-Instead of white flour I used a mix of 41% Malthouse Doves Farm (which is a mix of Brown Wheat Flour, Malted Wheat Flakes 15%, Rye Flour 3.6% and Malt Flour), 41% Whole Wheat Doves Farm (but I removed the big brans) and 18% white flour austrian W 480 (mehl griffig).

For those who don't have the book, eric (ehanner) posted the formula on his blog, a few years ago (here is the link to the formula).

For the quantities and details of the method I used, please visit my romanian blog (translation available), link here.



Hope you'll make this bread as soon as you can! Happy baking to all of you!


dabrownman's picture

After the last white bread bake using the Pharaoh’s Mastaba, we went back to a 67% whole grain; rye and wheat bread with rye and wheat sprouts and a variety of add-ins and seeds including wheat germ, flax, coriander, pumpkin, hemp, rosemary, chia, cumin and red rye malt baked in another variation of the Chacon.

 The Chacon is quickly becoming a favorite bread shaping method.  It is a fun way to make bread with as many variations as one can conjure up and imagine.  This time we used a plain knotted roll in the middle of the basket and surrounded it with a plain two strand braid that was twisted (Twisted Sisters).  Then we added the remainder of the dough which contained all the add ins and sprouts as a disk to the top – which will become the bottom when tipped put of the basket.

This gave us a new but handsome boule shape that had no add-ins in the finish top and all the add-ins on the bottom.  It will be like having two different breads in each slice.

The Chacon came out of the basket easily and it slid into the mini oven, without slashing, just as well and onto my new ceramic tile / stone - which quickly broke when we threw water onit by accident before closing the door to steam.  No worries, the tile only cost 88 cents and I have 11 more of them.  In the back of the mini, we used Sylvia’s steaming method with a Pyrex 1 cup measure half full of water with dish rag in it.

 The stone worked well and the Chacon was very brown and crunchy when it came out of the oven and it smelled wonderful too.  The boule cracked at each twist of the sister and at the knot seams.  We just love the way the Chacon cracks almost exactly where we want it to and think it should instead of willy nilly.  

 The crumb shots and tasting will follow after the Chaon cools.  The formula and method follow the pix’s. 


The method was similar to our recent bakes with (3) - 4 hours each, 12 hour SD levain build.  This time it was not retarded overnight because we used some sliced onion in the build that made it smell more sour than normal.  The flours were autolysed with the wet and salt for 12 hours in the fridge too.  We have been adding the salt in with the autolyse recently and cannot tell any difference when we do it this way.  Forgetting to add the salt days are now over.

After soaking in water for 4 hours, we placed the seeds to be sprouted on 2 damp paper towels covered with another and wrapped in plastic on a plastic cutting board.  Half way through the 24 hour sprouting period, we re-dampened the top towel and covered it back up.  The seeds were sprouted in 24 hours. 

 We mixed the dough with the autolyse with the KA for 8 minutes on 2 and  2 minutes more on KA3.  The dough was then moved to an oiled, plastic covered bowl to rest for 15 minutes before doing 5 sets of S&F’s every 15 minutes on a floured work surface.  When the S&F’s were complete the dough was left to develop and ferment for 1 ½ hours before going into the fridge overnight for 8 hours.  In the morning the dough was allowed to come to room temperature over 1 ½ hours on the counter.

 The dough was then portioned into (3) 150 g pieces for the knotted roll and the 2 strand, ‘twisted sister’ braid.  In a rice floured basket the knotted roll went in first in the center, then the twisted sister went in around the knotted roll.  The remainder of the dough was flattened out gently and all the sprouts and add ins were incorporated.  Once the add ins were incorporated evenly, the remaining dough was shaped into a boule and allowed to rest for about 5 minutes until it had relaxed.

 It was then flattened into a disk the width of the basket and placed on top of the roll and braid to make the finished Chacon in 3 distinct sections.

 After a 2 hour proof it had passed the poke test and was ready for the mini oven stone and 12 minutes of steaming at 450 F regular bake.  The steam was then removed and the mini oven turned down to 425 F convection this time.  The Chacon was rotated 90 degrees every 5 minutes.

 After the 2nd rotation the oven was turned down to 400  F convection.  20 minutes after the steam was removed, the bread was done – 32 minutes total.  It was allowed to cool with the oven off and the door ajar for 10 more minutes before being moved to the cooling rack.

