The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

80% Rye opinions please

Bart's picture

80% Rye opinions please

I made the Hamelman 80% rye and like a few other heavy rye doughs I think the dough is kinda weird.  It is almost like Play Doh clay.  My question : is the crumb okay?  Tiny holes?  Is this okay?  The bread is very moist.  It has the typical sour smell (but not like those German Rye breads, not as heavely.)

How should a dough containing that much rye be?  What consistency?  It was wet, and like I mentioned 'Play Doh' like.

The formula had only 10% white flour in it, so not too much gluten (even though I used high gluten flour.)

Please send me your feedback.  I like this bread a lot.  It is moist and has a very good taste, not too sour. Too bad the rest of this household does not like it.  Our 5 year old did not like it at all.

Info more than welcome, thanks!




PS : Please notice that the color of the actual loaf might be a bit darker, somehow I never am able to get a decent .JPEG compression that does not throw out most of the brown color. 

susanfnp's picture

Hi Bart, I'm certainly not the rye expert around here but I think your description and photo are right on for what I'd expect from an 80% rye. Tighter crumb, and dough with much less elasticity than wheat. I've heard rye dough described as "wet cement." It looks great. Keep offering it to your child when s/he is good and hungry; it will grow on him (her?)


Bart's picture


Thanks a lot for the info, 'wet cement' : that is an accurate  description.

I will try to offer it again to our daughter, let's hope one day she will appreciate the taste.



KipperCat's picture

People tell me it's strange how much I like rye bread and honey, so I sort of assume that most folks don't eat it this way.  Anyway, I thought it might me a good way to introduce your daughter to it. 

Your bread looks quite nice!

EsmereldaPea's picture

Oh, that's funny - I was thinking the same thing! If you haven't tried "Farmer's Cheese" found around here as "Baltic Cheese" (us Lithuanians know it as Varske - pronounced varsh-keh) with honey on rye, you should! It is to die for. Oh dear, that reminds me that I just bought some the other day - Pardon me, I need to go grind some rye berries so I can make some Lithuanian rye ASAP!!!



Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

And especially a little wedge cut is also tasty.  Good work Bart!

Mini O

weavershouse's picture

And if you like it, that's all that matters. The crust looks good and chewy and the crumb looks like it's just right. Good job I say. Children don't usually like rye but hopefully they will grow to love it someday. Keep trying.                                                weavershouse

FMM's picture

I think it looks great Bart.  I wished my 80% rye turned out so well.  I've only tried 80 to 100% ryes from Local Breads and they have been an unmitigated disaster.  They hardly rise at all and they have a soapy taste.  I love the taste of rye but have had to confine myself to no more than 50% white flour and 50% rye.  Do you otherwise like the Hamelman book?  I'm tempted to buy it.


Bart's picture

The Hamelman book for me is the best book I own.  The book is kinda technical and depending on what you are looking for you might like it.  I own 'Crust & Crumb' by Peter Reinhart too, and most of the people on this board like this a lot.  I don't.  Like I mentioned, depending on what you are looking this might the perfect book for you.  It is for me.  Good luck with future Rye baking!ilovebreadblog

ryan's picture

Fiddle with your recipe bart. Just figure out what you like. I tried a new recipe on the weekend and, it had a 54 % hydration ratio. I plan to add more water next time. :)


Happy baking


Bart's picture

Okay Ryan, will do.  Bart