The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Karin's Buckwheat Rye

louie brown's picture
louie brown

Karin's Buckwheat Rye

It seems as if there is no end to the riches of this website. I'm learning things about German breads that will keep me busy for years. Who knew?

Still looking to use up the buckwheat flour I've had around for a while, Karin's loaf looked and sounded awfully good. I made a couple of changes to suit my taste and method, but this is Karin's bread and it is one of the tastiest I've ever baked. The buckwheat and rye, balanced with a little sweetness and spice, is just unbeatable. Recipients gobbled it up right in front of me, not even waiting to take it home.

I eliminated the yeast, only because I am stubborn. To compensate, I increased fermentation and proofing times a little. I used dark rye flour because that's what I had. I used barley malt syrup instead of honey because I'm not crazy for honey in my bread. I cut the anise down to a smidgen, added some ground fennel along with the cardamom. This spice mixture stays nicely in the background, where it is a real contributor without being distinguishable on its own.

I baked it as one loaf about a kilo pre baked weight, with every kind of steam I could think of. It took 35 minutes to finish after 15 minutes of steam.

Not just a keeper, but one to work into the more regular rotation. Thanks, Karin, for the beautiful example, the inspiration, and the lesson.



breadsong's picture

Hello louie,
That sure is a beauty - love the shaping & scoring.
(In appearance, your loaf reminds me of Franko's lovely Red Fife pain au levain).
I feel the same way as you about Karin's wonderful breads!
from breadsong

SylviaH's picture

Beautiful boule, Louie!  breadsong has said it for me!  I think I have some buckwheat tucked away in the freezer!


louie brown's picture
louie brown

breadson, yes, Franko's scoring is the same. It's a fairly low risk approach to an attractive boule. 

Sylvia, I use a modified version of your steaming method quite often. I include a preheated brick between the two towels, all in a roasting pan, and pour boiling water on the brick and the towels. It gives off steam for as long as necessary.

Syd's picture

Gorgeous, Louie. 

The buckwheat and rye, balanced with a little sweetness and spice, is just unbeatable.

Sounds delicious, too.  Nice bake.


louie brown's picture
louie brown

Many thanks, Syd.

hanseata's picture

I have to try your scoring, Louie. Did you use sourdough instead of the yeast? I sometimes use brown sugar or agave nectar as stand-in for my default honey. Fennel tastes similar to anise, so you kept your hint of sweetness in the seasoning.

I always tweak recipes slightly to suit my taste, but this one underwent major changes during several trials from the original in my old German bread baking book in order to achieve this nice flavor.

I'm very happy to share these recipes with you who are all so appreciative - and share your great results, too!

Happy baking,

louie brown's picture
louie brown

I did substitute sourdough for the yeast, and prefermented about 25% of the total flour as a white starter.

Since I don't speak German, your work in bringing these formulae to life is invaluable. Thanks again.