The Fresh Loaf

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Volkornbrot from "WGB"

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Mebake's picture

Volkornbrot from "WGB"

I’ve always wanted to bake a Volkornbrot, and Peter Reinhart’s Version in “Wholegrain Breads” was appealing enough, though challenging too. The Recipe involves a soaker and a biga, as usual. However, the Biga was in the form of a Stiff Rye Sourdough, and the soaker was a Mash/scald. I have elected to skip the called for yeast, and went by the baking instruction of Hamelman’s version of volkornbrot in “Bread”.



120 g      Whole Rye Meal

300g       Water

3T           Flaxseeds

½ tsp     Malted Flour


- Preheat oven to 200F (93C)

- Add all ingredients except flaxseeds to a 165F (74C) water, stir, cover and insert into the oven. Reduce temperature immediately to 150F (66C). Leave the mixture in for 1-3 hours at 66C.

- When done, remove the mixture, and taste it. It should quite sweet. Add the flaxseeds, stir, and cover. The Mash can be used within 24 hours at room temperature, or up to 3 days in the refrigerator. (Note: On baking day, remove the Mash from the fridge 2 hours early to de-chill)



 213g     Whole Rye Meal

170g     Water

71g (1/3cup) Mature Sourdough Culture


 - Mix all ingredients well, cover and let ferment at room temperature from 6-8 hours until the mixture is well ripe. Degas it by stirring it, cover then refrigerate for up to 3 days.(Note: On baking day, remove the Mash from the fridge 2 hours early to de-chill)



454g     Sourdough

425g     Mash / Scald

255g     Whole Rye Flour

50g       Water

42.5g   lightly toasted Sunflower Seeds

1 ¼  tsp   Salt


 - Mix All Ingredients together to a thick sticky paste. If the consistency isn’t so, add water/flour as needed. Oil a bowl, and insert the paste into it. Cover and let ferment at room temperature for 10-20 minutes. Scrape the paste onto a floured surface (Rye flour), and work the paste into a log shape, incorporating as little Rye flour as possible. Insert the log into an oiled + Rye Floured pan, cover and let ferment for 45-60 minutes at 82F.

- ½ hour prior to the bake, preheat your oven to 460F and prepare your steaming method. 5 minutes, before the bake time, insert the steaming device. Finally, insert the pan carfully into the oven, as dough is fragile at this stage, and turn down the oven to 370F. Bake 10minutes under steam, and 45 without. During the last 15 minutes, remove the loaf from the pan, and bake bare until it brows evenly.

- Remove the loaf and immediately wrap in a kitchen towel for 24-48 hours prior to slicing.

The aroma of the baked Volkornbrot was as expected, fragrant, and sweet. 24 hours after the bake, the crust was chewy, and the crumb was moist and tender, and speckled with toasted nuts, and seeds. The Typical earthy Rye sweetness lingers in your mouth minutes after you swallow, with a pronounced sour note.

The Mash has created a very manageable dough, unlike most Rye bread without mash/scald. Flavor-wise, the mash did add up to the subtle sweetness of the crumb.






isand66's picture

Looks fantastic!

I will definitely give this a try.

Your crumb looks nice and moist and delicious.

Great bake.  Thanks for sharing.


Syd's picture

That looks delicious Khalid.  The crumb with the seeds in it looks moist and perfect for sandwiches.  It is really nice and open for a 100% rye.  "Malted flour"- is that the same as diastatic malt?

Nice baking,


longhorn's picture

Absolutely favorite breads and recipes. Nice job! Looks great!

I form most of mine into 2 inch square freestanding loaves to use as deli rye with cheese and such.

Thanks for sharing!


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

It looks really good!  A keeper!   If I had your loaf parked next to my Laptop, it would disappear ever so quickly.  

Mini o Ebro  :)

Mebake's picture

Thanks Ian.. :) iam glad to showcase some of the hidden gems within this fantastic book. Waiting to see your shot at it.

isand66's picture

If I make it back alive from China it will be on the top of my list!

I would kill for a piece of good bread here!  I'm sure there is some, but unfortunately not where I am forced to eat.

Maybe I will have some better luck at my next hotel...Maybe you can Fedex me some :)

dabrownman's picture

Rye with scald and seeds.  You did it well Khalid and fine loaf of bread indeed.  Nice crust and crumb a great bread to eat with cheese and fruit.  It must be delicious.

Mebake's picture

Thank you, Syd. Open face sandwishes, perhaps? 

The malted flour is diastatic malt. I made my own by sprouting wheat berries. Minioven's post on making ur own malted flour was very helpful.

Your Sf sd style Bakes are absolutely attractive, Syd!

Mebake's picture

Thanks, Jay. Although i love whole wheat breads, this particular recipe blows me away. I haven't tried free standing Rye. Must try that sometime. 

Mebake's picture

Thanks Mini! As Rye queen, i take ur compliment to heart. I have applied your recommendation to Varda in running a spatula along the sides of the pan.  


Mebake's picture

Thanks, Dm! It is my favorite now.

AnnaInMD's picture

with a few sprigs of green onion on this beautiful bread :)

Great job, Khalid!



varda's picture

Looks absolutely delicious - moist and flavorful.  -Varda

Janetcook's picture


What a wonderful loaf.  Looks like the crumb came out just right and you got really good height on the loaf too.

I have found that scalding the flour with ryes does make a huge difference too.  Amazing to see what something like that does to the end result.

I will have to put this one on my 'to bake' list because I have a lot of friends who really like the rye and seed breads.

Thanks for the post and the photos.

Take Care,


AnnaInMD's picture

I'd adopt him :)



wassisname's picture

Awesome bake, Khalid!  Not that that is any surprise.  When it comes to hearty, whole grain breads you certainly have the touch!  Thanks for spotlighting this bread.  It’s one from WGB that I have yet to attempt, but clearly that is going to have to change.


rayel's picture

A very impresive looking bread. Really nice crumb. Khalid, I wouldn't know where to start to make this bread. Mabey a good start would be to get a sourdough culture going.  I purchased some organic pineapple juice, and have enough whole rye to give it a good shot. I am afraid I'll become hooked, or worse.

All the best, Ray

Mebake's picture

Thanks, Anna :) That is touching!

If i lived anywhere near you, you bet i'd send you half the loaf already.

Limburger you say? That'll be about the only way i'd consume a thin slice of such cheeses. Green onion and cheese, mm.


Mebake's picture

Thank you, Varda! All i needed was a push, and you gave it to me.

Mebake's picture

Thanks, Janet :)

Please do give it a try, it is one really worth making. (Important: Pls. double or triple the recipe while you are at it, as it takes 3 day to make the bread, and 1 day to slice, and then it disappears in 1-2 days!!)

Mebake's picture

Thanks Marcus! As i said, pls. double or triple the recipe!

Mebake's picture

Thanks Ray!

Good! waiting to hear more about your new starter.


Mebake's picture

I, too , become restless when i have no sourdough in my freezer. We all share the same chronic illness, Ian!