The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Recipe Conversion?

SulaBlue's picture

Recipe Conversion?

Yesterday I made the Tangy English Muffins presented over at Wild Yeast's blog. Yum YUM! I've gotten 3 emails from my husband's co-workers about how wonderful they are :)

I'd really like to incorporate more whole grain into the recipe however. Specifically, I'd like to get rid of the rye and replace it with stone ground whole wheat or spelt and oats. Thomas English Muffins now sells a "double oat and honey" variety which, while I find intriguing, I'll probably never buy now that I know how easy it is to make my own at a fraction of the cost. (Seriously, nearly $3 for a package of 6 that taste like raw flour if you don't toast them!?)

Link to the recipe:

Any thoughts on how to go about getting more of the above ingredients in without compromising the texture too much (they were so light and fluffy!) would be appreciated. That said, I do eat Ezekiel's whole grain English muffins, which are a bit like eating a doorstop due to the weight of them, so I'm willing to find a compromise somewhere in between. I'd really like to go more with oat flavor than wheat. 

baltochef's picture


My experience has been that whole rye flour, whole spelt flour, and whole oat flours are similar in the stickiness and heaviness that they impart to a bread recipe..With the rye flour being the least heavy due to the small amount of gluten that it contains..As long as the amounts of any of the above three are not too great in proportion to the wheat flour, I do not think that you would have too much trouble in making a substitution..I would just go ahead and make a 1-1 substitution and see what happens..

BTW, the link to the recipe is not working..


SulaBlue's picture

isn't working. I works fine if you copy and paste it though.

Maybe that will work when it's on its own separate line?

I'm wanting to omit the rye, and get a higher proportion of whole grain and a great oat flavor. I wonder, then, if I could home-grind some oats and substitute them for the rye, as well as a small bit of the white flour, and then put in a bit of vital wheat gluten to make up for the lack of gluten in the oats?

Partial recipe, sans instructions (from, link above)

Sponge Ingredients:

  • 120 g flour
  • 75 g whole wheat flour
  • 207 g plain yogurt
  • 82 g mature 100%-hydration sourdough starter

Final Dough Ingredients:

  • 30 g flour
  • 30 g whole rye flour
  • generous 1/2 t. salt
  • 3/4 t. baking soda
  • 1 T. honey
  • 2 T. water
  • All of the sponge
Right now, not counting the starter in the sponge, there's 255g of flour. Only 105g of that is whole grain flour - roughly 41% whole grain. I'd like to get that closer to 55%, using some oats, without compromising too much of the texture.
I suppose I could also roll whole oats into the mixture as well. If I do that, however, that could affect my hydration ratio - and I'm not experienced enough to know how to account for it. Maybe just dusting the top and bottom with oats? Using oats on the proofing pan rather than semolina flour?


ejm's picture

Did you ask Susan on her site what she thought? She's really experienced with making changes and substitutions and generally answers questions. 

(Her English muffins DO look good!)


P.S. Did you see Susan's post about how to convert her recipes, tsinct?