The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Nury's Light Rye: Take two

dmsnyder's picture

Nury's Light Rye: Take two

Nury's Light Rye

Nury's Light Rye

Nury's Light Rye - Crumb

Nury's Light Rye - Crumb

My first attempt at this bread resulted in a delicious-tasting loaf, but it did not have the open crumb that I expected. This was my second attempt. There has been much discussion of the difference the flours used might be making in the crumb.

This time my dough consisted of:

Water - 400 gms

Guisto's high gluten flour - 100 gms

KA Bread flour - 350 gms

KA White Rye - 50 gms

Levain - 45 gms

Salt - 10 gms

I kneaded about 16 minutes in a KitchenAide at Speed 3-4 to achieve windowpaning. I folded twice. The dough doubled in 3 more hours and rose a bit further while retarding for 24 hours. I warmed it 2.5 hours and baked it with steam at 450F for 5 minutes then at 425F with convection for another 25 minutes. I left it in the turned off oven with the door cracked for another 5 minutes.

As you can see, I achieved the more open crumb I wanted. However, the white rye resulted in a less sour and less tasty bread. It is merely delicious, but not as delicious as the one I made with whole rye flour. This small percentage of the total flour sure makes a difference.

I'm not that convinced the diffent flours used accounts for the differnce in the crumb, at least not all the difference. I also handled the dough much more gently in dumping it on the counter, patting in out and placing the cut "loaves."

I must have more data!

Fortunately, this is an easy and fun bread to make, so, until next time ...



weavershouse's picture

They look creamy and chewy and I'm sure they are delicious. Next time I would use the whole rye like I did the first time. I'm having trouble uploading photos at the moment. When I can I'll post my latest photo of the crumb. Again I really think it's the mixer that makes the large all over holes.        I have to do without but I do like my results too. This is my current favorite recipe. So tasty. You did a great job with yours.                  weavershouse

dmsnyder's picture

Yup. "Creamy and chewy" is what it is. However, the flavor benefits from more rye overtones than the white rye provides. I agree. 

I don't know that an electric mixer is necessary to make big holes, except that it makes full gluten development easier. Don't you think gluten development is the difference that matters? (Assuming hydration is the same)


zolablue's picture

David - Your crumb was much more open on this attempt. YAY! Your persistence is paying off.


I need to read more about rye. I wonder what the difference is between medium rye and white rye. I do have a bag of white rye but do you think I've bothered to break into it yet!


My experience with flavor between the medium rye and the whole rye was that the medium rye flavor was much better in this recipe. Or I should correct that because I agree there isn't much rye flavor but just great bread flavor and I did really prefer mine that I made using the medium rye flour.


I think if you use the whole rye and just add much more water, and possibly more than you think is comfortable at the time, you'll get the more open crumb. I'll be watching.


dmsnyder's picture

Hi, zolablue. 

I'm not convinced that it's impossible to get a more open crumb using whole rye, at least when so little is used as in Nury's formula. I agree that it would take more water. That is certainly the case using whole wheat rather than white flour. 

The second time, I kneaded the dough and developed the gluten even more than the first time. I'm thinking this was a (the?) major difference in the crumb.  

Regarding medium rye: King Arthur's Baker's Catalogue describes theirs as follows:

 "Medium Rye Flour
This rye flour has the germ and some of the bran removed ... " 

So, it appears to be intermediate between whole and white rye flour. I suppose I could approximate it by mixing whole and white rye, both of which I have on hand.  

In any case, I must say this is way more fun with several of us making the same bread and comparing notes. Thanks again for starting us off.  


ehanner's picture

David and Zolablue,
I have been following along and comparing your results with my own. I also enjoy the flavor of the small bit of rye in the white flour. I think it was Mariana that got me started doing that. She noted it was Calvel who suggested it but I don't have his book to see what his advice is.

I started using white rye and was surprised at the depth of flavor from a Tablespoon. In my last KA order I bought some medium and am trying to decide if I can tell the difference. It may be time for a blind taste test.

Glad to see you two tackling this subject. It would be nice to come to some conclusion about which type of flour brings out the best flavor. I'll bake a batch early next week and try to find time to make 2 identical hydration (the way it feels, not the exact weights) on the same day.

