The Fresh Loaf

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Some questions about a sourdough rye recipe

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clazar123's picture

Some questions about a sourdough rye recipe

I hope this turns out- I have the loaf shaped and proofing. I have some questions about rye dough characterisitcs.

I knew it would be stickier than regular bread dough,from reading all the posts I could find on the site but this was really almost like the high hydration ciabotta I made earlier today!

Recipe: Sourdough Potato Rye

140g cooked and mashed potato (only ingred I weighed as it was an add-on to an existing recipe)

4 c flour- 1 c WW, 1 c Kamut, 1 c rye (unknown type-bulk bin-very fine milled), 1 c Gold Medal bread flour for final knead

1/2 tsp instant yeast

2 tsp salt

1/2 c   100% (by weight) starter-made with AP flour

1 c potato water

1/2 c buttermilk

1 tbsp honey

2 tbsp oil

Mixed in mixer

Rose til double

Shaped and in final proof.


It just seems so unusal that I can make a nice,tacky dough if I use 3 cups of the WW,Kamut,Bread flour mix but when I add the additional 1 cup of rye flour it turns out SO slack and wet.






LindyD's picture

I think you need at least 50 percent rye flour for a bread to be considered rye and a sourdough rye is traditionally made with a rye starter.

I also wonder if the unknown rye could have been white rye.

sphealey's picture

Indeed, it does not take much rye flour to change the characteristcs of the dough to something simultaneously sticky and slack.  Anything over 20% (or even 15% depending on the type and grind of the rye flour) and you start heading out of wheat-dough territory into Rye Land(tm).  Welcome to the adventure!

One step called for in most rye recipes is to use the rye in a sourdough build, and let the sours work on the rye for at least 8 hours.  That makes the rye more tractaable in the dough and prevents it from counteracting the characteristics of the wheat gluten.

In Germany you probably have to use 80% or more rye to call a bread "rye", but I would personally say you are well into rye bread territory in most of the world.  And once you get above 50% rye you are dealing with a substance that is more like wet pottery clay than wheat dough as we know it. 

Have fun.  If you need tested recipes get a copy of Hamelman's _Bread_ from the library - he has a very detailed chapter on rye.



clazar123's picture

I read almost every post I could find on rye flour,techniques, percentages and recipes. All today.Seems it is all over the board with recipes as low as 15% and up to 80%. Knowing that I could encounter some major differences in handling, I went with a lower percentage.

I really don't know what kind of rye flour I have. I bought about 2# from a bulk bin at an organic grocer.It is very finely milled but has some grit and is very light colored.

The loaf is out of the oven and I must say there is no oven spring, but I believe that is not unusual for a rye variant. It is a batard albeit a short one (in height). I am going to wait until tomorrow to cut it. I'm hoping it will be suitable for sandwiches.

I still don't know if my dough experience is normal for rye. MAny posts do talk about the endless stickiness but with a 3/4 whole wheat and bread flour dough, I did expect it to hold it's shape better.The batard did seem to spread rather than rise.

clazar123's picture

I sliced the loaf I made from the above recipe and the texture and chew is exactly what I wanted. The taste is a mild rye and I'm actually surprised at how dark the crumb is-wish I had a camera.The crumb shows a little density on the bottom of the loaf-perhaps a little underproofed and it did spread rather than rise so I have a little work to do yet.

Overall, I think the Reubens are going to be wonderful!

Any comments on getting a taller loaf on this very slack,spreading whole wheat/rye dough are appreciated.


Davo's picture

For a taller. longer loaf with more circular cross section, slash across it - not the nearly-parallel slashes more normally done. So if you do say 3 nearly parallel with the long axis, try 5 or 6 across the top, along the short width of the loaf. It won't open as well and the loaf will probably be a little smaller overall - and so bakers will tell you it's the "wrong" way to slash, but it's more suited to a sandwich or to fit in a single width toaster...

This is I am pretty sure 25% rye, might be 20%.