The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Need some help with this Potato Rye recipe

clazar123's picture

Need some help with this Potato Rye recipe

Sourdough Potato Rye

1 medium potatoe,cooked and mashed

1 c WW (home milled hard red spring wheat)

1 c Rye (currently Hodgson Mill Rye Flour)

2 3/4 c AP flour

 1/2 tsp instant yeast

2 tsp salt

1/2 c 100% active starter

1 c potato water

1/2 c buttermilk

1 tbsp honey

2 tbsp oil

1/2 tsp bread spice

I just mixed this in my KA mixer and it is a VERY sticky dough.With all I've read about rye dough, I hesitate to incorporate any more flour.

Any comments on the hydration and proportions? I haven't mastered the spreadsheet,yet.

I am resting it now and will stretch and fold about every hour for the next few hours to see if I can end up with a little less sticky dough before the final shaping.



clazar123's picture

I was able to manage doing some stretch and folding by generously dusting top and bottom of dough with the first folding and handling it very gently. It bulked up nicely and I finally formed 2 batards,slashed,eggwashed and proofed and just put them in the oven.We'll see how they turn out.

Funny thing is that this dough seemed to have an almost musty smell to it.Is that typical for a rye dough? My whole wheat always smells like fresh-mown grass. I just baked 2 lovely loaves of whole wheat with the same ingredients (except for the rye flour) and they smell heavenly.

I guess I still question whether I should reduce the water in the original recipe? This was a very sticky dough. If you placed your hand (or just touched it lightly) on the unfloured doughball, it would come away with a thick coating of dough.

dmsnyder's picture

Hi, clazar123.

Rye doughs do tend to stickiness, but your recipe has less than 25% rye, so there is probably another culprit. 

I am unable to judge the hydration of your dough, since you are using volume measurements for your flours, which are so inaccurate. I would strongly encourage you to get a scale and switch to measuring ingredients by weight.

If the dough had enough substance to form into bâtards, it was probably not too wet. There are some other variables that could make the dough stickier, like insufficient gluten development.

Rye does to have a distinctive aroma. I would describe it as "earthy," but you may experience it as "musty." 

Anyway, let us know how your bread turns out, preferably with photos.


clazar123's picture


The loaves actually turned out well-I'll try and post a picture...


The crumb was what I was trying to achieve-a moist,dense sandwich rye that didn't crumble and a chewy crust.It had some really nice oven spring.

Volumetric measurements are what I'm most familiar with tho I have started converting over to weights for some of my recipes. This is only the second time making this recipe so I haven't converted it yet.  I will weigh the flour using my measuring cups and see what it is.

140 g potato (cooked and mashed)(I actually had a weight on this)

140 g WW (my 1 cup measure of my wheat)

150 g rye (my 1 cup measure of Hodgson Mill) measure

400 g AP flour (2 3/4 c)

150 g 100% (by weight) starter

207 g water (my 1 cup measure)

105 g buttermilk (don't have any left to measure so est from water weight since I use 2 tbsp powdered buttermilk in 1/2 c water)

So these are the actual gram measures of the major ingredients.Interesting how diferent the water weight of my 1 cup measure is-it should be closer to 240g since water is 1g/cc and 1 cup=240cc.

So, do you think this recipe can stand less water?Or a little more flour?

About the rye flour-in the past, I had a few pounds of a a mystery rye flour from the bulk bins of a local organic grocery store that I tried and had sticky but ok handling dough, which smelled good,too.The mystery rye must have been a very fine,white rye? When that was gone, I bought this bag of Hodgson Mill that is a lot coarser and grayer than the mystery rye. It seems to really be sticky and does have more of a musty than earthy smell to me. I might just try either another brand or get some rye berries to grind fresh.




dmsnyder's picture

Are you happy with the taste?

How the loaf is to eat is the bottom line. From it's appearance, I'd say you've got a good recipe. Maybe you just need more experience to get used to rye-containing doughs.


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

better to taste than just smell.  The three rye flours I have at the moment all smell a little different.  Could be the paper or plastic around the flour influencing my nose.  They taste pretty much the same.  Taste the raw flour, this will tell you more than smelling it.  It is also a better way to tell if the flour has gone rancid.


Is there a chance the water volume measurement was taken using a dry measuring cup as compared to a liquid measuring cup?

photojess's picture

Mini?  I don't mean that sarcastically either.... I do actually wonder what the difference is in the stackable measuring cups, vs say a pyrex multicup measure?  I've always used the stackables for measuring both.

clazar123's picture

As a matter of fact, I did use a dry measuring cup for the liquids and I never knew there was a difference! That may account for the difference in volume I commented on!

Here is a link:

I guess this is another example of why I should measure by weight. I have a scale,I just think it's easier/faster to scoop then weigh. Old habits are more comfortable.

I'm happy with the taste of the final product-it doesn't taste or smell musty after baking and the flour tastes ok,so I may just use it up.It must be the normal smell for this particular flour. I made the mistake once of baking with a newly bought bag of flour that proved to be rancid. Yuk. I love baking with my home-milled flour-it is fresh and fragrant. I may have to acquire some rye berries.



photojess's picture

I have both, and rarely use my liquid measures, unless I'm microwaving the liquid to warm it up or melt something.