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dmsnyder's picture

Hamelman's 40% Rye with Caraway

Hamelman's 40% Rye with Caraway

Hamelman's 40% Rye with Caraway Crumb

Hamelman's 40% Rye with Caraway Crumb

This is the second of Hamelman's rye breads I've made. The first was his Flaxseed Bread, which I thought was pretty terrific.

 Eric Hanner's photos of Hamelman's 40% rye looked so great (as did SteveB's), and others who had made it gave it such rave reviews, well! How could I not make it?

Eric and Steve both used AP flour and Medium Rye Flour. On reading Hamelman's formula, I found he calls for Whole Rye Flour and High-gluten flour. Since I had both of those, I used them. (Actually, I chickened out and used 2/3 high-gluten and 1/3 bread flour for the wheat flour.)

The good news is that this is one of the best tasting rye breads I've ever had. It is moderately sour with a pronounced flavor of rye and  caraway. The crust was chewy, except the "ear" which was crunchy. The crumb was rather dense in appearance but with a lovely mouth feel and chew.

The bad news is that I think I must have under-proofed the loaves. I let them expand by about 50% before baking them, and I got explosive oven spring and bloom. The loaf I do not show had the biggest side-blowout I've ever had (and I have had pretty extensive blowouts with my ryes before).

I expect I'll be making this one again. Maybe I'll let it double before baking next time, though.


dmsnyder's picture

Pain de Campagne variation

Pain de Campagne variation


Pain de Campagne variation, crumb

Pain de Campagne variation, crumb

 A couple of weeks ago, I baked a pain de campagne. The formula evolved from that for baguettes which Anis Bouabsa had shared with Janedo. It had some sourdough starter and some rye flour added to Bouabsa's original. Of course, I didn't have any French T65 flour, so I used KAF "French-style Flour," which is their T55 clone. Also, rather than forming the dough into baguettes, I made one large bâtard. The mixing method was also changed somewhat. After a 20 minute autolyse of the flours and water, the other ingredients are added. The dough is mixed using a method I learned from Hamelman via proth5, although I have since found a very similar method in Reinhart's BBA (see his formula for Pugliese.) The dough is stretched and folded in the mixing bowl with a plastic scraper for 20 strokes, repeating this 3 times over an hour. (20 strokes. 20 minutes rest. 20 more strokes. 20 mintutes rest. 20 strokes.

The critical  method I retained from the original was how the dough was fermented: After the autolyse and "kneading," the dough is refrigerated for 21 hours before dividing, shaping and baking. 

 See my TFL blog entry of August 31, 2008 for more details. (

 King Arthur Flour sells a "specialty flour" they call "European-style Artisan Flour." They have told me this is their approximation of French T65 flour, which is what Ansi Bouabsa actually uses for his baguettes. The European-Style Artisan Flour is a blend of Spring and Winter wheats with some ascorbic acid and some white whole wheat. It is 11.7% protein.

 This week, I made pain de campagne again. The only changes from my bake of two weeks ago were 1) I substituted KAF European-style Artisan Flour for KAF French-style Flour, and 2) I made two boules rather than one bâtard.

 The European-style flour absorbed more water, resulting in a drier dough. It was also slightly less extensible, but still more so than, say, KAF Bread Flour. 

 I baked using the same method as before. For the two boules of about 480 gms each, I preheated the oven to 500F and turned it down to 460F after loading the boules and pouring the hot water in the skillet. The water was removed after 10 minutes. After another 10 minutes, the loaves were "done," but I wanted a darker crust, so baked them for an additional 5 minutes, then left them in the turned-off oven for another 5 minutes.

 The crust did not stay as crunchy as the previous version. The crumb was about what I expected. The dough acted like a 68% hydration dough, and the crumb looked like it. The aroma of the sliced bread, 3 hours after baking, had a pronounced smell of wheat bran, and the taste of the whole wheat in the flour really came through. It was only slightly sour. The texture of the crumb was quite nice. It was tender and chewy. My experience suggests the flavors will meld by tomorrow morning, and the taste will change. I'm looking forward to tasting it.


Personally, I prefer the previous iteration, at this time but others may differ. Certainly, both are very nice. 


AnnieT's picture

When I was searching through a file of recipes I came across this one, written on a sheet of lined paper goodness knows how many years ago. I don't remember ever baking it but wonder if anyone here knows the bread and maybe tried it. I won't give the entire recipe but basically it calls for potatoes which are boiled and mashed, and when they are cool enough sugar salt and yeast are added. This mixture is kneaded and formed into a ball which is covered and put to rise. Half of the potato ball is added to milk, sugar, butter, salt and ap flour and the other half is saved for another baking. Makes pan loaves or 36 rolls. Does this sound familiar? Any comments, success or otherwise? Has all the ingredients for tender bread, and I wish I could remember where I found it, A.

ehanner's picture


This is my first loaf of Pain au Levain from Jeff Hamelman's "Bread" using the starter I created using the durum flour procedure to improve sour a couple weeks ago. The starter was a bit slow upon coming out of a 2 week sleep and refreshed. It did wake and get active so here we are.

I'll post a crumb image later along with the flavor evaluation of sour.

Added by Edit: The crumb isn't very open and there is no, zero, nada sour flavor. I would say that if there is a sour benefit to be had by using durum, it may be in elaborating with durum and not an extended procedure using it. 


ehanner's picture

I was happy with my first attempt at 40% Rye with Caraway, until I saw SteveB's. After looking at his post on his blog I tried his method modifications minus the covered steaming. I like the steam cover I just can't bake 2 loaves this size at the same time.

