The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

50% Swiss Ruchmehl loaf

not.a.crumb.left's picture

50% Swiss Ruchmehl loaf


A while ago I bought back some Swiss Ruchmehl from Germany and was curious about the

flour as Max Kugel, in Bonn bakes a lot with it in his bakery...

Last time it turned out to be an amazing bake and sadly I could not get my hands on it in UK....

But my fortune changed when I spotted Dark Swiss Flour on the Shipton Mill web site.

It did not give much information but when I baked with it, indeed it was very similar to the Ruchmehl, I thought...

The other day I saw a formula on blog and after contacting Alex, he confirmed that indeed the Shipton Mill Dark Swiss Flour is a Ruchmehl...

It is difficult to find information in English on the flour but it is like a 85% extraction flour that is not quite WW but darker than a strong bread flour....The taste is rustic and deep...although I mixed it with 25% Strong Organic White Marriages and 25% Strong Canadian flour. I might try it 100% next bake...and I think it will take more water easily...

This one was 78% hydration, 20% young leaven (ph 5 when I used it), 2 % salt.. , 2 hours autolyse, 30 min before adding salt after adding levain, slap and folds to develop gluten, 3 Stretch & folds and last 1 and 1/2 dough was left alone, pre-shape, 30 min benchrest and 30 min before going into wine cooler...

It was a warm day and tried to keep dough at 23C throughout whole process.

I can highly recommend this flour should you be in the UK and use Shipton Mill. No postage if you order min of £ 30 and lots of amazing flours there at a very good price!   Kat


rgreenberg2000's picture

Absolutely gorgeous, Kat!  Crust, color, ear, crumb!  Wish I could sit down and share some with you!  Thanks for posting!


not.a.crumb.left's picture

and I might try it 100% next time...I wish I had some of that 85% extraction flour from US to compare... Kat

Filomatic's picture

Perfect in every way.  Excellent work!

not.a.crumb.left's picture

and I keep know how the word 'perfect' is difficult to apply to our loaves and we always find something...but I was happy with this bake... Kat

trailrunner's picture

That is one perfect loaf. I sure wish we could get flour like that here ! Lovely in every way Kat

Bread1965's picture

.. and great in every way. 

It shows off your great skill as a baker..

not.a.crumb.left's picture

and I think a key now to master better is the consistent shaping and what the hands are doing.....I baked this as a batch of 5 and sadly cannot compare all as I give them away but

depending on shaping, banneton and scoring they come out differently. I also wonder how much a different position in wine cooler or even in the B20 oven affects oven spring and small things like that.... so many variables... Kat

syros's picture

Kat, your breads are always amazing. As is your curiosity and experiments!

not.a.crumb.left's picture

still lots to learn! Happy Baking... Kat

Azay's picture

I bought a bag when i visited the mill a month back before the lock down and this is really helpful. I will get on the case  now...

Recommend a visit of anyone is near enough.

I will keep a record of what I do and see how it turns out. I will go 50:50 with their organic white.....I can't see myself obtaining that crumb though!

not.a.crumb.left's picture

and I hope you will enjoy baking with it! I would love to visit the mill and Shipton Mill is at the moment my favourite mill with great flours at very good prices.

Happy baking in these tricky times...

Azay's picture

I made some today..well baked it just now. made 'mix' yesterday

200 swiss flour

200 white organic (both shipton)

280gms water

110gms rye starter

10 salt

Let it rest in fridge about 5 hours..little ris

Left it out overnight in kitchen, covered

Put into a bread round basket

Came out OK but when I cut it collapsed.

I rolled it folded and added tiny amount of flour (swiss) to handle it.

Cut a length and it collapsed

Has risen but looks awful

Perhaps hydration level too much (70%) ? 

It may taste OK..yet to cut it....scared to!

The most unappealing looking loaf I have made for some time, below:



not.a.crumb.left's picture

I need to understand a little bit more..

Top of the head I don't think it was the hydration at 70% is not too high...and the Ruchmehl would also absorb a bit more like a WW flour...

I normally use 20% starter meaning 250g white, 250g, Ruchmehl and 100g 100% hydration mainly white starter

So your proportion of starter is higher and also is it 100% rye? I assume that your starter is well and active...

How do you manage bulk fermentation after the initial mix and adding salt?

Did you let it start bulk for 1 or two hours before you put it in the fridge or straight away? Any Stretch & folds?

I don't do an overnight  'cold bulk' too often but as you left it in the kitchen overnight it could have overproofed or the dough could have degraded too much? How cold /warm is your kitchen? Did the dough have strength or felt weak and soft in the morning? What temperature had the dough approx during mixing?

A collapsed dough can be overproofed or has not built enough strength during the bulk fermentation...

If you like I can write down a little bit how I would handle a bake with those flours...I like to autolyse nowadays for 1-2 hours, and not add all the water at the same time and withhold some (bassinage method), then add leaven and after 30 min add rest of water with salt..

Then I give the dough some slap and folds to start the gluten process (are you on Instagram..some great examples there from a baker in Bath called Richard Bertinet

Then I put in an oiled container - mark the start point to check on % of rise - 

Depending on hydration I do hourly Stretch and folds or more....often I can get way with 1 or two more towards the beginning of bulk as the slap and folds have already helped to develop the dough...

