The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

New Year's Light Rye, Rye Bagels and Raviolis

JMonkey's picture

New Year's Light Rye, Rye Bagels and Raviolis

I bake bread about twice a week for my family, and these days, it's usually either a sourdough from 50% whole wheat, 10% rye and 40% AP or a loaf of Buttermilk and Honey Whole Wheat. But for whatever reason, I was craving rye yesterday, so I set up this loaf. No caraway, as I'd run out, though i do like it.

Here's how I made it:


  • Whole Rye: 40%
  • High-Gluten Flour: 60%
  • Water: 75%
  • Salt: 1.8%
  • All the rye is in the starter with a hydration of 100%


  • Whole rye starter, 100% hydration: 400g
  • High gluten flour: 300g
  • Water: 175g
  • Salt: 9g
  • Optional -- 9g of caraway seed

To make the bread, mix up all the ingredients and knead. It's sticky, so I like to let it sit for 10-15 minutes first, then I knead with wet hands for 3-5 minutes, let it sit again for 5 minutes, and do a final couple minutes of kneading. Let it rise for 2.5 to 3 hours, shape, and give it another 2.5 to 3 hours to finish. I baked mine in a cloche at 450, covered for 35 minutes, uncovered for 10.

For this morning's breakfast, Iris (my 9-year-old) desperately wanted bagels, so I said I'd make them, but I only had rye starter ready to go. Could be interesting, I thought. So I plowed ahead. They turned out well!


  • Whole Rye: 16%
  • High gluten flour: 84%
  • Water: 59%
  • Salt: 2%
  • Diastatic malt powder: 1%
  • All the rye was in the starter at 100% hydration


  • Rye Starter at 100% hydration: 285g
  • High gluten flour: 735g
  • Water: 375g
  • Salt: 18g
  • Diastatic malt powder

Here's how I made them. The night before, I mixed up all the ingredients until they were mostly hydrated, and then let them sit for 15-20 minutes. I then kneaded for about 5 minutes, let it sit for another 5 minutes, and gave it a final kneading of 2-3 minutes. I then cut the dough into 12 pieces of 110 - 120g each.

I pre-shaped each piece into a ball and then rolled them out into a snake, which I wrapped around my hand, sealing the ends together with the heel of my palm. They proofed overnight, covered, in my garage, which is unheated, but rarely gets below 45 degrees F.

The next morning, I brought a big pot of water to boil, to which I'd added a good handful of baking soda. Does it make a difference? Who knows? But I know I'm not messing around with food-grade lye, and baking soda is cheap. Why not? Anyway, it was apparently very cold last night. Usually, I boil them for a minute on each side, and they typically float after 30 seconds or so. These didn't float until 1:45 had passed! Anyway, I put them on a piece of parchment paper that I'd placed on my peel, and let them cool down a bit before brushing them with an egg wash (1 egg + a tsp or two of water, lightly beaten). I like the color it gives them, and it makes the toppings stick better. For toppings, I like garlic, onion, a salt & seed mix, and cheese. For the garlic and onion, I've found that what works best is to rehydrate dehydrated onion and garlic with hot water. Fresh just burns to a crisp in the oven. I add cheese halfway through the bake. Cheese on top of some garlic is particularly nice. I baked at 500 degrees F on a pre-heated baking stone for 10-12 minutes, turning once halfway through the bake.

Finally, my daughter and I have had a lot of fun with the pasta machine we got for Christmas from my parents. Last night, we made spinach and cheese raviolis, which were a ton of fun to make, and even more fun to eat.

I sauteed them in some brown butter after they boiled and then topped with grated parmesan. Just delicious. Here's Iris and me turning the scraps into noodles. They went into the freezer and will likely be added to a soup sometime soon.

Happy New Year, fellow bakers!


linder's picture

The bread, bagels and ravioli look fantastic.  Homemade raviolis are so good!  Yours look terrific and with just a bit of brown butter sauce, mmmm!  What great fun to cook with your daughter - lots of good memory making as well.

Happy New Year!


Floydm's picture

Happy New Year, Jeff (and family)!


JMonkey's picture

Thanks, Linda. I've done a lot of cooking this holiday, and it's fun to post what I've baked. I've missed this community! Happy New Year to you, too, Floyd. 

Isand66's picture

Great  looking bread and bagels and ravioli!

those bagels must have tasted great.



Mebake's picture

Nice, Jmonkey! I love your spirit in writing! You seem to be the popular dad in the kitchen whom the children would aspire to, i find this lovely! 

Those bagels look delicious, and so are the pasta ravioli and your loaf. 

Happy new year,


Stuart Borken's picture
Stuart Borken

I bought a jar of Eden Barley Malt Syrup to add to the dough for my bagels.  It was part of the recipe from Savour Magazine from 1998 which I have been making for years, and, am not totally happy with.  I liked what I saw in your photos.  I'll try the boil with the bicarb of soda.  But, does my malt syrup have any relationship with your diastatic malt powder?

JMonkey's picture

The two are related, but aren't exactly the same thing. Diastatic malt powder is usually made from barley, though you can make it from wheat, rye, spelt, etc. Barley has the highest malt content, though. The barley is sprouted, which causes ensymes to break down complex carbohydrates into maltose. The sprouts are then dried and ground up, keeping the temperature low so that the ensymes don't die. The ensymes are what make such a  difference. In malt syrup (and non-diastatic malt powder), you've just got the sweet maltose from the barley, because the ensymes are dead. When you add diastatic malt powder to bread dough, the living ensymes perform the same function in your bread dough that they did in the barley sprouts: they break down complex carbohydrates into maltose which gives bagels their distictive flavor.

If you've got a dehydrator and a grinder for flour, you can make your own malt powder from wheat berries or hulled (not pearled) barley. The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book has instructions. Alas, I don't have a dehydrator, so I order mine from King Arthur Flour. A 16 oz bag costs about $6, plus shipping. For my part, it takes me a year to go through half a bag, and I make bagels about twice a month, so that's probably going to be plenty for a home baker. I usually split my order with a friend. If you do order it, store it in the fridge or the freezer.

Hope that was helpful!

dabrownman's picture

rye bakes and the ravioli is a fine capper.  Looks like your NY baking with the  kids was a success.


Stuart Borken's picture
Stuart Borken

So, I caved, and ordered a pound.  It cost about $5.  Shipping $6.  Such is life.  Can't wait to test it out.  I'll boil half the bagels in water with bicarb of soda and half in the barley malt syrup + water.  I like the oven temp of 475 for approx 12 min.  I also like the coating of wet rehydrated onion flakes.  

If I could only figure out how to post pictures using my iMac desk top and my digital camera.  I can get the pictures onto the desk top but not from there to TheFreshLoaf postings.  I guess I'm just an old ----.

JMonkey's picture

I hope they turn out for you!