The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hot rye sourdough

Beatrice's picture

Hot rye sourdough

Hi bakers, I'm back with one of my favorite formula ever: 20 % rye. I have to admit that the last few baked breads weren't very good, and I think that a reason for it could be the fact that I have to adjust the timings with the hot temperatures that are going on here in Italy.

But finally I think I made it, with this rye dough I stared at every passage and I managed to gain the right times almost in every passage; the only issue being the fact that maybe the bulk fermentation could be pushed a little bit further.

I'm going to write all the passages in order to let you know the details and to have a feedback about some advices or suggestions to be a better baker the next time.


100gr whole rye flour

400gr type 1 flour (here in Italy we call this way a semi-whole wheat flour with a good power, circa 12% protein)

410gr lukewarm water

10gr pink himalayan salt

100gr leaven (built the night before with 20gr type 1 flour starter, 40gr water, 40gr type 1 flour)



8 PM: built the leaven and let it sit overnight covered with a clean towel

5 AM: mix the leaven with the water first and then add all the flour. Let it sit for one hour covered

6 AM: add the salt and mix well with the pinch tecnique and let it sit for half an hour coverd

6.30-8 AM: fold three time, one time every half an hour

8-9 AM: bulk fermentation without foldings, during this time the dough should rise a lot and form some bubbles

9 AM: preshape phase where I tried to develop more gluten strength by moving the dough onto a very lightly floured surface, then I let it rest on the bench for 20 min

9.20 AM: I shaped the dough and put it into the proofing basket and let it rest covered for circa one hour 

(in the photo you see how active it was at this stage)

10.20 AM: I put the dough in the fridge for the retarded fermentation and let it rest there for eight hours

18.20 PM: baked the bread: 20 minutes covered at 245 degrees C and the 25 minutes uncovered at the same temperature.


I am very satisfied with this bread because I was so in tune with all the passages of the process that I feel more connected to it then with the other breads I baked in the past. It is a learning process and I am amazed about how easy it is to forget how important the art of adaptation and adjustment is.

I put in also a crumb shot: this is the perfect pattern for a toast or for a bruschetta, right amount of holes but not so many that the filling would fell down (you know what I mean).

I hope to read your feedback and I really thank all of you for the constant inspiration I gain from this community!

Happy baking, Beatrice! X



Ru007's picture

Well done Beatrice!! This looks so good! I really like rye so I can only imagine how yummy this was :)

Happy baking


Beatrice's picture

Thanks a lot Ru! It is amazing how good it is, yesterday I ate it with avocado and it was super yummy :)

Happy baking

bikeprof's picture

that looks quite good...and it sounds like you have a good idea of the way the final proof and temps (it looks like it may have gone a bit over), and general timing of the stages is really a key to most of what we are working for.

Just for fun, you might try going up to 260C (or even a bit higher) for you initial oven temp, turning it down to 240 after you put the bread in (I like to let it bake for 5-10 mins at the high temp before turning it down).  That can give a little extra oomph for good spring/bloom...

Best of luck...

Beatrice's picture

Thanks a lot for your suggestion, do you think I have over proofed the dough? Where do you think I should cut the proofing time? regarding the oven temperatures: I would love to push the temperature higher but my oven goes only up to 250 degrees C so I can't go any further :(

PalwithnoovenP's picture

Baking is sometimes tricky even if you watch it like a hawk. I think you did really well!

I love how you used "circa" for "around" in your sentence constructions. :)

Beatrice's picture

Thanks a lot! I used “circa” this way because of my italian mind! :) Sometimes I can’t hide at all my first language :)

Happy baking!

guyrol's picture

If I do not make a mistake the hydration was very high; total water 410 : total flour 500= 82%. What was your exact hydration?


dabrownman's picture

450/540 = 83.33% overall hydration.  Pretty wet for a 18.5% rye bread.  I think it would be better and easier at 78% but it had to be fun shaping this one!

