The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

100% rye bread using Tartine method

Claire65's picture

100% rye bread using Tartine method

Has anyone had any success making an all rye bread using the Tartine method? I have successfully used the method to make variety of breads but one I attempt it witfine mix of fine & coarse rye I'm not getting a rise. I created a rye starter. Have read a lot about the difficulty of working with rye so I made one batch using only starter and another using a combo of starter and a poolish. Both batches were a mess. Wndering if there a point when I can just dump the dough into a pan and bake....or is it best to dump directly into the compost?

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

If you know all about goldfish - and then try to keep a hamster in your fish tank - he won't like it too much.

Usually I tell people who ask me how to make rye breads that the most important step is to forget everything they know about wheat breads.

A 100% rye will be dense. There will be oven spring, but if you bake freestanding it will mainly be sideways.

What recipe do you use?

Do you have any photos of your adventures?



Claire65's picture


Thank you. I am attempting to remove the hamster from the goldfish bowl but they've grown used to each other, so it could be a slow process.

I made two loaves based on what I've learned from Tartine. This all started because someone asked me if I could make pumpernickel and I understand that pumpernickel is made with coarsely ground rye--correct? 

Loaf 1:

280g coarse rye (buying this from a local health food store that grinds its own)

220g fine grind rye

100g leaven (I converted my mother to 100% rye)

50 g poolish (commercial yeast, rye, water) -- This I added because I understand that rye doesn't have the gluten like wheat so needs that extra boost. 

400 g water

After 40 minutes, I added 35 g water, 10 g salt.

Loaf 2

500 g coarse rye

50 g leaven & 50 g poolish

350g water

After 30 mins. added 10 g salt & 100g water

The greater water amounts in both batches were due to what I've learned about working with WW flours. Clearely, rye is a different beast. Both batches looked like something I would feed the hamster (or other animal)--in small batches, because it would likely cause blockage. Nevertheless, I continued with the process of attempting to turn (more like stir) the dough every 30 minutes, but then switched to every hour or so until I gave up and dumped it into a pan and baked at 350F for 2 hours (207F thermometer reading). I filled a shallow pan with water so there was moisture/steam throughout baking. The loaves smelled wonderful baking but had no noticeable oven spring. They are heavy as bricks. Have a strong sour taste that only hint at pumpernickel when I smear with cream cheese. 

Loaf 1 --Uncut & Cut

Loaf 2


Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Hi Claire65,

I second Mini, your loaves look great.

But if it is Pumpernickel you want, that's a third species, like a lizard which likes to warm himself up in the sun.

There is a German document the bakers have to adhere to, and about Pumpernickel it says: Bake at minimum for 16 hours!

In my experience the taste you are after develops after about 2 hours of baking at low temperatures. But I am still a novice with these kinds of bread.

Several TFLers made a great recipe from Hamelman's Bread:

Other great possibilities with a similar taste are

Have fun with the reptiles!


dabrownman's picture

for 100% rye.  Maybe you don't like or want rye? But you certainly can bake it.  Nice job! Pumpernickel is a long, slow, low slog of a process.  But if mastered, a nice bread is had that few can make,

Claire65's picture

Thank you all for your comments, help, and kind words. I think I just don't like 100% rye (fake pumpernickel)! I'm going to experiment next with a combo of white, rye, and maybe some grain.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I'm glad you stopped stirring.  I like to drop the added yeast because it stretches the dough too quickly.  Let the levain raise the dough.  Even if you don't use the recipe, this information may be interesting: