The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough rye

Felila's picture

Sourdough rye

I baked my first sourdough rye loaves yesterday, using the recipe from Peter Reinhart's Artisan Bread Every Day. I didn't have caraway, nigella, or orange oil, so just made plain loaves. The rye percentage in that recipe is something like 22%. The bread wouldn't be a heavy rye, but it does have more than the 15% rye I noted in some online recipes. 

My first slices, eaten after the loaves had mostly cooled, didn't seem to taste of rye. They tasted somewhat like my usual sourdough, if not as sharp and tangy. Today's slice seemed to have much more rye flavor. I wonder if the flavor only emerges fully once the loaf has completely cooled.

The rye flour I used was Bob's Red Mill, whole grain, dark rye. However, I bought it from the local supermarket, and it may have been sitting on the shelf for a while. I also ended up leaving the rye sourdough starter in the fridge for four days, the limit, because I was busy with this and that. Perhaps the long fermentation may have affected the flavor.

I think next time I'll try this with caraway seeds. I've been on a Reuben sandwich binge and want to see how the bread affects the taste. (Reubens made with my normal sourdough were great, as were Reubens on ciabatta rolls from the supermarket.) 


phaz's picture

they say flavor increases a bit when a loaf  has cooled completely.  some also say the best flavor it's the next day, and I would agree. the flavors in the crust seem to permeate the rest of the loaf after a day or so. I love bread, and go through half a loaf  myself the same day it's baked and there is a noticeable difference in flavor when I get to the second half.  personally,I think the crust it's the best part of the bread!  and I do get more if that flavor the next day.  you can always test the theory, but do wait at least an hour before slicing a fresh loaf.  even that will make a difference

Felila's picture

We managed to wait a full hour after the loaves were out of the oven, but they were not yet completely cool. Recipe made a couple of large batardes. One is now in progress, one frozen.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and I can never manage to save any to add to the next loaf.  They are the first to get eaten, the coveted crust slices.  If you manage to save a two day old end, with a nice brown crust, (toast it?)  let it soak in some of the water or starter for the next loaf and crumble it blending it into dough.  Depending on the slice dryness, add a tablespoon of extra water.  The additional favor is noticeable!  Try it.  :)

Elagins's picture

The rye carrying capacity of first-clear or high-gluten (e.g., All Trumps or Sir Lancelot) is between 40% and 50%, and many European mixed rye-wheat breads will go as high as 90% rye (at which point, of course, their character has already changed to quirky rye as opposed to baker-friendly wheat). Try Reinhart's recipe with 40% rye (or better yet, try either the corn rye or old-school Jewish deli rye recipes in "Inside the Jewish Bakery" (which I co-authored). I think you'll find a definite difference.

Stan Ginsberg

dabrownman's picture

Eric's Favorite Rye and many Jewish Deli Rye use around 30% whole grain rye in the mix but i think 40% is better - you just need to take the hydration up accordingly.  We also like Mini's bread spices in it too - a combo of coriander, caraway, fennel & anise with twice as much caraway as the rest - about 4% total.  We also like a nice rye berry scald in it too - say 50 G dry weight for every 750 g of total dough weight.  I like to let rye breads at 30-40% rye sit at least 4 hours - and they will taste better the next day.

Happy baking

108 breads's picture
108 breads

I admit that I have not yet tried a rye bread with more than 30% rye; nor have I added any of the seeds or oil mentioned above, but - and this is important - the taste of a rye bread is demonstrably better with caraway seeds - night and day difference.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Maybe that is where your kick is hiding or Reuben with melted caraway Swiss cheese.  If you are on a caraway binge as well, try making thickened sour-cream soup with caraway cut with soup stock. ...croutons or with the sandwich. 

A white wheat with lots of caraway is also a great way to satisfy a caraway deficiency.  Nuke em first in some water to soften for tender bite and bring out the flavour of the seeds.  Crushing with a rock or hammer is also fun and lets folks know "great stuff is happening in the kitchen."