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The newest of newbies and his rye bread experience

Hanzosbm's picture

The newest of newbies and his rye bread experience

Being VERY new to sourdoughs, it dawned on me that I’m at a phase that everyone must go through.  As I’m sitting here letting my dough proof, I figured I’d document what I’ve done along the way in hopes that my success or failure can help others along the way.  This is my second attempt at the same recipe, but I’m just going to discuss it from the beginning as if this was the first attempt.  Keep in mind that I wrote this more for what I was experiencing along the way than for the recipe.  I feel like I kept asking myself “Is this what it’s supposed to feel like?” so I wanted to share my experience.

Being a bit of a Germanophile, I really wanted to try a rustic German bread.  Every recipe I found was sourdough and although I had never worked with sourdough before, I was a bit intimidated.  In addition, I was under the impression that I didn’t really care for sourdough knowing only the extremely sour San Francisco styles that one can buy in the local megamart.  Nonetheless, I’m stubborn and decided I would embark on this journey.  I could have sent away for a sourdough starter, but I’m impatient and didn’t want to wait for it, nor did I want to spend the money.  I went online and found some recipes for a starter.  Knowing that the recipe I was going to be using was primarily rye, I decided a rye starter made sense.  After procuring some rye flour, I began the process using only the rye flour and a jug of distilled water I had in the house.  (Our tap water is heavily chlorinated)  The recipe I found (which I have since lost) was a 5 day program with feedings only once per day.  The recipe warned that I probably wouldn’t see much activity until the 3rd or 4th day, but that wasn’t the case with me.  After the first day, when stirring in the second feeding, I could hear the crackle of air pockets bursting indicating that culture was alive.  Fast forward 5 days and I’m ready to go.  The consistency of this starter is quite dry.  It reminds me of, well…I’m not sure what.  It is not viscous at all.  You could turn the jar on its side and the starter won’t budge.  It’s almost like a soufflé as far as how airy it is.  Here is a picture of it.

The recipe I was using was in German, and while I can get my point across in German, I am far from fluent and the recipe did not translate well using Google Translate, so there was a bit of guess work and filling in the blanks, which is one of the reasons I’m discussing the second attempt as I feel I learned a bit along the way.  Here is a brief run-down of that recipe:


For culture:

200g water

200g rye flour

50g starter

For dough:

400g rye flour

200g spelt flour

320g water

20g salt

2tsp bread spices (mixture of spices.  You can find recipes online)

1.25g dry yeast (it actually called for 5g fresh, but from what I understand, ¼ the amount of dry can be used, although trying to measure 1.25g is basically impossible, so try to get close)


The recipe said to combine all the dough recipes and let them sit for a half hour (I think) but after reading up on autolyse, I decided to just mix the water, flours and salt at first.  I combined the flours, mixed them and then took out about 2 cups of the mix.  I did this because I live in a very dry environment and many bread recipes end up too dry for me.  This, combined with the fact that I could use this flour to eventually knead it meant that I didn’t want to just add it all at first.  And boy am I glad I did that.  If you look at the amounts, this is only about a 50% hydration dough (I think I understand that terminology correctly) so it’s going to be quite dry.  Because I wanted to use the autolyse method, I was okay if the dough was a little wetter, which it wasn’t.  So, after combining the flours, mixing them, taking out 2 cups of mix, then adding the salt and water, his mix, even with 2 cups less flour was VERY dry.  The texture was like a gritty modeling clay.  Nonetheless, I let it sit for a half hour.  After that, I added the yeast and spices.  I waited on the yeast because it was active dry and I didn’t want it to activate during the autolyse.  It was also at this point that the starter came in.  The recipe said to remove 50g of the mixture to save for your next starter and then add the remainder to the dough.  This mixture was then combined.

To recap, most of the flour, all of the salt, and all of the water is mixed and rested for a half hour.  Then the yeast, spice, and all but 50g of the starter are added. 

