The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Multi seed and grain rye and wheat bread with an old bread soaker

Zeb's picture

Multi seed and grain rye and wheat bread with an old bread soaker

This is the formula for a bread I made last year that gives you a packed bunch of flavours and uses the old bread as a soaker in the dough. I've been reading Mini's post with great interest as I'm keen to try this and this time put the old rye bread in with the starter and see what difference it makes, sounds very exciting.


Anyway I thought I would like to share this one with you

Linseed, Millet, Sunflower, Pumpkin and sesame plus an old bread soaker and whatever else you fancy rye bread based on from Jeffrey Hamelman’s linseed and rye bread in Bread A Baker’s book of Techniques and Recipes and Jeremy’s post on Stir the Pots.  The old bread starter is the magic ingredient.


Cold Soaker: I used what I have in the cupboard..

Old rye bread 50g - this is what you call 'altus'  I guess

25 g linseed -  vary these seeds in the soaker depending on preference, i.e. sunflowers, pumpkins etc etc

25g millet - again use anything that you like to put in your bread!

20 g malted rye grains  or any cracked smallish grain you have that you like
 - these are small pieces of rye that have been malted by the mill (in this case Shipton Mill in England)

165g water


30g mature rye leaven

200g lukewarm or room temperature water

225 g dark rye flour (whole rye flour)

Make both the above at the same time,  12 hours plus before you want to mix the dough, depends how active your starter is and how sour you like your ryebread

For the dough

Both the soaker and the starter as above

I put them into a mixing bowl and mixed with a electric hand mixer on a slow speed just to make sure the old bread now squishy, got broken up and mixed in.

Then added

370 g strong white flour

105 g water

15 - 20 g salt (whatever you normally do, or maybe slightly less as the old bread has salt in it.)

about 150g worth of toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds, sesame whatever you like,

1/4 teaspoon of easy bake yeast  you can leave this out if you want to be just sourdough,

Makes a quite sticky dough. Leave for 10 to 20 minutes. Do a quick knead and then leave it alone. It becomes less sticky after a while. 

It’s not particularly high in water, I don’t know how to work out the hydration, it might rise a bit more if you use a higher hydration?

If you have the yeast you can do bulk ferment for about an hour and then scale and shape and then the second ferment for an hour, but I did both for double this the second time, because I kept forgetting it and it seemed fine too.

Scaled and shaped.

I put seeds in the bottom of the banneton but you could also roll the dough in seeds too if you want them on the top.

One long slash down the long axis of the bread.

Oven temp 230 degrees for 10 minutes with steam in the oven (little tray in bottom with boiling water in)  turned down to 220 once the loaf has sprung and started to go brown for 20 minutes and then 210 for the last 15/20 minutes.




pmccool's picture

Lots of crunchies and munchies in that loaf!


Zeb's picture

Hi Paul

Thanks for the compliment.  It's almost a vollkornbrot but has enough flour in it that it doesn't behave like one when you bake it.  

I have decided to have a blog on wordpress as it is easier to keep track of what I am doing than here on this very big and busy site, though I intend to keep posting. Take care Zeb

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Beautiful seedy loaf!  Yum!  Impressive!   The crumb shot makes my mouth water!  I want some!

Are you trying the altus starter in the next loaf?  I see here you added it to the soaker.  The flavor bursts even more when added to the fermenting starter, fermenting the old bread a second time.  Then again, it might get too sour.


nova's picture


I have been re-reading your section on feeding the starter with altus and am getting ready to try sometime this week...when you did the Easter loaf, 50/50 rye and bread flour, were you using the 1:3.5:4.16 ratio for your starter, water and flour?   you added the remaining 60 grams of cold mature starter, arfter you used 20 grams for the did the 60 grams count in the ratio?  I am trying to move into the 100 % rye with your approach....I do remember yo said that was where you want to take the "rye on steroids" next but have concerns about the acidity the altus might create for 100% rye...

Tried the 100% rye with your ratio two times, the second time with Horst Bandel altus...the flavor of the bread really changed after about 4 days and got better...I hear people say this all the time but for me this was the first time I could agree...usually as naturally leavened bread ages, it does change but usually flavor fades as well...not with this last rye....THANK YOU for sharing all this info with TFL!!!



Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I would like to answer this in the rye thread:

Thanks, Mini

Zeb's picture

Thanks Mini!

I have such a long list of breads to bake at the moment but I will absolutely try the altus starter version next time as this is one of my favourites.  I found that if you use something like horst bandel bread as the altus it doesn't quite break up sufficiently even after soaking and you get little lumps in the bread, due I think to the long bake - maybe if one ferments the crust in the starter that will help it to break down as well. 

btw Since I last made that loaf I have been experimenting with putting a rye bread in a zip loc bag to see what effect it had on the crust (goes against all my feelings to put bread in a plastic bag!) but it had a very good result on the seigle d'auvergne, almost wished it hadn't ;)