The Fresh Loaf

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Rye flour substitute

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xabanga's picture
xabanga

Rye flour substitute

What would be a good rye flour substitute for a sourdough bread recipe. I've got a family member who does not like the taste of rye. Would substituting the rye for whole wheat or spelt flour affect the dough and the baking? (ie: amount of water, etc.)

Thanks for any insight!

dwg302's picture
dwg302

i believe it does affect the taste to a degree.  if you check out the sourdough recipes in the Hamelman "Bread" book, he has variations on the vermont sourdough with whole wheat instead of rye and talks about the differences.  they are basically the same recipe so if you have that book you can compare the recipes to see how much water to add or subtract as well.   if you don't have the book i would recommend it.  i started by taking it out of the library for a couple weeks to try it, and liked it so much i bought my own copy. 

david

xma's picture
xma

Hello xabanga.  In the thread Trouble in Rye Flour City in this site, pjkobulnicky said rye "is from another planet."  I don't know if you've never tried making rye because of your family member who doesn't like it.  I am partial to rye and I have a sister who used to say she doesn't like rye, but changed her mind when I started making it.  She now says the rye I make is the only one she likes. (What a pat on the back, huh?)

Anyway, aside from the differences in taste, rye is really sticky while whole wheat is not.  They both need a lot of water.  Rye is always better off with a pre-ferment, preferably sourdough starter, while you can make good whole wheat bread without it.  Rye also needs quite short bulk and final proofing, and although in my experience whole wheat rises really fast, it performs very well with orvernight retardation.  I haven't dared try overnight retardation with rye.

I know this is a matter of personal taste, but I don't like the combination of rye and whole wheat.  Hamelman's 'Bread' mentioned by dwg302 has an entire chapter devoted to rye sourdough, and it's easy to see it's his favorite type of bread. But he has a recipe there that combines rye and whole wheat at 25% each (which I didn't care for because the whole wheat overpowered the taste of rye).  Spelt doesn't have that funny stale-ish taste of whole wheat which I detect when combined with rye. 

Sorry, am I rambling? Am I helping you any? The bottomline, I guess, is that you'll have to experiment if you really want to forego rye or try it in combination with other flours.  You can also opt for the light variety instead of dark.

Good luck, and keep us posted.  :) 

 

 

xabanga's picture
xabanga

I have made rye breads before. I even used a sourdough recipe. But not matter how small the amout of rye in the bread, I still got the "I don't like rye" line. I'm trying out a new recipe that uses ww, rye, spelt and bread flour but I'm going to substitute the rye flour for barley flour. We'll see how it turns out....  Have you ever baked with barley flour?

Thanks for your help! And no, you weren't rambling! The more info the better :)

xma's picture
xma

Uh, I've ground some malted barley to a fine powder to mix with my bread. Does that count as barley flour?  Though in the recipe, I think it's part of additional whole grains instead of part of the flour.  Other than that I haven't tried barley flour, sorry to not be of more help.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Careful when adding barley flour, it can get very bitter and leave the bread with an aspirin taste. I would first try not more than 10% of total flour. If using a higher % let it stand a week, after baking, it looses it's bitterness and can be quite tasty but very dry, like for bread sticks snacks. Come to think of it, I did not stop to think that "fresh milled" might contribute to the bitterness. Maybe letting the freshly milled barley flour stand 3 weeks, as recommended by all flours, to oxidize the flour would make a difference. Try tasting the flour if it looses bitterness with time.  I haven't tried malted flour.   --Mini Oven

xabanga's picture
xabanga

I started writting back but I accidentally pressed the backspace button and I lost what I was writting. Oh well... Thanks for the warning about the barley flour. I started baking my bread yesterday and I hope it's not bitter. I haven't calculated the baker's percentage yet, but the amount of barley flour is quite small compared to the other flours. The dough is in its final proofing right now but it's not rising much :( I'm going to let it sit another hour or so and hope for the best, otherwise I'll have to settle for a brick.

xabanga's picture
xabanga

Well...I made the bread but it was a HUGE disaster. It didn't rise at all and I messed up the oven temperature. I baked the bread at 400 instead of 485 and I ended up with a huge unbaked center. By the time I noticed the mistake it was too late. Baking the bread longer and at a higher temperature just burnt the bread.