With all of my ingredients combined, I turned it out onto my work surface which I had floured with my retained flour mixture.  The starter really helped to wet the dough and at this point it was VERY sticky.  It was probably around the texture and consistency of a smooth peanut butter.  I floured it liberally with my flour mixture and went to work kneading.  I probably kneaded for 5-10 minutes (should’ve kept an eye on the clock) flouring repeatedly through the process.  This rye dough wasn’t as springy as other non-sourdoughs I’ve worked with, so the kneading was very much of a gentle stretching and folding.  I say gentle because this dough tears pretty easily.  I want to stretch it, not rip it, so I’d stretch until it started to tear and then folded it over and flattened it out.  It was making something about the size of a dinner plate and an inch to inch and a half thick.  I kept folding and flattening and turning until I felt like it wasn’t really sticking to my hands.  I tried a windowpane test without much luck, but I figured since I had just added in the yeast and starter, I didn’t expect much of a result.  At this point, I formed it into a round, laid it out on my work surface and covered it with plastic to let it sit for an hour. 

After this resting, I stretched and folded it just a bit to degas it and then formed it into a round.  I don’t have a proofing basket, so I lined a bowl with a dish towel and generously floured  the towel in hopes that it wouldn’t stick, which looked like this.

At this point, I began to preheat the oven to 485F.  I had a baking stone in the center rack and an old baking sheet on the bottom rack.  Old baking sheet is important because this process ruined mine.  At this point, I let the bread rest for a half hour while the oven heated up.  At the end of the half hour, I boiled 2 cups of water and got ready to put the bread in.  I placed my pizza peal on top of the bowl I’d been proofing in, turned the whole thing over, and thank goodness, the bread didn’t stick.  I sliced the top of the bread and got ready.  As quickly as I could to avoid losing heat, I opened the door, poured the boiling water on the old baking sheet, put the loaf on the stone and squirted down the sides of the oven (not the bread) with a spray bottle and closed it up.  I set my kitchen timer for 15 minutes and started to clean up.  After that 15 minutes had passed, I checked on the bread for browning.  Holy moly did that have oven spring!  The slices I did originally barely cut through the surface and it REALLY opened up.  

From here, I lowered the temperature to 400F and baked for 20 minutes.  As you can see, it hasn't risen any more, but it was beginning to brown a bit at the edges.

After that passed, I again checked on it, this time inserting a remote thermometer and reduced the heat again to 350F and set the timer for an additional 20 minutes.  These reductions were done per the recipe instructions, but as it turned out, it reached an internal temp of 200F about 5 minutes early. Here are a few pictures of it cooling.

So, how does the crumb look and how does it taste?  I’m not sure yet.  You see, my girlfriend is out of town and she threatened me with a form of violence which included turning the name Bobbitt into a verb.  Ultimately, that is okay with me because I have read several sources that say to give rye breads 24-48 hours to cut into them which, as chance would have it, is just about the timing for my lovely girlfriend to return home to be able to enjoy it with me.  So, stay tuned!


Hanzosbm's picture

Well, good news/bad news time...

Taste is fantastic, it definitely has that rye flavor and the bread spices definitely come through.  Unfortunately, it is VERY dense.  It works alright to put some butter over it and have with a bowl of hearty stew, but I tried using it for sandwich bread and it just didn't work.  

So, there is the story of my rye journey.  For all of those out there giving it a shot, here is what I experienced.  For all of those who have experience with making rye bread, I'd love your thoughts on where I went wrong and what I could do to improve upon it.

pmccool's picture

And it looks very much like one would expect for this style of bread.  When I make high-rye breads, I slice them very thinly for sandwich use.  Slices tend to be about 1/4", or 6mm, thick.  That way the bread and the fillings are better balanced.


PetraR's picture

It does look a bit dense though.

Bread with a high percantage of rye will always be denser than any other flour bread.

Slice it thin, add butter, tomatos or anything else you like.

I LOVE it with butter and blue cheese, some green grapes to go with it and a glass or red wine. YUM

jaxler12's picture

Great work! Working with rye is quite different than working with wheat due to the fact that it contains much less gluten. Here's some good reading on the subject:

One other thing I noticed from your original post is that you said that this dough was around 50% hydration. When I looked at the formula it appears to be around 65% hydration. It looks like you forgot to take into account the addition of the flour and water in your starter. For example, the 320g water divided by 600g of flour (400g rye+200g spelt) would give you a dough that is 53% hydrated. BUT you need to take into account the flour and water in the starter, which will significantly change the hydration of your dough. According to the recipe you are using 400g of starter (100% hydration), which means you have 200g rye flour and 200g water. So you add 200g of the water from the starter to the 320g of water in the final dough giving you 520g water total. Then you do the same with flour, 200g from starter and 600g of flour from the final dough giving you 800g of flour total. 520g divided by 800g will give you a dough hydrated at 65%. 