Zola how long do you think this will take to develop in the DLX?

I made Ciabatta today and it only took about 6 minutes at 2nd speed. Still learning. I've got 6 loaves of NY Rye to do tonight for a party Sunday so I'm busy.


dmsnyder's picture

Hi, Eric. 

I made a couple loaves of Sour Rye last night. They were the first ones that didn't burst in a long time. The difference was I let them proof to double volume this time. They were beautiful.

 I fed my sour with whole rye, so they were not "authentic," but they sure made good toast to eat along side salami and eggs. (My visiting grandson's favorite breakfast.) 


FMM's picture

They look great David.  I recall with your first attempt you said they looked like slugs and I meant to say they looked like a type of fish I catch in the lake near where we have our weekender.  Those fish are called flathead.  (Not the prettiest fish in the ocean but great tasting.  It works well with my current preferred method of cooking whole fish - stuffed with herbs, oil and a bit of salt then wrapped in newspaper bound with twine and then wet the whole thing under the tap before putting on the BBQ to cook for 40 minutes or so.  Coincidentally, fish cooked that way is really nice with this bread).  These look great.  I have found with this bread that for me, the less I handle it the better.  The last time I made it I tried to get the loaves to look like Zolas and I ended up with a bread which resembled ciabatta.  Now I just cut the dough and chuck it on the baking sheet and in it goes.  It ends up looking more swirly than shaped but I get better holes that way.  I  did try it with whole rye and noticed a definite enhancement of rye flavour.


dmsnyder's picture

Hi, Fiona. 

I agree that gentle, minimal handling of the risen dough is key. This time, I very gently patted the dough, cut the dough in half, stretched it to 12-14 inches and placed it on floured parchment paper. 

I did also poke it here and there with a finger before baking. Some one had said this prevents giant holes, I think. 

 I don't even try to get my breads to look like zolas. It would be just too frustrating. ;-) I also don't try to make my photos as stunning as hers are. Same reason.


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I noticed you reduced the levain from 125g to 45g.  What differences have you noticed? 

Mini O

dmsnyder's picture

What happened was that I mistyped. <blush> 


weavershouse's picture

Here are photos of this bread that I made on the 22nd. My conclusions (for now) are that I will always use whole rye that I mill, next time I will poke a little to get rid of the bigger holes like the one in my photo but handle gently, I will be sure to let it proof till double and I will make this bread a lot :)) Oh, also I try to leave the bread bake till it's nice and dark which I thought I did this time but like zola said I have to let it go even after I think it's dark enough. Next time.

 This time I didn't make the mistake of adding all the levain to the dough but I didn't notice any difference in the feel of the dough or the taste.



A lot of folks here are having fun with this recipe. weavershouse

dmsnyder's picture

Those are a perfect picture of "rustic," for sure. And the shiny, glutenized starch in the crumb looks delicious! 

What a fun bread! 


ohc5e's picture

Just made this bread for the first time with a mixture of KA bread flour and Sir Lancelot High gluten (I can't remember exactly but I think i used 1/4 of the total weight).  It turned out pretty well, although I tried to shape them similarly to Zolablue but to no avail...

I used Bob's Red Mill Dark Rye Flour.  It doesn't say anywhere on the package whether or not it is medium or whole rye flour.  It is pretty fine but it has flecks of bran mixed in. Next time I will track down some finer rye to see if it makes a difference in the crumb.  It was pretty open but not as much as I was hoping.  The dough was clearing the bottom of my Viking mixer after 10 minutes, maybe I will also add extra water to see if I can get the crumb more open.  The flavor reminded me a lot of Leader's Pain au Levain.  Seeing as how this bread is to be made over 3 days (from refreshing to baking), I will probably make the pain au levain more often in the future.

Pierre Nury's Light RyePierre Nury's Light Rye

Pierre Nury CrumbPierre Nury Crumb 

buhhhh's picture

This is my fave bread.  It was moist and extremely holey.  I made it using ww flour

  instead of rye and still got great holes. flavor the best.