The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Recent efforts

Floydm's picture

Recent efforts

I hope everyone's new year is off to a great start.

Winter weather has lead to winter colds, which unfortunately reduces the sensitivity of my already not terribly refined palate, but I have been baking when I can.  Two of my recent efforts are worth mentioning.

Above and below are pictures of my recent attempts to make something like the Mazowiecka loaf that a local Polish bakery makes.  It has a bit of rye, a tightish crumb, and a sweet, malt-y flavour.

Right now I'm using around 20% rye, with a few tablespoons of malt syrup.  I also tried using a pâte fermenté to give it a bit more depth and longer shelf life.  It is good, though I don't feel like I've totally nailed it yet.


The other one I've been baking regularly is my standard sourdough (72% hydration, 15% whole wheat, 7% rye flour, 2% salt) but also adding 200g (20%) of soaked grains.  I've just picked up a few different cereal mixes, like Bob's 6 Grain, which I soak a cup of overnight in one cup of water, then mix into the final dough.

It's nice. Not a drastic change, but it adds a bit of crunch and texture to my daily bread.


carefreebaker's picture

Floyd would you share the rye bread recipe? Would it happen be written in non percentages by chance since I have no clue how to follow that kind of recipe?

I am from Polish ancestry. I love that kind of rye bread which I can not find where I live.


thank you


Floydm's picture

I would gladly but I haven't written anything down. :(  As I said, I'm still working on this one.

I'm happy to share my mental notes. As best as I can recall, it was something like:


  • 1 cup AP flour
  • a little less than 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon instant yeast.

I kneaded this by hand a bit until I had a nice dough, adjusting so it was not too sticky or not too dry.  I put it in a bowl, covered it, and put it in the fridge overnight. 

The next day,

Final Dough

  • the preferment
  • 1 cup rye flour
  • 3 cups AP flour
  • 1 heaping teaspoon instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons barley malt extract
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup + ... 1/2 cup? warm water

I mixed it, adjusting as needed. If memory serves me right, for my first batch the dough seemed too dry so I sprinkled in more water. I don't recall the state of the second batch I baked, but I wasn't shooting for a very wet dough. 

I let it rise a couple of hours, shaped it, and let it rise for 45 minutes or so before eggwashing and sprinkling on the poppy seeds. I gave it another 20 minutes or so to finish rising, then then baked it on my baking stone. I kept the heat cooler than usual, something like 375, because I was afraid the malt extract would make it burn too quickly.

I think that is it... oh!  Potato flour!  I noticed the bakery we get this bread from has Potato flour as the last ingredient on the list, so I picked up a bit to use in my next batch. 

I'll try to do more precise record keeping next time and post that info then.



a_warming_trend's picture

Really nice! I'm hoping to work with soaked grains within the next few months. I'll definitely be searching back through threads to educate myself before I dive in. 

carefreebaker's picture

Floyd so much for sharing your recipe with me. I have my grocery list written and I hope to find the ingredients tomorrow.

Happy Baking,


Janetcook's picture

Nice looking loaves Floyd. I especially like the color of the crust on your boule.

I still do not understand why certain rye loaves are labeled Polish or German or Jewish etc.  Do you know?  I know there are thousands of recipes out there and all vary a bit so there really probably isn't a definitive answer to my question but yours sure looks nice - both the crust and the crumb.  Are those poppy seeds or charnuska seeds on the crust?

Hope you are feeling better soon.


Floydm's picture

No, I don't know of particular characteristics that would designate a given loaf a "Polish style" or "German style" or "Jewish style" rye. In North America, I've always assumed any such designation is either just marketing or represents the heritage of the baker, but bakers more familiar with those particular traditions might be able to articulate actual differences between them.

Poppy seeds on the crust.

Janetcook's picture

That is the conclusion I have come to after baking so many different combinations and it does make sense so I am glad you have drawn the same conclusion :*)  I had thought maybe the use of your preferment but German ryes sport the same thing.  Some with sours, some with only IY - some with preferments similar to yours.  Lots of way to make breads people love.

dabrownman's picture

Love the rye.  Up the rye to 30% and you have Jewish Deli Rye.  I'm pretty sure it was named that because that is where you could get it - but not all recipes for it are the same either:-)

Happy baking in 2015 Floyd 

hreik's picture

That's all. Just gorgeous!