67% Whole Rye and Whole Wheat with Sprouts, Wheat Germ, Flax and Red Rye Malt.     
StarterBuild 1Build 2 Build 3Total%
SD Starter15100254.57%
Water 40 4010.00%
Milk 3000307.50%
Total Starter75907023558.75%
Levain % of Total25.59%    
Dough Flour %   
Dark Rye107.526.88%   
Potato Flakes102.50%   
Ground Flax Seed102.50%   
Dough Flour400100.00%   
Dough Hydration83.75%    
Total Flour547.5    
Milk 30, Water 432.5472.5    
T. Dough Hydration86.30%    
Whole Grain %69.50%    
Hydration w/ Adds82.53%    
Total Weight1,153    
Add - Ins %   
Wheat Germ102.50%   
Red Rye Malt30.75%   
Hemp 20, Chia 10, Pumpkin 306015.00%   
VW Gluten123.00%   
Multigrain Sprouts %   
Total Sprouts4010.00%   
Coriander, Cumin & Rosemary30.75%   
isand66's picture

I figured it was time to make some Rye bread so I converted my whole wheat Desem starter to a Rye sour starter using a 3 step build.  I ended up making way more starter than I needed, but I rather have some extra than run out like I did the last time I made a rye sourdough bread.

I also wanted to use some fresh coffee in place of the water as I have done in the past with some good success so I decided to use some Kahlua flavored coffee. I don't even like to drink coffee unless it is iced coffee, but I do have to say this variety of coffee smelled awesome.

I like the taste spelt flour adds to bread and I thought it would make a good addition to a rye bread so I used a small amount in this bake and also use First Clear flour which is a standard ingredient in Jewish style rye.  You can use bread flour if you don't have any First Clear and it will come out fine.

This bread includes a simple soaker using cracked wheat and bulgur which makes for an interesting flavor profile.

I have to say the final bread came out excellent with a nice fairly open crumb, dark crisp crust and fairly moist and flavorful crumb.  If you decide to try this one I don't think you will be disappointed.

Starter Build 1 (Note: this makes a lot of extra starter so you can reduce the quantities if  desired)

79 grams Whole Wheat Starter (Mine is 65% Hydration Starter)

113 grams White Rye Flour

143 grams Medium Rye Flour

258 grams Water (85 - 90 degrees F.)

Mix seed with water to break up for a few seconds and then mix in flour until the starter form a smooth dough consistency.  Put it in a lightly oiled bowl and loosely cover and leave at room temperature for at least 10 hours.  The starter should double in volume.  Put the starter in the refrigerator for up to 1 day or go to step 2 immediately.

Build 2

Add ingredients below to starter from above and mix until incorporated.  Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 10 hours and either go to step 3 or put in refrigerator for up to 1 day.

143 grams Medium Rye Flour

84 grams Water

Build 3

Add ingredients below and mix.  The starter will now be much firmer and should be pretty dry since it is now a 65% hydration starter.  Let it sit at room temperature covered for at least 10 hours and then refrigerate or use immediately.

143 grams Medium Rye Flour

28 grams Water


50 grams Bulgur Wheat

50 grams Cracked Wheat

200 grams Boiling water

Mix ingredients with water and let sit for 30 minutes to an hour or overnight if preferred covered with plastic wrap.  Before using in final dough, drain water and reserve for use in final dough.

Final Dough

425 grams Rye Starter from above (If you already have your own rye starter refreshed you can skip building process above)

400 grams First Clear  Flour

130 grams Spelt Flour

35 grams Wheat Germ

125 grams Water (80 - 90 degrees F.)

255 grams Kahlua coffee (80 - 90 degrees)

18 grams Sea Salt (or table salt)

8 grams Walnut Oil


Mix the starter with the coffee and stir to break it up.  Next mix in the soaker and the flours together with the water and mix for 1 minute.    Let the dough autolyse for 30 minutes to an hour in your bowl covered with a cloth or plastic wrap.  Next add in the salt and oil and mix on speed #2 for 4 minutes.  The dough should have come together in a ball and be tacky but not too sticky.

Next take the dough out of the bowl and place it on your work surface.  Do a stretch and fold and rest the dough uncovered for 10 minutes.  After the rest do another stretch and fold and cover the dough and let it rest for 10 minutes.  Do one more stretch and fold and put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and let it sit at room temperature covered for 2 hours.  After 2 hours you can put the dough into the refrigerator for 24 hours or up to 2 days before baking.

The next day (or when ready to bake) let the dough sit out at room temperature for 2 hours.  After 2 hours form the dough into your desired shape and put them in floured bannetons, bowls or on a baking sheet and let them rise covered for 2 hours.  Score the loaves as desired and prepare your oven for baking with steam.

Set your oven for 500 degrees F. at least 30 minutes before ready to bake.  When ready to bake place the loaves into your on  your oven stone with steam and lower the temperature immediately to 450 degrees.  It should take around 20 - 30 minutes to bake  until both loaves are golden brown and reached an internal temperature of 200 - 210 degrees F.

Let the loaves cool down for at least an hour or so before eating as desired.


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