When I first started off with sourdoughs this was initially a source of confusion so I hope this helps. Still, really terrific job on your first try with rye. Please post a picture of your next attempt. Good luck!

Hanzosbm's picture

Hi Paul,

I appreciate that, it let's me know I'm on the right track. Any tricks you've found or tips to help me improve?

pmccool's picture

Check out the blogs for MiniOven, ehanner, and hansjoakim, to name a few.  Each of them have done quite a bit of rye baking.  There are many others, of course; those are just some that came to mind quickly.

You might also want to use the Search tool for terms like pumpernickel, high rye, or 100% rye.  

I'm pointing you in that direction since I'm more of a rye dabbler, whereas others on the site can give you much better advice.


dabrownman's picture

I'd say your results are really spectacular.  The usual rule of thumb the first 3 days of activity are all for all the wrong reasons.  Bad yeast and LAB behaving badly.  Usually at day 4- 5 the starter looks like it has died - no activity... showing that   the good LAB and yeast are starting to win the battle for supremacy.  Day 6-7 the good wee beasties are starting to get  active  and by the end of the following week you can make bread with it.

This is why your bread is a little dense, the starter and levin were very weak but, this time next week, it will be better. and after a month it will really be starting to hit its stride.  So well done, slice that bread thin like Paul says and  

Happy SD baking  

Hanzosbm's picture

I know it's been awhile since I first wrote this, but I'm getting ready to give this bread another go and realized that my original attempt was severely hampered by my poor German. 

The recipe reads to mix the anstellgut with flour and water and let sit for 16 hours.  I originally translated it as MINUTES!  No wonder it was dense!

PetraR's picture

ohhh, there is a BIG difference between hours and minutes lol.

PLEASE do post a picuture of a new loaf you bake with the correct times.

PetraR's picture

just let me know, I am happy to help you to translate this or other recipes.

I am German and I love reading recipes and trying them out.

I shall try out your recipe soon.


Hanzosbm's picture

Hi Petra,

Here is the original recipe:

Maybe there are some additional mistakes I made or even nuances that I've missed.  One big difference you'll see is that the original gives a measurement for fresh yeast, which I don't have, so I did my best to alter it to instant yeast.


PetraR's picture

For the Starter:

200g Rye flour

200g Water

  50g Sourdough


For the dough:

400g Rye flour

200g Spelt flour

300g Water OR Buttermilk 

  20g Salt

   2 tsp Bread spices mix * to your taste *

   5g fresh yeast


Yeast converter :


Mix your 3 ingredients for the starter and leave it for 16 hours at room temperature.

After the 16 hours, take away 50g and store in the fridge for your next bake.


Now mix your Starter and your dough ingredients on lowest setting in your Standmixer.

Let the dough rest for 30 minutes and than knead the dough.

It will be a bit sticky but should be workable.

Put your dough in your baneton to proof.


With added yeast it taks about 60 minutes, without added yeast 120-240 min.


Preheat your Oven to 250 C.



for the first 15 minuts at 250 C in the middle shelf of the Oven and spray some water in your oven. * spray water a few times in those 15 min.


Turn down the heat to 200C and bake for 20 min

Turn down the heat to 180C and bake for another 20 min.


Hanzosbm's picture

Looking at this recipe, it looks like I can skip the dry yeast all together and just let the SD work longer, which I think I'd rather do to allow for better flavors.  That being said, letting it bulk ferment for 2-4 hours...that's a pretty big difference.  Should I just constantly be doing a poke test?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

takes time to rise.  (it's not instant)  The organisms must multiply first and yeast double with each 1hr to 1.5 hrs of passing time.  So yes, there is a big difference.  

You can poke constantly if you're into that kind of thing or just watch it or both, just don't drive yourself nuts with the longer wait.  It will take longer and like you noted, the flavours will be better.  You might want make a little rising gauge to help.   Pinch off a tiny ball of dough and cram it into the bottom of a skinny glass.  Mark the level and place a mark at double, then place another mark half way between them... that would be at 50% risen.   Keep the gauge and your dough in the same location.