Beatrice's picture

Yes, I used 410g water! I like to play with high hydratation :) 

dabrownman's picture

 but the hydration is only 78% which makes a bit slower ( only 7% rye and spelt) higher and bit more open.  I also would rather let it bulk ferment in the fridge and shape it the next morning for final proofing so I can pick exactly when to put it in the oven and not have to worry about it over proofing in the fridge while I sleep - been there and done that too many times.  Yours doesn't look too bad but the bloom was a bit less than what you would expect for a bread like this at this hydration.  But if I was making this recipe, I would definitely use a cold shaped proof like you do so I could get it scored and in the oven easier and faster without it spreading everywhere but up.

This has to taste great and make some firne bases for bruschetta - one of our favorite things on earth food wise!

Well done and happy baking B

PS   if that type 1 flour has a lot of bran in it then more water would be required I was thinking it was bread flour but after re reading the post it isn't.

Beatrice's picture

I will try with less hydratation next time, even if I tend to have always more pleasure from more hydratated dough! 

I know that my oven spring isn’t so good and maybe is the fact that hydratation and high temperature isn’t a good combo for a beginner like me :(

The flour I use has got a good percentage of bran and maybe this is the reason of my higher hydratation: I find the dough can absorb all the liquid I put inside and for this reason I tend to adjust the percentage following “him”, I give as much water as he wants :)

Thanks a lot for your feedback, and yes: bruschettas were amazing :)

Happy baking ;)

sayersbrock's picture

Lovely loaf, Beatrice!

A comment and some questions:

12% protein content in the flour is rather low, isn't it? It would be considered an all- purpose flour in the US.  I tend to go by the philosophy that I should use a rather strong flour in wholemeal breads to offset the low gluten of rye, barley, corn, etc.

Also, whenever I shop for flour I have the options of dark rye, medium rye, and light rye. You said you used whole rye.  Does this mean dark rye flour?

What was the importance of covering the bread?  The high temperature? 

Thanks in advance for your feedback!

Beatrice's picture

Hi Say, thanks a lot for your feedback!

Here in Italy I think that 12% of protein is considered a very high percentage but I read that in the US you are "stronger" with your flour protein content and for this reason sometimes american recipes don't work very well for me! I read the label of my flour and the translation of the name in english is: whole rye flour but because looking at it it seems pretty dark I assume that it could be considered a dark rye, as you suggested! 

I always cover the dough because in my home and in all of the books I read they suggested so, but I'm curious to know if I could leave it "naked". Anyway, I think it is better to cover it with this high temperature in order to avoid the formation of a odd film on the top! But I would love to hear suggestions from you!

Thanks a lot again and happy baking! Hope to hear your feedback soon!


sayersbrock's picture

Yes, it must be my dark rye equivalent.  I am beginning to experiment with baking my bread at higher temperatures and was questioning whether to cover for part of the time or not.  I guess I will have to experiment!  I am incredibly jealous of those amazing, charcoal-like, almost black loaves found in Italia.  But, of course, I don't have a professional oven, brick oven, or wood-fired oven.  So I'm thinking:  just crank up the dial on my oven!  What could go wrong?!? Haha!

Cedarmountain's picture

I enjoy reading your posts Beatrice.  Your comments, observations and questions tell me you are curious and eager to know more about baking SD bread - a real student of the art!  And your post has generated lots of helpful practical feedback and comments from many talented TFL bakers but one of your own comments makes me think you have already come to understand something really fundamental to your bread baking experience... you say, " I am very satisfied with this bread because I was so in tune with all the passages of the process that I feel more connected to it then with the other breads I baked in the past. It is a learning process and I am amazed about how easy it is to forget how important the art of adaptation and adjustment is."  Intuition, hands-on feel for the dough, sensing the variables and adapting on the go - that's true baker's skill.  Well baked Beatrice, now on to the next loaf!

Beatrice's picture

Well, that's a lovely and regarding comment! I really mean all the things that I said and I think that there isn't something better than a community like that to share this passion! I really appreciate your comment and I thank you a lot! I am currently proving a rye and khorasan dough so I'll be really happy to share that with you tomorrow! Hope to hear your feedback even on that future loaf of SD! 

Thanks again, Beatrice X

Edo Bread's picture
Edo Bread

Very nice post and loaf! Thanks for sharing!