The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pain rustique with a touch of dark and light rye flours

Raluca's picture

Pain rustique with a touch of dark and light rye flours

We haven’t talked about bread in a while, though I have been baking. Not as much as I would have liked, but I do have a couple of breads to tell you about.

Today is a lovely pain rustique that I’ve baked three times already and it’s just delicious, with a sweet perfumed crumb and a lovely caramelised crust. I think it’s one of our favourites, together with a white and semolina mix and a rye and caraway seeds one  . 

Time schedule:

Day 1: Make the preferment, leave for 12 hours at room temperature to mature. I don’t know exactly what the temperature in my kitchen is over night…I guess not above 21C.  I usually leave my preferment for around 12 hours until it’s nice and bubbly and has not sunk. You can test if it’s ready by putting a spoon of it in a bowl of water, if it floats it’s ready, otherwise it needs more time.

Day 2: Make the bread

    • Mix the preferment with the water and flour.
    • Leave to rest for 30mins (autolyse)
    • Add the salt and mix for 8 minutes on low speed
    • Leave to rest for 50mins
    • Perform 1st stretch and fold
    • Leave to rest for 50mins
    • Perform 2nd stretch and fold
    • Leave to rest for 50mins
    • Shape the bread
    • Proof it for 150mins
    • Bake at 250C for 5 minutes then reduce the oven temperature to 210C for another 40 minutes

Sourdough culture: I use a 100% hydration sourdough culture: 90% whole wheat, 10% dark rye. 

Recipe for 1 loaf (aprox. 78% hydration)

Flour: For this loaf I used very strong white Canadian flourorganic dark rye flour and organic light rye flour from the Shipton Mill.

Ingredients for the preferment

Make it 12 hours before you want to start on your bread.

IngredientQuantityBaker's %
Strong white flour35gr50%
Organic dark rye flour35gr50%
Sourdough culture15gr


Method for the preferment

Dissolve the starter in the water. Add the flour and mix until well combined. Cover tightly with cling film and leave it to rest at room temperature for about 12 hours or as I said above: until it’s bubbly and floats. 

Ingredients for the bread

IngredientQuantityBaker's %
Strong white flour300gr80%
Light rye flour75gr20%
Water 275gr73%


Final baker’s percentage (including preferment)

IngredientQuantityBaker's %
Sourdough culture15gr3.37%

Method for the bread

I dissolved the preferment in about 2/3 of the water and then added it to the flour. Mix  until you have quite a weird and not smooth mass of wet flour coming together. Do NOT add the salt at this point.

I covered the bowl and left it to rest for 30 minutes for the autolyse.

When the 30 minutes are up add the salt and the 1/3 leftover water and mix for around 8 minutes on low speed. I used the Kitchen Aid with the hook attachment this time. If you want to knead it by hand do it for about 10-15 minutes.

Transfer the dough to a clean greased bowl (I used an oil spray to grease the bowl), cover it with cling film and leave it to rest for 50 minutes. I recently purchased some really cheap shower caps from Boots and I use those to cover my bowl with. Pretty handy as they’ve got elastic and everything  . 

When the 50 minutes are up you are ready for your first stretch and fold.

I did my stretch and folds directly in the bowl, but you can either tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface or you can initially place your dough in a large rectangular container so you can do them directly in there.

Now cover the bowl again and leave to rest for another 50 minutes. Do another stretch and fold (the last one) and again leave to rest for 50 minutes.

After this final rest you need to shape your bread. I shaped this one as a  batard. I moved it in a floured banneton, placed it in a plastic bag that I closed tightly and left it to proof for 2 hrs and 30 minutes. You can find here a clip on shaping and scoring a batard.

You will need your oven to reach 230C so start pre-heating sometime after the proofing period has started, depending on your oven.

To bake the bread I use a 3cm thick granite baking stone, that needs at least 1h20 minutes in a 250C oven to heat up properly.

So, after the 2hrs and 30 minutes of proofing, I tipped my bread on a baking sheet scored it with a long score and put it in the oven. 

I also keep in the oven one of the trays, while it is pre-heating, so it gets hot hot. Then, immediately after transferring the bread on the stone, I add a cup of hot water to the tray below to create some steam and shut the door quickly.

You will need to bake this bread for 45 minutes at 230C. To get a nice crust open the oven door 5 minutes before the baking time is up, to release some of the steam.

For me the baking was 5 minutes at 250C and then, because I have a really small oven, I reduced the temperature to 210C for the rest of the 45 minutes.

Resulting bread:

This is a very nice and tasty bread. It had a nice caramelised crust and a sweet perfumed crumb from the rye flour addition.


dabrownman's picture

baking indeed Raluca.  Perfect on every way.

Happy baking

nicodvb's picture


isand66's picture

Ditto!  just a lovely crumb and crust.  Must have tasted as good as it looks.


Raluca's picture

Thank you very much guys! It doesn't work as good every time, but getting there I hope ;)

evonlim's picture

beautiful crumb.. strong Canadian flour is good. i use it quite often if i can get any! love your pictures too, professionally done.