The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

First rye bread ?

asfolks's picture

First rye bread ?

Thanks to New York Bakers I am now the proud owner of some rye flour. Bay State, white, medium and dark. Does anyone have a recommendation for a good first loaf? I have a stiff rye starter and have previously made Hamelman's light rye (it turned out nice, but I'm looking for something heartier, with more rye flavor). I am fairly comfortable with wet sloppy doughs and wondering whether I should start with a lower percentage or jump in and go 100%?



clazar123's picture
I haven't made it but Mini's Favorite Rye has gotten many reviews and has numerous threads.It is almost a tutorial on making high percentage rye.

Mary Clare's picture
Mary Clare

I like Rose's Bread Bible's  "Levy's Real Jewish Rye Bread."  I'm Czech and I love it : )   I make it about 1/2 whole grain with whole rye flour and whole wheat flour.  I bake it in a cast iron 'combo cooker', lid on for the first 15 minutes or so.  I think it's my husband's favorite bread and I love it, too.

Rose also has a sourdough version of it in the book which I've tried, but I like the straight dough one just fine, and I don't have to think so far ahead : )  

pmccool's picture

but you won't taste much of the rye if you follow her recommendations for the quantity of caraway seeds.  I like caraway but the amount called for in that formula is too much by a factor of 2, at least.


dmsnyder's picture

My recommended strategy is to approach 100% rye breads stepwise. You mention Hamelman, so I assume you have Bread. I would go from a 40% rye to a 60% rye. Then make a 70 or 80% rye. The 100% rye breads are in another class.

"Sloppy doughs" as in high hydration wheat breads are not the same as the sticky, clay-like high-rye breads. The latter may seem impossible to work with at first, but once you get the feel of them, you will love them I'm betting.

Besides Hamelman's delicious 70 and 80% ryes, another I'm very fond of is Hansjoakim's Favorite 70% Sourdough Rye. It is quite similar to Hamelman's and quite delicious.

Happy baking!


asfolks's picture

Thanks for all of the great advice!

I do have Bread, and I have been eyeing his Sourdough Rye with Walnuts formula...or possibly the 40% Caraway. So many breads, so little time!