The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sour Rye Bread

YeastyBob's picture

Sour Rye Bread

I made my first batch of sour rye with Greinstein's recipe & it was very good. However, not a sour as I had hoped & a bit dry. Thinking of using more sour & less flour in next batch and adding a little oil. Looking for suggestions.

sjburnt's picture

Let me preface this with a statement that I do not know Greinstein's recipe, so if these are inane comments, feel free to dismiss them.

I have found that making a dryer sourdough starter, i.e., less water, makes for a sightly more sour taste.  If this uses a preferment, maybe increase the volume of the pre ferment or give it longer to work.

Just a couple of thoughts.

The oil should make it more tender, right?

Don't you just love being able to eat and enjoy our 'mistakes'?!  Good stuff.


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

to the finished dough and not bother with the oil.  I dropped oil long ago not really liking what it did to my crumb.  Adding more water, that seems to help more with making a moist crumb.

nicodvb's picture


maybe you cooked it a bit too long? Sometimes it happens. Rather than changing the recipe I'd cook few minutes less.

YeastyBob's picture

Thanks for the ideas. Recipe is a preferment followed by 3 stages with 1 cup rye & 1/2 cup water in each stage to make the sour. Bread is then 3 cups sour, 1 cup water and 4-5 cups white flour + salt & carraway. I think I will try 4 stages on the sour (to get more sourness) & reduce flour by a cup. Will let you know how it goes.


Thanks again

dmsnyder's picture

Hi, YeastyBob.

One criticism of Greenstein's book is that he provides volume measurements only for ingredients. This approach is not reliably accurate, especially for flour. I have converted Greenstein's Sour Rye formula to weight measurements and made it many, many times with consistently good results. The crumb is never dry.

Sourness will be influenced by how you mix the rye sour, but also be retardation of the sour. I often build it up, per Greenstein's directions but refrigerate the final sour overnight before mixing the final dough. Also, using medium or dark rye rather than white rye, while not "authentic," will give you a more sour and assertively rye flavor.

My weight-converted formula can be found here: Sour Rye Bread from George Greenstein's “Secrets of a Jewish Baker”

Hope this helps.


YeastyBob's picture

Thanks - I will take a look. My problem is I am a cook not a baker and am used to a little of this and a little of that to taste - not measureing.

YeastyBob's picture

What is the purpose of the onion when using established Starter? Hace limited flour to 4c increased the salt to 1 teasp & added 1 tablespoon olive oil & bread is better & keeps fresh 1 week.