The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Weekly Bake 02/11/20

Crusty Loafer's picture
Crusty Loafer

Weekly Bake 02/11/20

Much improved this week.  After last week I did some TLC to my starter.  I had been using it and then feeding it and sticking right back into the fridge until the next bake. I wasn't giving it any feeding before I baked.

So I got some rye flour and several  50/50 rye/bread flour feedings to build it back up. I also experimented with different feeding ratios.  I did a 1:1:1, then a  1:5:5, followed by a  1:3:3, before I settled on a 1:4:4. The last one gave me what I wanted,  and that was the ability to feed once in the morning before I left for work. The starter would go through a complete cycle of rise and collapse in about  24 hours being left in room ambient temperature...about 62 to 68 degrees.  Feeding it in the morning would put it near peak by 8 PM when I would use it in my bread. Still a young levain. 

I increased my hydration from  65 to 67%, also my flour from 400 to 450 grams.  Salt 2% and I increased my levain from 15 to 20%. 

I noticed the dough felt much better. Last week it was stiff and hard to work with. This was more in line with my expectations.  After mixing and a 30 minute autolyse I kneaded it doing a lot of stretch and folds for 15 to 20 minutes.  

Then I let it do a bulk rise, long and slow...approximately 16 hours. The next evening after supper i shaped and put in my banaton basket for the final proof while I preheated my Dutch oven at 500 degrees for 30 minutes.  Then I baked it at 500 for 30 minutes with the lid on.  Then I removed the lid and baked another 15.


Crusty Loafer's picture
Crusty Loafer

Why is rye flour so hard to find? Is there a shortage? I checked Walmart,  Kroger's and even Whole foods.  No one carries it.  I  did manage to find that Whole foods had rye in their bulk items, but not any bagged on a shelf. 

tortie-tabby's picture

Whole Foods finally restocked their Arrowhead brand rye flour, it's been weeks! On the other hand I couldn't find any rye in the bulk section of my store.

idaveindy's picture

Hodgson Mill and Bob's Red Mill were the  only ones (that I know of) making/selling rye for the standard retail grocery market.  Hodgson got bought out, and the new owners decided not to continue making/selling the rye.   So it must have been a profitability issue. 

That leaves  Bob's Red Mill.  And they are kind of expensive with their "boutique" operation, and smaller 1.5 pound bags of products.  my nearest Kroger carries some BRM products but doesn't have all of their stuff.  FUrther away there is a Market District, an upscale Giant Eagle, that has what looked like the full line of BRM.


If you are in a major city in Ohio, check out for baking ingredients, including 5 lb and 25 lb bags of organic dark rye. Contact them and see if there is a buyers club in your town.  For single orders over $400/$450, they offer free shipping on their company truck. They run their routes every 2 or 4 weeks.  I'm fortunate there is an informal group in Indy, and a volunteer to coordinate the order. We order once or twice a year.