The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

When Rye Goes Awry

loydb's picture

When Rye Goes Awry

This went badly, badly wrong. Yes, that's how it came out of the oven.

They can't all be home runs...



HeidiH's picture

I should have taken a picture of the lump of pumpernickel-shaped clay I gave up on yesterday.  It didn't have as much texture as your "loaf."  It was more the consistency of fine modeling clay once I sawed through it's ugly carapace.  Back to yeast-based ryes for me.  Good luck with your next rye! 

yy's picture

LOL looks like that loaf would make a fine exfoliant. Crumble and recycle in your next (hopefully successful) rye loaf?

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

Looks like those prefab logs for the fireplace, like those DURAFLAME logs. Can you set it on fire? Will it burn? ;)

(I've lost count of the times rye has resulted in a similar disaster. Luckily, bad rye bread = good altus for rye starter).

Janetcook's picture


I have had my share of similar looking loaves.

One of Hanseata's (Karin's) ryes is a snap to make and uses sourdough.  I have made it a couple of times since finding it and both times the end result got GREAT reviews from all who got a loaf.

Take Care,


Stuart Borken's picture
Stuart Borken

I have made the most fantastic caraway rye bread that is a perfect match to the best of any NYC Jewish style rye.

Anybody want it?  I posted it a while back and the discussion was weather the bread was a true sourdough or not.  Who cares???  It tastes fantastic.  The fermentation goes on for up to 2 weeks, I think this is enough time for the bread to develope sour notes.

msbreadbaker's picture

Stuart, I would be interested in your recipe. Are you going to post it here or are we to use your email address? Thanks for your input. Jean P. (VA)

Stuart Borken's picture
Stuart Borken

Rye Bread, New York Deli Style Caraway Rye

Source: Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day
3 cup spring water at 110-degrees
1 1/2 tbsp granulated yeast
2 tbsp Kosher salt
2 tbsp caraway seeds + more for sprinkling on top
1 cup medium rye flour
5 1/4 cup unbleached all-Purpose flour
1/4 cup dried good quality dry onion flakes
cornmeal for pizza peel
cornstarch wash with pastry brush, boil up 1/2 tsp cornstarch with 1/2 cup water

Instructions: In a 5 quart bowl or the bowl of a Kitchen Aid, mix the yeast, salt, caraway seeds, onion flakes and finally the water. Mix well. Blend the two flours with the salt and mix together well. Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl of the KA and mix well with the dough hook until just wet and ALL the flour is incorporated. Need not knead after the dough is all wet (hydrated for all you professional bakers).

Remove to an almost airtight container and allow to rest and rise for 2 hours and then place into a refrigerator for a couple days. This resting phase accomplishes a couple things. It allows the dough to hydrate, to firm up for better handling and it also allows fermentation to occur which develops excellent flavor in the final bread, an actual sourdough.

To make a bread: flour a bread board. You are going to take a knife and you are going to cut a segment of the dough mass away from the main mass. I generally choose one third of the mass. You take some flour in your fingers and dust the portion you wish to remove and cut it apart from the remainder of the dough. Using your fingers you just plunge you fingers into the dough at the place you cut into the dough, and pull it out of the container. Place it onto a floured surface with the floured side down. Shape it into a rectangle and fold it into thirds and then in half cover and let it rest 15 minutes. Shape it into an oval loaf. I place it onto the cornmeal dusted pizza peel at this time and place it into a moist warm oven for about 90 minutes. Preheat your baking oven to 450-degrees, with one rack at the level of just above the middle and one rack just below it. On the lower rack place an 8" X 8" cake pan during the preheating. Place a pizza stone on the upper rack. Give your stone enough time to reach temperature. I remove the bread from the warming rising oven every 20 minutes or so and reshape the sides, propping them up if the bread seems to be sagging or spreading. When it is done rising, I slash it with deeper cuts toward the center across the bread and more shallow towards the ends. I then paint it with the cooked loose watery corn starch paste and then sprinkle caraway seeds and sometimes coarse salt granules on top.

Slide the bread onto the pizza peel and at the same time pour one cup of very hot water into the cake pan and create steam. Close the oven door and bake for 30 minutes. Open the oven door and remove the pan of water. Remove the stone and bread and replace the bread onto the bare oven rack and bake it another 10 minutes until tapping it's bottom sounds hollow. Remove to a cooling rack and do not eat until cool and cured!

You will not believe what you have made.

This recipe comes from Artisan Bread In Five Minutes A Day with modifications by me, Stu Borken

Background: This dough is very wet and can only be worked after it has set up and cooled for at least a day or better two. Then it ferments and becomes a sourdough for the final bread. It also becomes easier to handle and shape. It makes three good sized loaves which look for all the world like they came off a shelf from a New York Jewish style deli. I have also made the breads in baguette pans for appetizer loaves to use for chopped liver and chopped herring salad.

Yields: 3 breads

Stuart Borken's picture
Stuart Borken

It only took me a quarter of an hour following Wayne's directions to get this photo uploaded.  I have no memory of how I did it.  I hope you can get an idea of the crumb of this wonderful bread.  The recipe was from ABIFMAD with the addition of dry onion flakes.  Stu B.