The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Real 100% rye bread in a cloche or dutch oven or not?

Mattwi4's picture

Real 100% rye bread in a cloche or dutch oven or not?

Would a bread cloche or Dutch oven be good for baking 100% rye sourdough bread?

I have developed an interest in real 100% dark rye sourdough bread like a real Finnish or Estonian rye bread. I talked to some Finns of course, but now my question is more baking equipment specific. They pointed me towards some authentic recipes, but I wanted to get opinions about whether you would use a cloche or DO for this.

jo_en's picture

I have baked many 100% whole grain rye (freshly milled) in my used Zojirushi bread machine. 

The enclosed space must sufficiently mimic the cloche or DO. 

If you can get a used Zoji, it will help you get really nice ryes.  Keep them small though! (600-700g doughs?)


Precaud's picture

Although there are some slow-cooked (12-24 hours) varieties that play by diffferent rules, ryes are typically higher hydration and are better when baked at high temperatures, 400ºF and up. Loaf pan dimensions are important for even baking/heat penetration. For that reason, the pans typically used for rye max out at around 4" height and width.

For me, the desirable taste components of rye don't really come out at low baking temps. Unless the recipe directs otherwise, I bake them uncovered and as hot as possible.

Martadella's picture

I simply think it's not necessary.  I bake a  lot of 100% rye of many different kinds, with scalds and without, free standing and in pans and I never had a need to use a cloche or a dutch oven (which I use for my wheat loaves)

Although,  I think, using a cloche in initial phase of baking could help achieving lovely smooth shiny surface that is so desirable in some of Estonian, Latvian etc. types of rye breads.   

squattercity's picture

I hesitate to post anything counter to Martadella, who bakes so many beautiful ryes.

But I have found I get better crusts and a bit more loft  using my dutch oven. I bake in an old gas oven, though, and it vents so much that steaming is basically impossible. The dutch oven compensates for that -- and that's probably why I like it.


alcophile's picture

I can't really offer any other advice than what has been given. My experience is that the crusts that are produced in many German ryes are plenty hard and thick, but not the same texture as a mostly AP or bread flour SD. I actually find them a little too hard and thick for my teeth sometimes. These are often baked with an initial short steam period (<15 min, and usually <10 min) but not usually with a DO. But then they often have steam functions on their ovens. You can try with and w/o the cover.

I'm not familiar with enough Baltic-style breads to know what is typical. I will say that some Latvian and Lithuanian breads have a starch glaze applied near the end of baking that creates a totally different kind of crust.

Would you be willing to share some of these Finnish or Estonian rye recipes? I'm very much interested in these breads.

There is one 100% rye Estonian bread that I have made (link). I liked it very much but would like to explore more.

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

I don't steam bread with high % of rye. Normally you'd just make its surface wet before baking, but no steam.

rondayvous's picture

Either will work fine. The biggest issue is the sticky dough that doesn't want to hold its shape.