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! 


Childebert's picture

Baker's Percentage
50 whole rye
50 rye sourdough (hydration 100 - 120)
25 warm water
1.25 salt
spices (kardamon, caraway, anis, fennel - all or combination) to taste.

Mix and knead thoroughly. Let rest for about 20 min, knead again briefly.
Shape to a ball, and proof for about 2 hours (at about 26 C / 80 F).
Preheat oven to 250 C / 480 F.
Bake at 250 C / 480 F for 20 minutes, reduce temperature to 180 C / 355 F and bake for another 35 - 40 minutes.

If the bread is too dense for your taste, add a little bit of yeast.


Good luck!