The Fresh Loaf

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Two Experiments in Fitting Sourdough Rye Bread to Schedule

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Two Experiments in Fitting Sourdough Rye Bread to Schedule

I'm lucky enough to work with foodies whom I like to share bread with. So in between more ambitious weekend bakes, I'm trying to find a way to bake a nice loaf in the hour or so I have in the morning, to take to work. I found some inspiration on TFL here and here, with the old no-knead influencing my thought-process.

Tried two tactics: a slow overnight proof and an AB-in-5-ish method.


Sourdough with Rye Experiment One: The Auto-Loaf

Slow proof/cold start/auto-oven for bread when I wake up


From Wild Yeast Recipe for Norwich Sourdough, I'm targeting a final dough with: 540 g white flour and 60 g rye flour @ 65% hydration + 11g salt



80 g 100% starter

500 g KA bread flour

60 g Hodgson rye

368 g water (600*.68=408; subtract 40g water from starter)


1. Mix all together. Autolyse for 30. (7:30pm)

2. Add salt, work until gluten is moderately developed (I was feeling super lazy and used a handheld mixer).

3. Fold at 50, 100 minutes.

4. Form into boule. 

5. Put in ceramic pot. Brush with oil to prevent drying out. (10pm)

6. Set automatic oven to 450 for 1 hour, starting at 6am. Pray.

7. Wake up at 7am, take out of oven. Take to the office. Share. Eat.

Result: Funky dinosaur egg-like exterior. Shocked that the timing worked out to a tee. I really liked this loaf. It's an odd looking duck, but it's hearty, with a tight crumb, thin but solid crust, and great flavor. Very good soup companion. And convenient for me. Will be doing it again, with a variation or two.

Experiment 2: AB in 5 Sourdough style rye... deferred

AB in 5 should not be blamed for this disaster. I saw that AB in 5 runs at about 83% hydration, so I simply went for an 83% hydrated dough, but substituted my sourdough starter for the yeast. There was plenty of fermentation but...


500g KA AP

100g Hodgson Rye

480g water

200g 100% white sourdough starter

1 tb coarse salt


1. Stir everything together.

2. Let rise/fall at room temp for four hours. Refrigerate.

3. Next morning, I took a peak and found it was completely unshapeable. 

4. So I added another 100g or so of KA AP, kneaded until the dough semi-workable. Formed into boule, put in oiled bowl to proof in refrigerator.


5. Next morning, was ready to pop in oven Ab in 5 style. But it hadn't proofed at all. So I heated a cup of water in the microwave, and then stuck the bowl in there, to proof for about an hour.

6. Preheated oven to 450, with cast iron pizza pan.

7. Slid boule in, splashed cup of water on oven floor. Baked for about 30 minutes.


8. Late to work.


The result: more spread than poof, as could be expected. My co-workers really enjoyed eating it. The crust was, as they say on Top Chef, very toothsome. With the funky proof et al., the crumb is predictably uneven. I was happy that i was able to salvage the failed experiment.

Look forward to making more Auto-Loafs next week! Maybe with a little less total flour (too much for the ceramic pot I have), AP instead of bread, and kneading the AP before adding the rye.