The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Any grains you like...

PiPs's picture

Any grains you like...

With a rye starter now sitting on the bench for the foreseeable future I thought it was about time to reduce the amount of packets of cracked grains sitting in the pantry that were purchased before my Komo mill arrived.

I have found milling rye quite unlike milling wheat. The flour I am producing has large colourful flakes of bran and soft flour with only a hint of grey. If I am not careful milling, the Komo can become slightly clogged with rye flour when the hopper is filled with large amounts of grains. I have taken to pouring grains into the hopper gradually, being careful not to over fill it or under fill it.

When mixed with water the rye turns an earthy brown colour, quite different to the whole rye flour I have purchased in the past. Oh, and it likes water, a lot of water. I have spent the past week tinkering with the starter’s hydration trying to come to grips with this.

This bread is an absolute favourite of ours. It is not a high towering open crumbed architectural marvel. It is dense, moist and exceedingly aromatic. In the past I have used whole rye flour but for this bake I sifted the rye flour used in the final dough to try and lighten the crumb.

The original formula comes from an experienced baker (a bakery instructor) on the site ( The soaked grains are counted as part of the total flour calculation…which makes it a little confusing at first. Here is a link to the original formula

Any grain sourdough (45% rye, 35% mixed grain, 20% wheat flour)
Total dough weight: 1kgs
Hydration: 76%
Prefermented Flour: 20%
DDT: 29°C


Rye Starter build - 23°C for 12hrs
Starter: 25g
Rye Flour: 120g
Water: 96g
Diastatic malt: 0.5g

Soaker - 20°C for 12hrs
Wheat kibbled: 60g
Rye kibbled: 60g
Barley kibbled: 60g
Linseed: 30g
Water: 210g


Final dough – DDT 29°C
Rye starter: 216g
Soaker: 420g
Sifted rye flour: 150g
Strong bakers flour: 120g
Water: 150g
Salt: 12g


I use a scraper in my right hand to pick up and turn the dough and keep my left hand wet enough to avoid excessive sticking. I did this for about 5 to 10mins …. I was in the middle of a conversation so I lost track of time.

Allow to bulk ferment for 15-30mins.

Mould into smooth balls and roll into rolled oats.

Now this is where things get a bit different from a lot of what I have seen here with regards to rye breads and cracked surfaces.

Danubian suggests we place the dough seam side down in dusted baskets ensuring the top of the loaf is covered in rolled oats. It is then proved uncovered away from drafts. As the proving continues the top of the loaf will break up cracking into islands. Mine took about 1.5hrs.

After proving the dough is placed seam side down (this involves flipping the dough out and balancing on one hand before placing back seam side down) onto a peel or parchment paper.

I baked mine in a cast iron dutch oven

On entering a preheated oven at 270° I reduced the heat immediately to 210° and baked covered for 30mins, then removed from dutch oven and baked for another 30mins uncovered on stone for ensure even browning.

While we sat on our deck in the evening chatting about upcoming Christmas events (must start soaking fruit for fruit cakes soon) and watching possums run along phone lines we were teased and tempted by the aromas streaming from the baking loaf.

All the best


codruta's picture

beautiful cracks on the crust! this loaf is really loaded with grains, I bet it tastes and smells delicious. Have you tried to toast it?

I've never seen such a brown colour in a rye starter.

Your photographs are wonderful, thank you for sharing.


PiPs's picture


Yeah, toasted with marmalade this morning ... Yum. I think the darkened rolled oats on the crust are the real stand out. I love their flavour especially when toasted.

Cheers, Phil


GermanFoodie's picture

... this reminds me of some of the breads we have in Germany...

PiPs's picture


Have heard these kinds of breads referred to "hamsterbrot" :)


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

is adding some wonderful color to your starter and crumb!  Wow!  Perfect crumb!  I can see why it's a favorite.

Thought the addition of diastatic malt interesting.  Looks like you could easily up the recipe by one and a half and use the same baking vessel.

Thank you,  Mini

PiPs's picture

I have lost the reference to why the diastatic malt has been added to the rye starter in this formula. I have heard that crops in Australia have a consistent amylase deficiency and diastatic malt is often added to correct this.

This is the first time I have baked it in the dutch oven...much happier with the results than trying to bake on a stone with steam.

Cheers, Phil

Breuer's picture


I can see THAT bread is realy nice and moist, and the grains is always nice;)

Good work!