The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

50% Rye SD Knotted Rolls With Wheat Germ, Barley Scald, Caraway and Sunflower Seeds

dabrownman's picture

50% Rye SD Knotted Rolls With Wheat Germ, Barley Scald, Caraway and Sunflower Seeds

These nice looking and good tasting rolls are some thing we normally don’t do since rolls are usually reserved for holidays and bread is served for dinner otherwise.  We wanted a 50% rye SD knotted roll that also used the WW Joe Ortiz cumin starter we like so much.   So we mixed together our standard rye starter and the WW Joe Ortiz one.  It sat in the fridge after the 8 hour build for 4 days while we decided what to do with it.  We probably should have refreshed it again but no time was available.

We also wanted to boost the browning, a little sweetness and yeast activity by adding molasses, barley malt syrup and home made diastatic malt powder.   We love berry scalds and seeds in bread, especially rye ones, so a cracked barley scald was prepared and once done, some caraway seeds and sunflower seeds incorporated into it.

It is just plain fun to make knots so we do so when ever we can.  We added different individual seed toppers to the rolls to make each a little different than the others.

The sour taste is slightly muted since we didn’t retard them.  The crust is nice and brown and softened as it came out of the oven.  The crust was not as open as we would have liked even for such a high percent whole grain bread but not brickish either.  But it was, soft and moist.  It probably could have baked a few more minutes too.  They should be baked to 205 F but ever since I fried the temperature probe in a 500 F oven, trying to stupidly test how hot it really was,  we have to play the 'is it done' guessing game again. 


 These were baked in the mini oven using (2) 0f Sylvia’s steaming method developed for the little beast.  The spring was good as a result.


This WWW and Rye SD levain was made over (2 ) 3 hour builds and (1) 2 hour build and ended up at a  78% hydration and 160 g. for each roll.   The seed was a combination of a sour rye and the Joe Ortiz Cumin Desem starter.  It was very active and doubled after the last build in 2 hours.  Any sourdough starter will do though.  The starter was refrigerated for 4 days but it doesn’t need to be refrigerated at all.

The barley is cracked in a spice mill and then brought to a boil and allowed to sit at room temperature until cooled. The caraway seeds and sunflower seeds are then added to the barley scald and reserved, covered in plastic wrap until needed.  


The dough was a 50-50 combination of rye and bread flour.  The levain was mixed with the dough water, molasses and barely malt syrup to break it up.  The dough flours, wheat germ, salt and home made diastatic malt were then added and mixed by hand in a bowl with a spoon for 1 minute and allowed to rest covered with plastic for 20 minutes.


(4) sets of  S&F’s were done on 15 minute intervals on an oiled surface with the dough being returned to a plastic covered oiled bowl between sets.  During the last set of S & F’s the barley scald,  caraway and sunflower seed mix is worked into the dough on a floured work surface as this is very sticky dough because of the rye.

The dough is then allowed to develop and ferment for 90 minutes.  You want it to alt least gain 80% in volume before dividing up the dough into (6) 140 g balls to form into knotted rolls.  Form the balls into 14” ropes, make a knot in the middle and then tuck in the two ends into the middle, one from the top and one from the bottom.


Allow to nearly double in size on semolina or corn meal sprinkled parchment paper, wrapped in a kitchen trash bag.  We baked ours after 2 hours and they were under proofed by 30 minutes or so - couldn't wait though as dinner needed attention too.  Should have retarded them in the fridge overnight instead of balking them.  We brushed the tops with egg yolk and sprinkled each witha different seed or topping.  We used bran and seeds; chia, flax, basil, white and black sesame and poppy before baking in a 450 F preheated mini oven with (2) of sylvia's steamers for 10 minutes.  After 2 minutes, turn the temperature down to 425  F.  At the 10 minute mark, remove the steam and turn the temperature down to 375 F baking with convection this time.


In another 10 minutes or so, the rolls should be done and be 205 F on the inside.  Let them cool in the oven with the door ajar for 10 minutes then move to a cooling rack.

50% Rye SD Rolls With Wheat Germ, Caraway and Sunflower Seeds     
Mixed StarterBuild 1Build 2 Build 3Total%
SD Starter2000205.39%
Total Starter60802016056.94%
Levain % of Total22.28%    
Dough Flour %   
Diastatic Malt10.00356   
Bread Flour14049.82%   
Dough Flour281100.00%   
Dough Hydration71.17%    
Total Flour371    
T. Dough Hydration72.78%    
Whole Grain %64.15%    
Hydration w/ Adds73.35%    
Total Weight718    
Add - Ins %   
Barley Malt82.85%   
Wheat Germ82.85%   
Caraway (2) & Sunflower Seeds227.83%   
Cracked Barley258.90%   


gmagmabaking2's picture

Those rolls look very wonderful.... The textures look so rich and robust! Like a meal in itself, without whatever is being served with the rolls... Bet they tasted great... (hence the past-tense). Your posts and pictures are the yardstick by which I measure success!

dabrownman's picture

My daughter picked one up, and even though these rolls had lost 16% of their 140 g pre-baked weight down to 122 g, she said 'these seem pretty heavy Dad?'  I told her that these weren't like the Thanksgiving White Parker house Rolls we do that are much lighter in color, as well as, weight and only other roll she can compare to.

Then she said these taste like all the other breads I bake.   They do taste like the 50% rye breads with scald and caraway and sunflower seeds but nothing like at least some of the others.   Thank goodness she goes back to college tomorrow and her summer cooking apprenticeship is over :-)  

I like your comments way better.  We had beer can roasted chicken, gravy and a wonderful baked melange or ratatouille of sweet and white potatoes, shitake and king oyster mushrooms, eggplant, celery, onions, Mexican grey squash and carrots.  Served with a very tasty, if heavy, roll to go with the salad.  Delish all around.  I froze 3 of the rolls for special occasions other than Thanksgiving.

Thanks again for your kind words.

isand66's picture

Great looking rolls DA!  Maybe they weren't perfect acording to your apprentice, but they look pretty enticing to me.  Looks like you have another successful recipe and I love the seeds and add ins.

Nice bake and post.


dabrownman's picture

rolls Ian.  It had been a while since I did a bake without having some YW in it :-)  Have always liked rye's and have taken to sprouts, seeds and scalds  - inside and out.  They really pump up the flavor and texture of breads as you know.  Still haven't done any wild cottage cheese breads yet but you got them on my bake lst that just get longer and longer.

Are you baking anything this weekend?

isand66's picture

I have my Holy Guacamole bread in the oven right now...very wet bread..hope it turns out good. Will post tomorrow if it is edible!

breadsong's picture

Hello dabrownman,
You did such a great job shaping those rolls, and the different seed toppings look fantastic.
Doesn't your little oven beast do a lovely job of baking, for smaller quantities?!
:^) breadsong

dabrownman's picture

Cuisinart does fine job of baking once we figured out a couple ways to get some decent steam.  We may not go back to Big Betsy GE!  We make knots when we can and practice helps.  Wish I could slash as well!!  Practice doesn't seem to help all that much with the blade.  Glad you liked the rolls.

Thanks for the nice words.