The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough Onion Rye

Ocelaris's picture

Sourdough Onion Rye

I thought I'd share my latest loaves because I don't post much, but appreciate everyone's comments/advice. I'm kind of fond of the whole Jewish baking because currently  I live in the Bronx, NY, where Rose Levy Birnbaum and I believe Stan Ginsberg grew up. Anyways, there's a lot of heritage here in the Bronx, so while I'm living here I'm getting into it. As big as NYC is, the boroughs are more like small towns than anything I grew up in suburbia, we have a local baker and butcher we can walk to and it's a small town feel. Anyways, on to the bake!

So I got my first 50# bag of King Arthur, sir Lancelot high gluten flour last week, so I thought I'd put it to the test with some Rye which I almost always have trouble with. Usually they end up being a bit flat with all the rye, even with tons of time in the mixer to develop gluten, I find it hard to get it right regularly. Also I don't normally do a rye sourdough, but thought I'd give it a whirl. My recipe is somewhat of a knock off of the Hamelman book, which is my favorite for getting ideas. 

 I made 4 loaves, 2 with the King Arthur Rye bread improver and Deli Rye flavor , and 2 with just a tad of malt powder to help the rise. Basic recipe was:

40 Ounces High Gluten Flour 

24 Ounces Medium Rye Flour

2 Tbsp salt

~8 oz sour dough starter (premixed including water)

~40 Ounces water (about 65% hydration)

I split it into 2 batches, so the first day I did 20 oz HGF, 12 oz Rye, 20 oz water and the sourdough starter. I mixed and left over night on the counter. 

Next day I split the pre-ferment into 2 and added to each 1 Tbsp salt, 1 tsp diastic malt powder and the water. I also added 1/2 cup onion flakes to 2 cups boiling water and let it sit for ~20 minutes. Each batch got the onions, and I used the onion water for the recipe. For the "Super" NY deli rye batch I added 3 TBSP Rye bread improver (proprietary mix of malt powder + potato starch + malt ?) and 1 TBsp of Deli Rye flavor (basically dried pickle juice, acetic acid (vinegar) etc...).

I mixed each for about 15 minutes in the mixer and let the rise about ~2 hours, then punched down, hand kneaded and/or stand mixed a bit. The "Super NY Rye" were doing so well in their rise, and I can only rise 2 loaves at a time in my bannetons, I shaped and put them in the bannetons for a final rise. The wooden bannetons get a dusting of half rice flour, half regular AP flour with my flour wand. Turned oven on to 450*. Another hour or two and the Super Rye loaves were ready to go in. I have a baker's peel, so I put a sheet of parchment paper on the peel turn it on top of the bannetons, and flip. Score the loaves and put them in the oven on the pizza stone. A cup or 2 of hot water goes in the 12" cast iron skillet in the bottom of the oven. Loaves get about 25 minutes. 

You can see the ones on the left are the "Super NY Deli rye" and they turned out ALOT better, higher rise etc... Probably a bit too much flour on the bannetons, but with the sticky Rye, I wanted to make sure they came loose without them falling down when I put them in the oven. 



dabrownman's picture

crumb shots of these fine breads.  The one on the left sure looks like it rose and sprang much more.   Nothing like some extra malt and vinegar to make a higher rising bread.

Nice baking.

Ocelaris's picture

Thanks, I just opened up the first loaf a few days ago. The challenge for me is always to get a high rising loaf, particularly with Rye. The two with the extra Deli ingredients probably got more attention, but I made a fair effort to at least knead them the same amount to develop the gluten. They were actually lower weight for some reason at the end of the primary ferment, maybe I miscalculated... I usually just make the sourdough with half whole wheat and onion and no rye. Most of my Rye end up having a gooey bottom area where it didn't rise enough and/or flattened out when i turn it out onto the backing stone. I'll probably make potato starch and malt a more regular part of my regular sour doughs, not sure what's in the KA "Rye enhancer" but it definetly helped. 

I wish the crumb was a bit less fine, but it was enough of a challenge to get them to really perk up in the oven that I knew I had to do a lot of gluten development. I haven't gotten the hang of higher hydration doughs, I rely on the bannetons for their final shaping, except for when I'm doing baguettes and use the couche. 

dabrownman's picture

Your crumb looks very nice and the rise and spring / bloom was super.  You got some relly nice height.

Good baking

AnnaInMD's picture


The crumb is just right for a rye bread.  Nice job !