When the dough reaches that 50% mark, it's a good time to end the rise for a heavy rye dough. Be it a bulk or a final rise.  If bulk, shape the dough for a final rise.   I think you didn't mean bulk rise in the question but wanted to know about poking a final rise.  Rye can be funny about poke tests.  Use more surface area,  get your hand wet and lay your whole hand on the loaf side to feel the sponginess of it.  

Hanzosbm's picture

Perfect!  Thank you.  Looks like the big parts were correct, but as I predicted, you picked up some of the nuances such as the difference in resting time depending on yeast addition.  Also, you mentioned repeated spraying of water which is good to know.  I generally use a pan with some hot water at the beginning which would likely serve this same purpose.

Originally I let the anstellgut and the flour/water mixture for the levain mix for only 16 minutes, so while the quantities were there, the little critters living in it hadn't had time to multiply.  So, in essence, I had 50g (actually less since part of it was later removed) of levain added to the mix instead of 400g.

PetraR's picture

I am glad I could be of help.

Yes, since you did not let your *Anstellgut * rest for the 16 hours, there where not much acitivity in it, plus taken 50g away... the whole *Anstellgut* did not had a chance to get to the amount needed.

But hey, you got a bread and I am pretty sure it tastes good too:)

It is not easy to read a recipe that is not in ones own language , so you did VERY good.

Happy Baking


AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11 (not verified)

Increased the added water by 125g

There's a lot of Rye in the recipe which needs very high hydration. 


Hanzosbm's picture

I'm going to be trying this recipe again in about a week once my starter is up and running and I think I'll probably slowly add the dry into the wet.  I live in a pretty dry environment and when I first made this I had zero experience with rye so I kept adding flour till it wasn't sticky.  In retrospect, I think it was way too dry of a dough.  Seeing as how I want a more airy end product, between letting the levain set up and keeping the dough as wet as possible, I think I'll see some improvements.

AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11 (not verified)

"when I first made this I had zero experience with rye so I kept adding flour till it wasn't sticky"

100% rye is best done like a batter with very high hydration around 90%

Simply mix starter into water, add the Rye flour and mix into thick pancake batter. Add to loaf tin, flatten down and go straight into final proofing till a whole or two (not too many otherwise it'll overproof) appears on the surface. Then bake in pre-heated oven. Once you make it into a "dough" like Wheat then it won't work. 

You've got a mix here. I simply added up the amount of Rye and worked out 90% hydration and then worked out a good hydration for the amount of spelt in the recipe, around 65%, and added it togethe. Making sure to take off the amount of water already used in the preferment. 

Now since rye is the majority of the recipe then treat like a normal rye. If the Spelt was any higher I'd probably autolyse that first to get some good gluten formation. Or even knead if due to the high amount of spelt a dough is formed. And treat like a usual dough depending on proportions. 

Why don't you do a 100% rye to see what you're dealing with first?


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

each other!  I would keep it in or the yeast might rip the rye dough apart.  That would really be a brick!

Rye dough is usually referred to as a "paste."   ...and it is, using wet hands and tools instead of floured hands and tools will be not only easier to handle but easier to clean up.   

For spices, I tend to add 3% on the total flour amount.  2 teaspoons is so little it doesn't come through. 

Hanzosbm's picture

Mini Oven, you're right about it not coming through.  There was a hint of it, you knew there was something in there, but it wasn't the strong flavors one normally expects from something like a New York/Jewish Rye bread.  In addition, because it was so little, I had to make up a larger batch and save the rest, so I've still got some in the cupboard.  However, seeing as they're not longer fresh, I'll likely add more this time around. 

A question regarding the consistency.  With it being more like a paste, is there still benefit in kneading it?  It seems like it would be more of a heavy mixing than a kneading at that point.  Also, have you found difficulty with this type of a dough sticking in a brotform?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Are we talking "brotform" as a tin (or pan for baking) or are we talking about a basket that only holds the dough while it is proofing? High rye doughs can be problematic, I would not put a rye over 85% hydration into a floured basket, at least not for over 2-3 hrs. (temperature dependant.)  Heavily flour the dry basket or cloth draped basket and the dough before putting it there to proof.  You will notice with rye, that it extensibility is more affected by temperature than wheat dough, it becomes stiffer as temperatures drop below 72°F or 22°C.   

