The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Help!! I want to bake 100% rye sourdough

possum-liz's picture

Help!! I want to bake 100% rye sourdough

HELP!!! I bake a lot for my friends and one of them want's 100% rye sourdough (she's a food purist).  I bake different sourdoughs all the time based on my white starter and feeding up to what ever type I want.  BUT my 100% rye is more like a brick. 

Any recipes/suggestions woud be much appreciated.  I'm in Australia so flour brands are different. For those Aussies among us I use Demeter's light and whole rye flours. I also have whole rye grain ,cracked rye and rolled rye to play with. 

Hope to hear from somebody out there.


sphealey's picture

100% ryes are different from any other type of bread, and require some specific techniques. Is Jeffrey Hamelman's _Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes_ (ISBN-13: 978-0471168577) available to you there via the library (it is expensive to buy)? Hamelman, who worked at a German bakery, discusses rye breads extensively and has a recipe for a 100% rye.


rainbowbrown's picture

SPh is right, 100% rye is a whole different animal.  Here are a few tips that might help.

Use a combination of rye starter and commercial yeast.  Just build up some of your white starter with rye flour a couple times.

Keep in mind that your dough won't build a gluten structure like wheat will.  It will be more fragile and more clay-like.

Don't do a bulk ferment as long as you would with a wheat dough, generally 20 to 30 minutes is fine.

Be careful not to overproof.  Since it's so fragile it can fall really easily if overproofed. 

Also, keep in mind that no matter what a 100% rye is going to be dense, it doesn't have to be brick-like, but it won't be like a wheat bread at all. 

I do hope this helps some. Ryes can be so much fun. Good luck! 


karen berry's picture
karen berry

I would be extremely grateful if you would translate the bakers' percentage recipe to a one loaf recipe by weight.  Thank you!  Karen

JustJoel's picture

Depending on what size loaf you want, just figure the ingredients from there. I don’t do ounces or pounds; the math’s too hard. But if you want a two pound loaf, the total flour should be about 500g. Calculate the rest of the ingredients from there. Simply decrease the flour amount if you want a smaller loaf

I think I read somewhere that if you‘re using rye, wheat, or other whole grain flours exclusively need a bit of vital wheat gluten to give the rise a kick in the pants, so to speak. I’ve used it before, when making whole wheat bread, and it really helps to make the loaf a little less dense. Alas, I don’t the ratio, but it shouldn’t be hard to find.

i love making mini rye loaves, slicing and toasting them, and usinng the slices for canapés or dipping! The mini slices also make great mini sandwiches! Good luck!