The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

40% rye 60% spelt RYW and Whey

trailrunner's picture

40% rye 60% spelt RYW and Whey

An experiment with pluses and minuses. The original formula was posted here: There weren't really any directives  . I mixed the levain and it was gang busters when it grew ! I subbed my active raisin yeast water for all the water and used my rye wild yeast. I had to refrigerate it after only 6 hrs as it was already doubled. I didn't want it too sour. The next day I blithely mixed the dough "batter" using my RWY and subbed in 100 g whey as I was short of RWY ....uhoh...Juergen has stone ground spelt don't. Instead I now had a bowl of cake batter !  What to do. I looked at about a dozen threads to see what others had done with their spelt loaves. Not much help. It runs the gamut from in the bowl s&f's to out of the bowl s&f's to both to a batter placed in lined tins...well you get the idea. 

I forged ahead. Did several rounds of folds in the bowl...looked great. Did one on the board with Did one with the countertop oiled...yes !  Except after a few minutes it slumped...badly. I gave up. I shaped...haha...2 boules...actually dumped 2 blobs  into floured lined baskets. I let them set out while I went to the gym. The rose and rose right up and over the edges of the cloths...ugh. I gave up again...put the baskets into a plastic bag and chucked them into the fridge...time to retard and re-group. 

Juergen was kind enough to answer my messages...he had a similar experience...wet wet dough. I heated the pots to 500 and took out the two baskets...up oh...fallen dough....sigh. What to do...forge ahead ! I tucked in the edges and made sure the cloth was loose. I turned them out...surprise they held their shape !  Not so fast....when I placed them in the pots they spread. Oh well. You can see the results. Holes, crisp crust, gelatinized crumb that is tender and flavorful. A little sour but not much. Short too...I am only 5'2". I shall try this one again. I am now convinced that me and spelt can get along. 

Oh ...I will never stop using YW ! I have two jars bubbling away in the fridge...both apple. I have decided I love it best. Here are some pics. 

levain after 6 hrs


  photo IMG_6552_zpsd35fbea6.jpg




fresh from the retarding :




 photo IMG_6554_zpsbf24ae79.jpg  photo IMG_6553_zpsa8cc9147.jpg



turned out of basket...there is hope !



 photo IMG_6555_zpsec14ac53.jpg



  photo IMG_6558_zps13697d3e.jpg


 photo IMG_6557_zps82d27594.jpg







 photo IMG_6560_zps0f48ac6b.jpg  photo IMG_6562_zps5d7e16c4.jpg


dabrownman's picture

this bake was very wet.  Like all wet dough there is a risk of spreading and with low gluten grains it will be spreader for sure.    If not whole grains, and with that much rye, I would want the hydration down, say 755 to a more manageable level so the dough would not spread much.  Not much sour is what you will get when mixing YW with SD.  Your crumb is still open and there is no moister crumb than what you can get with YW.  I has a unique crumb structure all its own.  The crumb can be especially good when used in conjunction with SD.- If it isn't over proofed it can be explosive in the oven.  My wet and over proofed loaves look like this one - still open and tasty but flatter than they should be.

When i first started using YW, I had a spelt loaf nearly exploded while retarding!  Spelt and YW are a natural IED!  No worries, you will soon sort out the right hydration and proofing for these kinds of loaves and you will be rewarded with great oven spring - instead of spread.

I'm running a test this week on home milled whole grain  identical breads using SD levain , a combo YW SD levain(like this one) and a YW levain loaf.  I don't think my apprentice would use the entire liquid as YW since it can run away very fast that way and it is too easy to lose control before you know it.  I had plenty of spreaders before I cut back on the water for rye and spelt loaves.

I have 25% each whole; spelt, rye, Kamut, einkorn and wheat.   At 91% hydration I tinned uo the YW and the combo levain and put the SD at only 90% hydration in a basket.  All were very sloppy even after 3 sets of slap and folds and t sets of S&F's.  Lucy didn'lt want to add any flour to them.  After a half hour bulk ferment on the counter we shaped, tinned and basketed them up and put them straight into the fridge for 20 hour retard so they wouldn't run away. 