Kneading?  With pure Rye?  I Don't bother.   Rye is the most no-knead dough that I can think of at the moment.  I tend to use a spatula to stir my paste and when all the flour has been moistened, I let it just sit there and hydrate before wetting my hands and playing with it a little bit.  By no means is that kneading in any real sense.  I like to feel the dough texture and make sure there are no dry hard spots and a short check for hydration and a good way to work in salt, nuts (or yeast paste if I find the sourdough rising weak.)  Each time I use wet hands on the dough, I'm adding more water.  

I have a good sized jar of mixed bread spice around.  It also gets used rubbed into meat roasts and for marinades.

When you do shape the paste in a bread tin or sauce pan or small dutch oven, do give it a nice mounded shape.  Rye dough tends to rise evenly and not dome up in the middle on its own.  Use a few drops of water on your spatula or whatever tool you are shaping with.   When done shaping the paste,  this sticky surface lends itself well for sprinkling with flour, seeds, cuts, whatever your heart desires.  Even if it rises and closes shut any cuts or furrows, they reopen in the oven.  Along those thoughts...

Docking is rather important with the high ryes.  That is, poking holes in the dough, releasing large areas of trapped gas formed under the surface crust.  Wet a tooth pick or use a knitting needle, skewer, (you get the idea)  poke the dough surface about every inch (2.5 cm) at least 1 1/2 inches or toothpick deep.  Rewet the toothpick between pokes.  You can wait a minute to close up those holes with a wet tool or fingers or leave them for their good looks.  :)

Hanzosbm's picture

Hi MiniOven,

I'll be honest, it's a bit disappointing that I likely won't be able to use my brand new brotform (it's the coiled cane type) since I purchased it specifically for this bake.  Nonetheless, I'm sure it'll prove very useful in other breads.

I'm also glad you mentioned docking.  I have seen pictures of rye loaves with holes all over it and now I know why.


I'm looking forward to giving this a try and learning as I do.

AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11 (not verified)


Does make a lovely loaf and you'll have plenty of opportunities to use it but not for rye. 

Before the first use spray it lightly with water and sprinkle plenty of flour in it. Shake off excess and leave to dry. It is now ready to use. 

When using it make sure it is floured well. Brown rice flour is good but normal bread flour works very well too. Then when it comes to tipping out the dough it should come out ok. If the dough sticks a little do not shake it. Allow gravity to do all the work. Gently tap the bottom of the banneton if need be. 

Then to store allow the banneton to dry and gently shake/wipe off excess flour ready to be used again. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

you have roughly a 75% rye loaf (3 parts rye to 1 part spelt)  and that can go into the cane basket if the hydration doesn't go too high and stays a thick paste.   Dough does get softer as it ferments so just be aware of that side effect of fermentation.  A batter should be poured into a buttered and floured pan for baking.  

If you find yourself early on with batter and rather have a dough, first check to make sure the salt isn't forgotten then  thicken it up by adding up to 50g chia seeds, oat flakes, chopped nuts, crushed flax or dried bread crumbs.  Give the batter about 20 minutes rest to soak up the extra water in the dough, shape and let rise.   

I'm not as gentle with my empty bannetons and rap mine hard several times on the edge of the sink or outside on a brick wall or post to clear out the flour clumps before and after drying.  A stiff brush for any sticking dough or stuck flour in cracks between uses.  

I keep a lidded shaker with one part rice flour and 3 to 4 parts rye flour to prevent sticking.  I also tilt the banneton to dust flour into the cracks instead of shaking flour from above.  

Hanzosbm's picture

I don't know what kind of sorcery this guy was using to go from what looked like a brick to these skyscrapers of loaves, but I would be thrilled if I get anything close to this.

Brot / Bauernbrot aus dem Holzofen / Steinofen selber backen

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Mixed Rye Sourdough Farmer's style for wood oven.  (no temperatures are given or discussed)


  • 720 g  Rye flour  
  • 1000 g  Water  (my experience says for hand mixing it should be 30°C temp or around 80°F) Notice in the video that the water has steamed up the top inside edge of the container, so warm water also by mixer.
  • Sourdough culture, (looks like about 100g at 100% hydration)

This is then mixed for 5 minutes until all flour is moist and smooth batter.  The video says to cover & chill overnight in the refrigerator to work the next day.  Here is where you have to use some logic and experience.  If your refrigerator is very cold,  I would let this start to rise and then chill.  When mixing this up in the evening for the next day in the morning, just leave out on the counter overnight.  If your temps are warmer than 75° F in the kitchen, up in the 80's, chill the dough after it shows some rising.  Dust the top surface lightly with flour to notice cracks forming as it rises. 


