The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Feedback on The Rye Baker

Elagins's picture

Feedback on The Rye Baker

hi all,

I'd really love some feedback on the book. Has any of you baked the breads in the book and if so, how did it go?



Sitopoios's picture

Hi, Stan.

It is a really good book. I baked one Norwegian bread from it. You can see:

Filomatic's picture


Sorry I missed you on your tour.  I recently got the book and have been reading it, but I haven't baked from it yet.  I am impressed with your writing, the depth of research in the book, and the minute detail.  The variety of recipes in this book is staggering.  One question:  I understand the reasoning for why many of the recipes call for commercial yeast in addition to starter, but have you tried using only starter for any of those?

I like that you also included several baking soda cake/bread recipes.


Danni3ll3's picture

But haven't started baking from it either. I happened to see it while on a short trip to the US and couldn't resist iT. Especially when the author is on these forums. ;-)

clazar123's picture

I just received the book and I love the format and the pictures. The recipes seem really well documented and the background on rye as a grain and the different breads is outstanding. Good writing. I am uprooting for a few months and have made arrangements to ship some books to myself .I made sure I included YOUR book.

Patience,grasshopper! Soon the rye bakers here on TFL will tantalize us with wonderful pictures and stories of their bakes.

Thank you for another wonderful book.

hanseata's picture

I baked the Bavarian Rye and the Swabian Rye Flower, and submitted my post about the latter to World Bread Day 2016. My husband and I enjoyed both, the loaf and the rolls, and I was especially enthusiastic to learn a brand new technique - laminated rye dough!

I found your introductions very interesting (and well written!). Also, I do appreciate the nice, clean layout of the recipes, easy on the eyes, and you find what you are looking for quickly.

One thing I noticed to be a bit off, though:

In both formulas you describe a sponge/poolish behavior of the starter (with Bavarian Rye for the stage 2 sponge - stage 1 is correct) as "doubled in volume...very bubbly...and will have begun to fall back on itself" even though the hydration is not high enough for that. The ripened starter looks just like a usual rye sourdough: a bit puffed, some small bubbles on the surface, and a spongy structure underneath. Newbie bakers might be a bit confused about that.

All in all, it's a great book - congratulations!


pmccool's picture

And enjoying every minute of it.  Once I get through it, I want to check out some of the breads that I didn't bake during the formula testing.  And there are a couple from the testing that I want to compare the test and published versions, just to see what may have changed.

It's a different book than ITJB in several ways.  Much as I enjoy ITJB, I'm glad you let this one take its own path instead of aiming for ITJB Redux.


Barbarat's picture

Hi Stan, devoured your book ( not literally :)).  I loved all the information and history about rye. I am from Switzerland and love hearty bread. My customers at the farmers market ask more and more for the rye bread I already bake (71%). It started with a formula from Hammelman but got some adaptions over time. A distant cousin of mine with Danish background asked me lately for Danish rye bread . I have found some formulas on you tube whitch worked quite well. So I was intrigued by your Danish rye. I am very surprised that it is only made with yeast. Does the scald in a way replace a sour sponge? I made the bread and will try to send a pic from my I pad. Had trouble with this in the past. The bread tastes pretty good, very mild but I am not sure if it has risen enough or is over proved.I used cracked spelt and course and fine rye flour milled in my Nutrimill.

Thanks for your feedback. Again love the book. 


Katnath's picture

hi Stan, first congratulations on the book. It made me, a die hard artisan tartine loaf lover want to make so many of the loaves you document. My first attempt is the Berlin cobbler boys. 

I would say, based on my abilities, good not great. The problem is that I didn't have white or medium rye flour. I went to 3 different stores looking to no avail. i know I can easily get these online, but before I commit to that I want to play around with what ive got. And what I've got is guisto's dark rye flour. do I convert? 

what i did on first attempt is sub fifteen percent white flour for medium rye and thirty percent white for white rye flour. is that a reasonable assumption?

tganks for any help. 

Elagins's picture

Wheat and rye are totally different animals. I suggest you buy some of the medium and white rye flour online and re-bake; otherwise, you'll basically end up with a rye-flavored wheat roll.


rufriedman's picture

I got the book for Christmas, and just pulled my first loaf out of the oven, the Auvergne rye-wheat boule. Unfortunately I won't be able to sample until tomorrow morning. So far I am really impressed with the book. I have been looking for a few years for recipes like these, real European rye recipes that have not been dumbed down for American bakers. The parts I have read are clear and engaging, and the recipes are laid out really well. I will be making a bunch of these over the coming weeks.

I am especially happy to see the Baltic and Russian recipes. I tried last year to put together a Borodinsky recipe based on Google translations of Russian web sites, and the results were just OK. I am looking forward to making the one in the book, as well as the other Baltic loaves. I also had a failed attempt at a Latvian bread that I posted on this site. I have made the Lithuanian recipe from your blog, and it turned out very well.

Thanks for being passionate about rye!


Elagins's picture

Thanks for sharing my passion!