I aim for a dough temp around 25C...and depending on room temp that can we a bulk of 3-4 hours (and the more leaven you use the faster the process of course)

A good tip is , if in doubt, cut a piece of dough and put it in a glass of water. If it floats then bulk should be completed alongside that domed look and bubbles in the dough. You can tell from those signs and alongside percentage of rise...

I hope I am not tellling you things that you know already and sorry, if I did....

When I started baking I felt it was because I never managed to build enough strength in my dough just with the folds. I started to do the upfrond slap and folds and voila my dough became stronger and no collapsing loaves anymore (also I overprooved many loaves in a too warm fridge without realising).

I hope this helps a should have seen some of my loaves, if it is a comfort...:D Kat




Azay's picture

Many thanks for all of the ideas, suggestions etc

The loaf itself does taste good and the inside is better than the outside!

Rye starter I used is a revived one that had smelt great but seemed to have stopped rising. This one rises well I I kept some of original and added to it)but not a strong decisive smell...

I screwed up on the fridge resting.

I have been baking about 8 years and started simply by picking up Bertinets book in a cafe in Shaftesbury.

But sourdough baking only about 6 weeks. Early ones i did were all rye based and also did a couple of spelt. Was following procedure of a chap called Andrew Whitley in  his book DO/Sourdough. He made a 'Production Sourdough' and then mixed in more flours and salt for productions sourdough.

Results were OK.

Then tried a white one with rye starter still following Irish guy (Patrick Ryan).

In my attempt I halved ingredients in case it went wrong...looked good and was pleased. It didn't rise that much but did enough in the bake.

I rather dived into the Swiss one thinking I could follow similar procedure. My guess is as you said, putting in fridge and cold kitchen wasn't too wise.

I will give it another go tomorrow.

I didn't do an autolyse..just mixed all up...starter + warm water, followed by flour...worked it and folded and into fridge.

Folded a few times when it came out of fridge but hadn't really risen. Still hadn't in the morning.....I will simply do first rise in warmer room for 3-4 hours and see how its going...then fold it etc and put in basket and cover and keep an eye on.

There are so many variables, I need to record it all and see what happens. Anything you would adjust?

Many thanks again, Tony

Azay's picture

Not all was lost...tastes great and there is air in it....!

not.a.crumb.left's picture

and that is the joy of it! Very difficult to tell as I am not sure of your exact process, temps and timings  but judging from your crumb with bigger holes with denser areas that could be a sign of underfermentation and would fit with what you said about the lack of rise. What do you think? Kat

Azay's picture

Yes, just responded with long winded one as this came up...i came to same conclusion...putting in fridge and then in cold kitchen, it never really rose. Rose when placed near boiler but I was impatient and baked it..i will do another tomorrow and ferment OUTSIDE the fridge and keep and eye on it all!

Benito's picture

Kat that is a spectacular loaf of bread.  I'd love to have that kind of crumb with every bake along with that amazing oven spring.


not.a.crumb.left's picture

Thank you Benito....At the moment with larger batches hand mixing often 10kg ish I have notched the hydration down a bit to be on the safe side. I still get a very nice crumb but a bit less open than this...

I also have a new fridge and still in the process of dialling in the proofing time before loaves go in the fridge as they now cool down faster than in my ole little wine cooler.

All a balance... Kat

Azay's picture

Kat, I made another with Swiss flour and changed my method and am really pleased with the result, though it is nothing like yours. Taste is really good, rose well. texture is tight but very springy. I can bore you with method if you like....!

not.a.crumb.left's picture

to a good loaf! If you have a moment, I would love to hear how you approached the flour? Stay well, Kat

Azay's picture

Kat, this was the same ingredients as before but changes to proving times and temperatures and finally I put in the fridge simply to enable me to cut it without collapsing.

Also put it on piece of baking paper, as read this was good way of taking to the oven without having a proper peel. So flipped bread basket over etc.

It was small loaf

400 gms (200 of Dark Swiss and 200 white organic-both Shipton)

Part 1 

Made up 100 gms of each

Mixed with water (280gms) that i had mixed with 110gms rye starter

Placed in sun by window for 2 hours.rose well and bubbling

Mixed rest of flours and salt together

Added to First batch.

Mixed/folded a bit

Into basket and then by boiler (ggod warm space) for few hours, rose bit

Fridge overnight

I should have steamed oven early on or wet surface with water on putting into oven.

That should have put you to sleep!


not.a.crumb.left's picture

always amazes me....Isn't the taste of this flour great! Try a 100% another time??? :D Kat

p.s. Max Kugel in Bonn makes a Swiss inspired Buerlie schild with this flour and also uses cracked rye to roll the loaves in..en couche...always wanted to try that...

Azay's picture

I could give it a go..nothing ventured...danger is its too dense?

I bought some cracked rye from you know who, not knowing what it was...I will roll it about. My wife's French and en couche literally doesn't translate to the bread meaning you reference but I get it. I noticed his pic top left on Instagram feed...looks like my first sourdough, without cutting...I like it...just let the air find its way. Looks good!

I made this ..not sourdough..just rolled it in mixed seeds...en couche?!