I also used only 8 grams of caraway and it was ground. I just wanted a hint of spice. The sour came through very nicely. I used my rye starter and let it age for 18 hours for maximum sour flavor.

Thanks Steve, I don't know how this could be any better.





KosherBaker's picture

Here is my crack at terminology that is commonly used in bread baking. It's a start, with a hope that with some comments these will be corrected and added on to.

Poolish - A French term. Uses commercial yeast. An aged mixture that is made up of equal amounts of water and flour, by weight, and a small (tiny) amount of yeast. (1)

Biga - An Italian term. Uses commercial yeast. An aged mixture that is made up of water and flour, which may but do not have to be of equal amount. A tiny amount of yeast is also added to this mixture.A Poolish is really just a form of Biga. A Sponge is the English term for Biga. (1)

Starter - An English/American term. An aged mixture that is usually maintained in a very small amount, that is used to start or seed a larger mixture that is then called a preferment. A starter made from commercial yeast is called a straight dough starter and a starter made of wild yeast is called a sourdough starter.

Pate Fermente - A French term. A small piece of dough reserved from the previous batch of bread. This is the only preferment that may contain salt in it.

Preferment -  An English/American term. An aged mixture whose primary purpose is to impart a maximum amount of flavor to the resulting bread. This mixture is allowed to fully ferment before (pre-) being added to the final dough mix. Examples are: Sponge, Poolish and Biga.

Autolyse - A French term. A technique where gluten containing flour and water are mixed and aged for a desired amount of time to arrive at desired gluten development level and flavor characteristics. There are no other ingredients present except flour and water. And flour has to contain gluten.

Soaker -  An English/American term. An aged mixture whose primary purpose is to hydrate the dry ingredients that are to be used in the final dough. The dry ingredients are gluten free.

High Extraction Flour - An English/American term. It is a flour that is between White and 100% Whole Wheat. It has a certain percentage of Bran and Germ removed.

Patent Flour - An English/American term. White Flour which was extracted from the central most part of the endosperm. Is considered to have the highest quality of gluten. (1)

Clear Flour -  An English/American term. White Flour which was extracted from the outer parts of the endosperm. Around the part where the Patent Flour was extracted from. (1)


Difference between Starter, Sponge, Biga and Poolish. Well Poolish has equal amounts of water and flour. Biga and Sponge are the same to the best of my knowledge. A Starter is more clearly defined in a professional bakery environment where a small amount of left over preferment is reserved to be used in the next preferment. The amount of preferment mixed contains a small excess that is fully fermented. Then the small excess is extracted to be used in the following preferment, and the current preferment is added to the dough for the current batch of bread.


(1) Source J. Hamelman "Bread"


Edit 09/14/2008

Today I saw a FAQ page so I thought I'd link to it from here:

ejm's picture

I mixed the focaccia dough at around noon. It was around 25C in the kitchen. The dough hadn't even budged by 5:00pm. Still no sign of any rising by 6:00. So I decided to cut the dough into 8 pieces and try making pitas. As I rolled out the discs, I wracked my brains trying to think what was different.
  1. I had rehydrated the yeast with cold water. That shouldn't have been a problem. It was plenty warm enough in the kitchen
  2. I had added leftover sludge after feeding the wild yeast. That shouldn't have been a problem. It wasn't that acidic. In fact there was no sour taste to the dough at all.
  3. Maybe I had added too much salt. I don't think so. It didn't taste too salty.
  4. I had added malt to the yeast. No, if anything that would have helped rather than inhibited the rise.
  5. The flour is relatively new. If at least 4 loaves of bread hadn't been made from that bag of flour, I'd have blamed the flour.

The next morning, my husband found a little dish of creamy looking water on top of the stove. There were a few fruit flies doing the breast stroke in it. The liquid smelled faintly of apples. And THAT'S why my focaccia dough refused to rise. I forgot to add the yeasted water to the dough! Quel moron. Hmmmm, if there was no yeast in the dough, these can't really be called "pitas", can they? I think they have to be considered as "chapatis" because they are yeast-free.

hansjoakim's picture

ehanner's picture

Mark's Olive loaf
Mark's Olive loaf

Kalamata crumb
Kalamata & Cheese crumb

This is my first attempt at Mark's Olive and Pepper Jack Savory loaf and I must say it was fun.
It is basically his rustic white with some olives chopped and rinsed/dried (about 15 per loaf in my version) and the cheese was 120 grams cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Both of these amounts are more than he calls for by about 30%. The Olive oil was 40 grams for the 3.1 Lb batch warmed and mixed with 1-1/2 tsp each of dry Thyme and fresh chopped Rosemary that sat over night. The oil smelled great the next day!

The morning after mixing the Biga, I mixed the pre ferment with the water and oil to sufficiently distribute the biga and then added all the flour and dry products in the final dough. I just mixed for a few minutes until the gluten started to develop. The folding will fully develop the dough over 3 hours.  Once the flour is fully incorporated I added the olives and cheese and mixed on low just until they were combined.

3 hours of ferment with folds at 1 and 2 hours and a 1.5 hour proof after shaping per Marks video. Bake at 415 for 30-35 minutes with normal steam.

I took two of these in banettons to our friends home and baked them while we waited for the ribs to be done. They were well received and everyone was amazed at the flavor depth and after taste. This is a very nice gift bread for future consideration.

I wish I lived near Montana. I would love to see how Mark does this loaf. It's a little fussy but well worth the trouble.


Floydm's picture

Nothing fancy, but at least I'm getting back into the habit of baking again.

french bread

french bread


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