The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


Graid's picture

What sort of rye is this and how would I achieve it?

January 30, 2012 - 6:27pm -- Graid

I was until recently under the mistaken impression that all rye bread was the sort you get in supermarkets in the UK and Belgium and Sweden. Small, dense, dark, and exceedingly rich in flavour.

This is the picture of the common UK brand. Like in Belgium and Sweden it is sold in the UK in pre-sliced form. The texture is crumbly and the bread has a habit of falling in half when you take the slices out. 

Juergen Krauss's picture

Mischbrot Madness

January 9, 2012 - 4:12am -- Juergen Krauss

For a while now I was thinking how to incorporate several doughs with different rye:wheat ratios into a single loaf, for various purposes( aestatics, spot the difference ...).

On the weekend I had some spare time and went the whole way (that's the madness component)

Using my single-step Detmolder formula I made 9 doughs with rye:wheat ratios of 20% to 100% and a simple white yeasted 100% wheat dough to wrap it all up.

loydb's picture

I'm almost caught up! It's week 5 in the Inside the Jewish Bakery Challenge - Semester 1. This week was Honey Cake.  

This called for white rye flour. To make it, I milled whole rye and then sifted to 80% extraction. I think the walnuts were a little heavy, the centers never really rose even after 3 hours of cooking. Almonds may have been a better choice.

In spite of it being a really runny, gummy, goopy batter, it baked up incredibly light, and not nearly as sweet as I would have anticipated from the pound of honey in it. There is no gumminess at all.

gmagmabaking2's picture

Rye Sour

January 6, 2012 - 1:51pm -- gmagmabaking2

Just fed my sour beasties this morning and decided to "play", made a bread with sourdough starter, 1 cup whole wheat and 1 cup of light rye flour... 1 tsp. salt. Looks great to me, smells even better.


breadforfun's picture

I like experimenting with different flours to see the nuances they bring to breads.  Here is a recent bake using a small amount buckwheat flour.  It is a large batch that I built for the amount of starter that I had made the night before using the Hamelman method for Vermont SD.  It made 4 loaves that averaged about 750 gm after cooling.  Besides the beautiful color it brings to a loaf, it adds a nutty flavor that, it turns out, works surprisingly well with brie and camembert cheese spread on it.  The crumb is moist and chewy and the crust has a great crunch.  If you like dark baked loaves, this one's for you.


Scored and ready to go:

Finished loaves:



ehanner's picture

Let me start by apologizing to the generations of German bakers before me. I have been trying to learn about the dense style dark bread sometimes called Pumpernickel or Schrotbrot or Roggen Vollkornbrot.  I've baked the Hamelman Horst Bandle bread and liked it after I finally figured out how to bake it at home. Then I have been fooling with the Barm process and Barm breads, both white and rye flours. I read a comment from Dan Lepard about soaking whole berries in dark ale after simmering to soften. So finally all of this came together for me and I decided to try incorporating a couple of these things into the basic Vollkenbrot recipe and make some changes to the sweetener. 

It isn't really an honest Ale Barm that soured the rye chops. I started with my white starter and fed it a couple cycles with ale and AP. It provided the sour component with a very nice aroma and fluffiness after it had aged. This bread doesn't rise like a conventional loaf to any great degree. You can see the domed top with some cracks that indicate there was some spring.

The Vollkornbrot and Schrotbrot do not normally contain any flour. Not Hi Gluten or Rye flour. Perhaps  a meal or another finer grade of chops but no flour. I like to mix all of the pre ferments and scalds and soakers and then adjust the hydration to a thick paste with dark rye flour. There is a last minute addition of chops that have not been soaked that absorbs a lot of the extra water/ale but I usually need at least 100 grams of dark rye to get it where I like it. Several of the recipes I have studied call for kneading (stirring) for 30 minutes every few minutes until the dough becomes sticky. I believe this occurs when the last chops and flour additions have become hydrated. It is obvious when it happens.

The recipes call for using treacle or black strap molasses. I have been slowly increasing the amount and also adding honey at an equal amount in addition. The bitter of the black strap and sweetness of the honey seems complementary to me and I am liking the combination. I have another small batch in ferment now that will be sweetened with sorghum. I think that will also be a nice flavor.

Anyway, not to be disrespectful to my forefathers, this bread is delicious beyond my dreams. We sliced a few pieces from the smaller loaf and ate it with butter while still warm. It was soft and loaded with full deep flavor. The color is darker than it appears in the photos due to my wanting to show the detail. The 10 hour overnight bake at 240F in a sealed pan did the job. My thanks to Andy, Juergen, Franko, Shiao-Ping and Jeff Hamelman and Dan Lepard to name just a few who helped me get this far.


Crumb shot shows the course and dense nature of this bread.

There are several sub components of the formula. The amounts will make enough for one standard  steel bread pan and give you a 1Kilo loaf, pre bake weight. If you have a pullman pan, seal the top first with foil and then place the lid on.

150g Rye Chops
150g dark ale
25g active starter

Scalded Chops and Berries:
100g Rye Chops
150g boiling water
8g Salt

50g whole Rye Berries
100g Hot Ale

Final Dough:
120g Rye chops
Dark Rye Flour as needed for consistency (100g)
30g Black Strap Molasses
30g Honey


Combine sour and soakers the morning of the day you want to bake so they have 12 hours to age.
When preparing the dough, combine all the ingredients and mix well with a large spoon. Add Dark Rye flour as needed to lower hydration to a sticky paste. You want it to be wet enough you could not roll it. Stir every few minutes for 30 minutes and the paste will become sticky.
Prepare a 8x4 (approx) steel bread pan with side edges all around with butter or crisco.
Spoon paste into corners and level the top with a spatula. Now create an edge with the tip of the spatula and a slightly domed surface. The idea is to have a domed top so any water condensate will run down to the edge and down the sides of the loaf.
Brush the top with water.

Seal the top of your bread pan with a double layer of foil being carefull to get a good seal around the edges.

Put the pan in a preheated 350F oven for 30-45 minutes. Lower the heat to 240F and bake for 8-10 hours. I lower the heat to 220F for the last 2 of the 10 hours.

Decant the loaf and allow to cool on a wire rack for at least as long as it takes to cool completely. At this point you can wrap in saran or a tea towel for a day or so. This bread may be kept in a plastic bag on the counter or refrigerated. It would last a long time if you could keep from eating it.


cdnDough's picture

Wheat to Rye Starter?

December 5, 2011 - 4:21pm -- cdnDough

Just curious if it is reasonable to make a rye starter using my wheat starter? If I feed some of my sourdough wheat starter with rye flour for a few days will I get something that resembles a rye starter?

For what it is worth, I've had a rye starter in the past but it tends to slowly loose its potency in the back of the fridge over the summer when I don't use it as much.

Frosty's picture

Tartine Rye Bake

November 20, 2011 - 5:26pm -- Frosty

Hello everyone,

I thought I would share my 2nd Tartine sourdough bake.  This time I used 10% dark rye flour.  If you are familiar with the technique, I followed the process using a cast iron combo cooker.

In my two bakes, I've been very impressed and happy with the steaming effect you get.  My crumb show it very blurry, so I'll have to take another tomorrow.

I appreciate any comments and thanks for looking.


loydb's picture

I had a *bunch* of extra rye starter after feeding this time, so I made a mostly-starter batch of sunflower and pumpkin seed rye inspired by PR's in BBA. I only added about 1.5 cups of hard red and white whole wheat total, the rest was 100% rye starter.



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