Hopefully they will be fully proofed at 8 AM tomorrow.  I'm trying to get a better handle on how much sour really remains when using a combo starter and what the keeping abilities are for the combo and YW starters as compared to SD.

Happy baking

trailrunner's picture

way less liquid and way shorter proof. I look forward to seeing your experiments. The taste on this one of mine is outstanding...and I just love the way the crusts are coming out with the YW. Ever onward !  c

Janetcook's picture


DON"T give up on spelt.  I know it isn't polite to tell people I don't know what to do so emphatically BUT Juergen's other 100% Spelt loaf in the same blog is one that consistently gets rave reviews from all to whom I give loaves.  It is excellent and the dough is easy to work with.  I jumped the HL up to 90% (I use freshly milled spelt so it is thirstier) and the resulting texture is wonderful.  The dough does need to be baked in loaf pans or else you will get frisbee like loaves. :-)  I learned here that taste rules and your spelt/rye sounds as though it passed that test with flying colors.

I just baked a spelt and rye loaf with the same percentages from the book Home Baked.  My results were similar to yours. It was my first time using her formula and my results weren't grand.  I did bake mine in loaf pans due to the wetness but they still had the weight of a brick….I gave them to a couple of friends so have to wait on the flavor profile but I have read here frequently that spelt and rye like each other so I will continue to fiddle until I get it to where I am happy with the results…

Glad to hear you are enjoying your YW.   RonRay's favorite was apple too.  Why do you prefer it?  I loved the aroma, I just found that the apples were more work to maintain than my apricot and raisin waters so I dropped it out of my stash.

Take Care,


trailrunner's picture

For chiming in !  I need all the support I can get ( as does the spelt ) !  The loaves are not brick-like at all...just flatter profile, They are still light and crisp. I am impressed with the formula enough to pursue further bakes. I don't want to bake in a tin so shall lower HL  and see what happens. Will post back with better details so all can benefit. I don't have access to freshly milled mill yet in my house ;(. 

Hm...the reasons I prefer apple over raisin. I think that the apple starts to fizz and has a better fragrance than the raisin. Also I think it will be less expensive than buying organic raisins...they are expensive here only one store has them. I like the lightness also of the apple. I hope the apple pieces will taste better too..the raisins didn't after they were in the water a few days...I tossed them...they were yucky. Also teketeke says she thinks the alcohol odor is "good" but in reality it isn' is a sign as with regular wild yeast that all is starving for O2. So I only let my YW stay out of the fridge for 3-4 days in AL weather and then in it goes while it still smells fresh and applely !  


I shall keep ya'll posted on the AL YW. I really appreciate the feedback .c

dabrownman's picture

you down.  You only want orgainic to get the YW foaming,  Onve going you can use anythinfg yo keep it happy.  Orgainic just ensures the outside wasn't sprayed with something to kill the yeast spores.   Once going adn free citrus ran out I switched to peeled apples as they are the cheapest frrd by far until the citrus in the back yard brings in another crop and then the YW goes on a citrus diet again :-)

Try your untinned recipe at 75% hydration. I'm with Janet, 90-91% hydration with home milled flour and you can tin it up of basket it with the fingers crossed not really with home milled flour.  Janet is really the one that got me to really look at home milling flour and making better 100%  whole grain bread a higher hydration.  Now I need a better mill so a KOMO s is in my future!

Now that I went back to look,  the spelt IED in the fridge had whey for the liquid too!  Whey and spelt are a volatile combination.

Happy baking

trailrunner's picture

Haha...I can't understand your last part ....I will lower HL to 75% . Not sure what your sentence says ..."I'm with Janet ...LOL !!  I too want to get to home milled...just the expense....and anything  new takes me some time to wrap my head around . Thank you for posting are a treat :) c

varda's picture

And you certainly got a beautiful crumb.  I just ordered a big bag of spelt from Great River.   So I will have to follow  you down the spelt road.   Very nice!  -Varda

trailrunner's picture

It is terrific bread. Please post what you do with yours. There are a lot of 100 % spelt  formulas on TFL..just have to look hard to find them. Sure wish we could consolidate all the formulas. I shall toast this bread  in the AM and give a report. So far excellent and worth repeating with some adjustments and see what happens. I shall look forward to  trying 100%  by Juergan as janet suggests...lots to explore. c

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

was via higher % rye breads - 80% rye - 50% rye and based on the "Detmolder Einstufen" method.

