The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Does something happen to the water in scalded rye?

JeremyCherfas's picture

Does something happen to the water in scalded rye?

I'm wondering, when you gelatinize rye, does the water somehow get "locked up"? I ask because I've been experimenting with rye recipes, and I set out to make a rye bread with 25% whole rye at 65% hydration. I soaked the rye in all the water. When I came to incorporate the rest of the flour the dough was very, very dry. It barely came together, and by the time I realized how dry it was going to be it was almost impossible to add more water.

Next time I'll try holding back 100 ml of the water and adding it when I add the white flour, but in the meantime I wonder if this is a known phennomenon.


nicodvb's picture

At least in my experience what you describe is common when you use coarse rye meal (it's done intentionally for various reasons, in particular to preserve more water in the bread and make it last soft for a longer time); instead when I gelatinized fine rye flour I ended up using the usual amount of water (85%) in the final dough because the "gel" dissolved in the remaining water.

But there's an exception: a couple of times I made a rye bread with 100% scalded rye: basically I mixed 80% of boiling water with 100% of flour and added a tablespoon of starter when the dough was almost done. Well, it was so dense that I had to raise the water to 100% to make the dough manageable.


ananda's picture


as per what Nico says:

The combining of water and and starch at temperatures over 75*C causes gelatinisation as you say.

This means the starches swell up and take on a lot of extra moisture.   So you can get extra water in the formula.   It's a great technique.   However, the trade off is that there is protein de-naturation going on at those temperatures too, so the gluten in wheat flour definitely does suffer.

Best wishes


JeremyCherfas's picture

@Andy; no problem with denaturation of the wheat gluten; I only do the rye flour and wait for it to cool down before adding the leaven, flour etc.

@Nico; I think I'll just wait and see about adding more water when I add the wheat flour.

Any other thoughts most welcome.


charbono's picture

will also cause loss of water to evaporation.