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78th bake. 01/06/2022. Denisa's 100% rye.

idaveindy's picture

78th bake. 01/06/2022. Denisa's 100% rye.

Jan. 6 - 7, 2022.  78th bake.  RYE!  

This will be my first attempt at a 100% rye. I'm kind of following Denisa's post here:

The goal is to divide her formula by 3 and make one loaf of about 835 g.

My first change, due to the fact that I did not plan ahead, and wanted to get started tonight, was that I did not prepare a fully fermented seed. I had a 100% whole rye starter (fully fermented, then put in fridge) going, but yesterday I added enough whole rye (no water) to the cold starter to make it stiff, and put it immediately back in the fridge, so the added flour was/has not fermented.

I intend to make up for that by using 20 g of under-developed stiff starter instead of 16.7 (50 / 3) g of ripe 100% hydration starter. That's just a guess.

I'm also not going to be able to maintain room temp (21 C, 70 F) over-night in the stove with the light on. So, I will need to extend the pre-ferment beyond the 10 hours specified in her formula, and hopefully look for the same development as shown in her video.

Here's the stone-ground whole rye flour that I used for both the pre-ferment and the final dough:

The pre-ferment, at 7:45 pm: 
    20 g stiff, not fully-developed, rye starter.  (would have been 50/3 = 16.7 g of 100% hydration rye seed/chef/starter.)
  148 g water.  420 / 3, plus extra to bring stiff starter to 100% hydration.
  140 g whole rye flour, stone-ground, Malsena brand.  420 / 3 = 140 g


Her timings and temperatures: 

  • Pre-ferment: 10 hours at 21 C / 70 F. Should see bubbles through glass container.
  • Mix. 
  • First rise (bulk ferment), 1 hour at 29 C / 84 F. 
  • Pan the dough, 2nd rise (proof), 1.5 hours at 29 C / 84 F.  Look for small cracks and pinholes.
  • Bake with steam, 15 minutes, at 260 C / 500 F. 
  • Remove steam, bake 45 minutes at 200 C / 390 F. 
  • Remove from oven, wrap in towels for 24 hours, or a minimum 5 hours.

Jan. 7, 2022.

5:45 am. Checked oven. It was 70 F after all, and the pre-ferment was now at the 2.5 cups mark, and well aerated, so I put it in the fridge.

6:45 am. Took pre-terment out of fridge, now at 2 cups level. Warmed some water and began mixing. 

Final dough: 
  all the pre-ferment. 
  warm water:  725 / 3 = 241 g
  whole rye flour: 825 / 3 = 275 g
  salt: 15 / 3 = 5 g
  honey (or barley malt syrup): 50 / 3 = 16 g

7:00 am. Finished mixing. Dough temp = 69.9 F.  Bulk ferment (first rise) in oven, about 29 C / 84 F.

8:00 am. Greased a loaf pan with Crisco shortening (out of butter) and lightly floured it, as per video. (Video specified butter.)

8:07 am. Finished panning the dough. Back in oven, aiming for 84 F air temp.

8:52 am. Start oven pre-heat to 260 C / 500 F.  Hope to be ready by 9:37 am. Yes, I took the proofing dough out of the oven before starting the pre-heat. ;-)

Start bake:

I forgot to take a photo. Top of loaf has some pin-holes. Mostly toward edges. Not as many holes as in Denisa's video, but decided a slight under-fermentation was better than risking a collapse.

9:43 am.  Put loaf in oven. Poured 3/4 cup boiling water in steam pan. Oven thermostat set to 500 F, the highest it goes, but this oven is always low by 25 degrees, according to an oven thermometer, so it's only 475 F.  I'll give it 2 extra minutes to compensate, before lowering temp.

10:00 am. Lower temp to 200 C / 390 F. (415 F setting on my oven.)

Looking for a 95 C / 203 F internal temp according to the video.

10:43 am.  Take out. Internal temp 208.9 F.  The loaf collapsed evenly, and is at least 1/2" lower than when it went in the oven.

Let it sit out about 2 hours to cool. And then put in a plastic bag.

5:15 pm. I couldn't wait, and I cut it open. Crumb is nice, but a little moist. I should have wrapped it in a kitchen towel like Denisa said to in the video.

Crust is thick. Taste is good. I can smell and taste the honey.  I miss the caraway and coriander, so I'll include bread spice next time.


Pre-ferment starter at 1 cup level:


Top of pre-ferment, right after mixing:


Cold pre-preferment, it shrunk from 2.5 cups to 2 cups while in fridge:









idaveindy's picture

I couldn't wait. I tasted a slice after waiting only 6.5 hours.  

It's a plain taste. Salt is noticeably low, so as is, it needs a topping with salt or other savory or sweet flavors.  

It's not a strong rye flavor (yet) and the rye sourdough tang that I expected is not there. I think malt syrup would have been a better match to the rye than honey. Honey doesn't carmelize well in the crust, in my opinion.


Next day, Jan. 8, 20 hours after baking. Ahhhh, there we go!   It now has a better development of rye taste. It still needs a topping, or some salt, but now the rye is coming through. Still doesn't have the sour that I normally associate with rye.


My plans for next time:

  • Increase formula or use a smaller pan to get a higher profile.
  • Increase salt to at least 1.5%
  • Use malt syrup instead of honey.  Brown rice syrup from the Korean grocery should work, as it has a malty flavor.
  • Use less pre-ferment, or a younger pre-ferment, and go for a longer bulk/proof, maybe a cold proof to get more sour taste.
  • Try caraway and coriander in the dough, and crushed coriander on top.


Net:  Thanks Denisa!  This is an easy "loaf for learning" for rye.  Simple and basic, so it's a great jumping off point to discover what flavors I like.


idaveindy's picture

Wow. Waiting 30 hours after taking it out of the oven is even better. The improvement is noticeable: whether plain at room temp, or microwaved with butter, or toasted then buttered.

Wow. Wow. Wow.

I'm making this again!

My recipe for this now says: "Wait 30 hours before eating, or at least 24 hours minimum.

The burnt/carmelized honey flavor is almost gone.

Benito's picture

Looks like a successful first rye loaf Dave.  It seems you quite like rye from your tasting notes.  Nicely done.  As you noted, probably good to bake when the first few pin holes appear on the surface which can be hard to time with warming up the oven until you’ve baked a recipe a few times I’m guessing.


happycat's picture

Congrats on the rye bake! Nice to see the flavour is coming in for you over time.

If you add spices, FYI I enjoyed toasting spices then grinding them and including them (in a scald, for me). Takes the edge off and brings out some nice flavours. Transforms caraway.

Another option re salt is to use salted butter to grease a pan (esp if you use a couple smaller ones). It's something I do when baking canneles.

idaveindy's picture

Thanks, Benny, Happycat. 

The comments on Denisa's post
were beneficial and will definitely help the next loaf.

I also need to be more precise measuring the seed for the pre-ferment.