This method allows a baker to bake a huge variety of breads that all have a similar timing - ideal for a production environment.

The yeast in those formulas has - to my knowledge - two funcions:

1. help with scheduling

2. eat up all the oxygen during the early proofing stages so that the heterofermentative LABs don't make so much acidic acid.

I did a few tests with and without yeast. The differences in taste were only subtle, but the bulk proof needs to be doubled.

"Out of the box" these formulas will need about 1 hour bulk proof and 1 hour rest, at 28C.

I made lots of 40%rye-60%wheat breads, and the dough handles in no way like a wheat bread, it is sticky and fragile.

Occasionally I tried the higher rye % and found that spelt goes very nicely with it.

This encouraged me to try a 40% rye - 60% spelt loaf - I expected something very slack and difficult to handle - which it was. But very tasty. 

The dough fermented rather quickly - much faster than wheat. 

Personally I wouldn't retard those kinds of bread, because the enzymes present in the rye will degrade the gluten too much. To get some more flavor development I would use one of those 2 methods:

1. Not using yeast or yeast water at all, but extending the bulk proof to 2 hours max. at 28C

2. Using a spelt biga 

I haven't made this bread in a while, thanks for reminding me.

Tailrunner, I can see you have been bitten by the spelt bug, and I am looking forward to your next posts.


trailrunner's picture

I am not sure what the difference is in " bulk proof"--- "rest" . Do you mean an active bulk proof in which you are doing s&f's ? and then let it rest ? You have a world of experience with these kinds of flours which I do not have and also you have studied the science  of the breads/bugs and I haven't done that either ! I just bake :)  

My next bake I was definitely planning on not using any yeast. I have found in my warm climate here in AL that it makes it all go too fast...witness this bread. I think I can cut the HL, leave out the yeast and probably still use YW at least in the biga. Great idea to make it a spelt biga !  

I am going to try the 100% spelt that you posted also as Varda says it is amazing and easy to handle. So lots to do...but only two stomachs so it will take me some time. Thank you  Juergan. 

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

hits me regularly as well ... Having read some German blogs I find that there is a very clear language about the stages and what you do - one word and a German pro  baker knows exactly what is happening...

In English it is all a bit interchangeable and undefined, (see e.g. the recent survey of Real Bread Campaign that much of the "Wholemeal" bread in UK supermarkets contains about 1% Wholemeal flour ...)

I think I fell victim to an implicit translation ... and an incorrect one ....  Thanks for asking

I translated the German "Gare" as "bulk proof", the stage between kneading and shaping, including folds. Then I translated "Teigruhe" as "rest", and meant the time after shaping, until it goes into the oven.

Correct would be:

Time between kneading and shaping = Teigruhe = Dough Rest or Bulk Proof

Time between shaping and baking = Stückgare or Gare = Second Proof, or lots of other words

Sorry for the confusion. I'll try and be better in the future



trailrunner's picture

After I posted and thought about it I realized that it was what you were probably meaning. Language is certainly an interesting thing !

I tried toasting the bread this AM...not much flavor today. It was so flavorful yesterday 2hrs  out of the oven but seems to have lost its punch. Ah well...I shall make the changes in proofing times and leave out the yeast and YW too as you suggest and let the flour/dough tell me what to do with it . ( and you as well :) )  Thank you again. c

Mebake's picture

If it is any consolation, they are only bread! Just slather on some favorite topping and you are in bread heaven. Spelt can be tricky, and adding new variables to an already tricky flour won't help. But, you saved the day, and you had edible healthy bread.

Were they sour? 


trailrunner's picture

yesterday at 2 hours out of oven the loaf we cut was just a little the texture and crust are still fine but toasted it didn't  have as much taste as it did yesterday...that isn't what usually happens to my breads..the flavor improves with age. We will have it at dinner tonight so I shall judge again how it is aging. 

Yes Khalid it is only bread...and I have great toppings ! Home made fig jam !  Can't go wrong with that ;) Thank you c