  • 550 ml  Water  (use lightly warm water about 85°F (30°C) when hand mixing)
  • 30 g  Salt   (below 1.2% very low, go with 46g or 1.8% salt)
  • 550 g  Wheat flour 
  • 1280 g  Rye flour
  • caraway or bread spices   (Try 50g  to 75g or 2% to 3% of the 2600g total flour) 

1600 Water/ 2600 flour  (2050g Rye + 550 Wheat)  x 100 = 61% hydration    ... 80% rye, 20% wheat

(Must be AP wheat flour the rye must be sifted and fine to get that low a hydration.  I know I would have trouble with this dry a dough and add more water while mixing If I couldn't get all the flour wet, use your own judgement and add 50g at a time into the bottom of the bowl until all flour is just moist and it resembles the video.  The recipe makes 4.2 kg dough

Mix 10 minutes.  Let stand 1 to 2 hours. (must be very warm in the kitchen)  Divide dough into 1 kg portions and press into generously floured baskets to get the line pattern onto the dough.  Let rest 20 to 30 minutes.  Remove to peel and score before placing into oven.  spread out loaves in the oven.  Bake 50 to 60 minutes.  

Na ya, I would keep track of the dough original size when packing into form (use your phone or electronic camera and take a good close up photo to compare with as it rises)  and let it rest there until it is starting to puff up about 1/3 before tipping out to score or dock.  The more bran and bits in the rye flour, the faster it ferments.  The finer the rye flour, the slower it ferments.

If you remember to do it, you can also score the dough ball before flouring and putting the score side down into the basket.    Rye dough remembers where it was scored.  This can make for some neat effects.


Hanzosbm's picture

Thank you for translating all of that, Mini Oven. Now I'm torn on which recipe to do. Sadly, it's only 2 of us so doing both wouldn't make much sense.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I would repeat the same recipe, perhaps repeating it will have a different outcome with fermented sourdough.

Also you are already familiar with the first recipe so there is less stress involved.  Do add lots more bread spices.  

Hanzosbm's picture

True.  I also plan to keep this starter going unlike the last one I did.  For that reason, making a sourdough rye will be less of an ordeal and I'm likely to do it more often so hopefully I'll get to try out some new things along the way.

AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11 (not verified)


  • 150g Dark Rye Flour 

  • 100g Rye Starter

  • 200g Water

    - mix, cover and leave overnight 


Main Dough

  • 200g Dark Rye Flour

  • 150g Hot, off the boil, water (boil and allow to cool till hot) 

  • 6g Salt 

  • 200g Sultanas 

  • Pre-ferment




  • Stir into pre-ferment the sultanas.

  • Sprinkle flour with salt mixed in over the pre-ferment.

  • Pour water on top and mix well. Pat down and sprinkle with flour.

Cover for up to two hours. 


Step 4:

  • Bake for 30 minutes when ready.

Hanzosbm's picture

Everything seemed to go pretty well, but I didn't get as much oven spring as I'd like.  However, considering how small the scoring was and how much it opened, something must've happened in there.

From what I understand, I need to wait at least 24 hours to cut into it, so I can't say for sure how it turned out, but we'll see.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

the size from the raw mixed dough state, I have to raise the hydration to 83% or higher and more than likely use a shape to hold up the sides.  

If the dough makes up 2/3 the volume and rising completed the other third of the finished loaf volume, that is very good!  Very Good Indeed!  It looks like you got that extra third in volume from your bake.  It has a nice shape from what I can see.  Which recipe did you settle on?

The uncut part of the crust is holding itself together well, working like an exoskeleton.  That's worth thinking about if you want to try a 6 or 8 point star score.  Or try a score leaving the top "x" points connected, they tear eventually but they hold together just long enough to get some more height from the expanding loaf in the oven.  

Hanzosbm's picture

All in all I think it turned out well.  It is still dense, but I'm starting to realize that is just how this particular bread is.  I went back to the original recipe to see if I could improve on it and I think it did.  Although it might not look like it, I found that the crumb is softer than last time and is very tasty.  So tasty in fact, that I couldn't help myself this morning even as I was running late for work.  So I slapped some butter, salami, butterkase, and Jagdwurst on a slice and had a mini German breakfast on my way out the door.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven