The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

A light Rye

Janedo's picture

A light Rye

I don't really know what to call this bread. It is mostly based on the method of Nury's Light Rye. I made that one a couple of times and found it very good, but I wanted a bread with more rye and that had nice big holes but was a bit higher, blown up. I decided to modify the ingredients a bit and then go for a dough that was just slightly more compact. Not a normal bread dough that forms a ball, but not as hydrated. I also proofed it in a banneton for a couple of hours straight out of the fridge. These modifications produced this bread here:

Rye bread

Rye crumbRye crumb

The recipe goes like this (it can be halved. I just like making more of the long recipes):

I made a firm starter with 3/4 white and 1/4 rye (no WW like the Nury's) in order to have at least 200g the next day (I never measure, I admit)

Then, in my mixing bowl 800ml water, 200g T110 rye (medium whole?) and 750g T65 (bread flour?). 30 minute autolyse.  Then 4 tsp good sea salt, 200g starter and mixing. I don't mix until windowpane. Just until it really starts to look nice, but not overly. Now here is the thing... the dough should be well hydrated, but NOT as much as a ciabatta or the Nury's light. It won't form a real ball. In the mixer most of the dough will be ballish but it won't disconnect from the paddle. It still sticks. So flour should be added/or not to produce this.

Put it in an oiled bowl, rest one hour, fold, rest an hour, fold, rise another 2 hours, then in the fridge over night. 

The next day, pull the dough out, mise en couche even though it's cold. After 15 min, form the dough in two bannetons, or more (I once did two small and one big, whatever). Cover and let rise about 2,5 -3 hours depending on the temp. The dough is cold so it needs to come to room temp and then rise a bit so this time is needed.

The trick is, I think, to limit the handling of the dough. It forms lots of bubbles that should stay. So, no kneeding after it comes out of the fridge.

Preheat at 230°C, steam the oven lots, in goes the bread. Turn the oven down to 210°C and the baking depends on the size. 

The whole family is nutty over this bread, even the little ones (2 and 3 yrs).

The first time I made it I wasn't sure weather to score it. The dough is hard to score. It looked like this:

unscored rye

And the one I baked today didn't get folds and didn't have any room temp rise because I had to go out yesterday. It went straight in to the fridge over night (almost 24h). It had HUGE holes. Go figure!



weavershouse's picture

I've been thinking of modifing Nury's light rye even though I love it the way it us. Thought maybe I'd add more rye to see what happens. You did a great job and the bread looks terrific. Does it have more rye flavor? Does it leave that great taste in your mouth like Nury's? I'm definetly going to give this a try. I have Nury's ready to bake this morning so your recipe will have to wait a bit. Thanks for your posting, it's beautiful.


I don't know how you get the time and energy to bake with your little ones there but you seem to have it all together :)                                                              weavershouse

Janedo's picture

Hi Weaverhouse,

The problem is always the same... how do your flours compare to ours? I think this bread has a fantastic taste, you can recognize the sourdough, plus the rye without it being overpowering, so for me it's a perfect everyday bread. It definitely leaves a taste in your mouth! I don't know if I'd add more rye than this amount without the risk of a "daily" bread becoming too "specialty" bread. See what I mean? This remains a great multi-purpose loaf. Of course, that is a question of taste! You said you'd thought of modifying the Nury's rye, so what were you thinking of doing? Just more rye, or the texture as well?

Thanks for the compliment. We have great bread and a messy house... priorities, priorities! :-)


dmsnyder's picture

Hi, Jane.  

You have great bead AND happy children. Those easily justify a messy house. 

I love your experiments. This one certainly looks like a sucess.  

Was the photo of the crumb from your first batch? I take it that the more spherical boule was the one you said had huge holes. If I understand correctly, that was the one where you followed the Nury procedures more closely. Very interesting.

I'd love to try this myself, and I probably won't be able to resist. But I really ought to be concentrating on eating some of my breads from the freezer first. Hmmm ... We did finish the last loaf of Nury's rye late last week. One shouldn't be caught short of Nury's rye. Nooooo.


Janedo's picture

The second picture is the crumb of the loaves shown at the bottom that weren't scored, my first experiment. The nice, round scored one is the second time I made it "testing" my own recipe (no pics of the crumb, oops!). No pics of today's bake, it got badly cut into while still hot. But all three times are the same recipe (above), so, no, not the Nury's.

Yah, don't get caught without the light rye!!!

The next thing I want to try is the Three River's bread from the book. I have the advantage of the "real" ingredients, almost.


holds99's picture

As usual your bread looks terrific.  I think you have a real winner there; crust, crumb and color. Appreciate you posting the recipe.  I am going to try it for my next baking exercise. 

I was having problems scoring too and had tried a variety of cutters and techniques; double edge stainless steel razor blades (in and out of a lame), single edge razor blade, Exacto knife, box cutter, etc. at various angles and none of them made the nice clean, deep cut that I wanted.  Anyway, Eric Hanner suggested buying a Komachi (PureKomachi) serrated tomato knife (about 5 inches long).  So, I ordered one and it works fantastic.  It's very sharp and cuts dough skin like a scalpel.  I have sharpened it once so far, with a couple of strokes across a butcher's steel (like chefs and butchers use to sharpen carbon and stainless steel knives).  The Komachi is not cheap (around U.S. $27-$29 if my memory serves me correctly) but I really like it.  My logic and rationale to justify the expense is...I just won't buy that next cookbook :-)  I got tired of tearing the tops of the loaves and not being able to cut deep enough when scoring, so I ordered one from Amazon on-line.  Comes in its own littel case, which keeps the edge and blade from getting dinged up in the knife drawer.  I think the Komachi's are made of carbon steel but are coated with some kind of special coating to keep them from rusting.  The instructions said not to use an abrasive scrubber on the blade, I assume it will take off the special coating.  Anway, I'll let you know how the Kamachi does on rye dough skin in your recipe, after I make it. 

I thoroughly enjoy reading your well written and informative posts and comments. 

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

Janedo's picture

Well, thanks Howard! I ordered the knife (21 euros) plus a "sonde" thermometer and I also found a dough cutter. You just made me spend a fortune! No, just joking. I've been meaning to order the last two things and since I found the knife on Amazon and the other things, too I thought I'd give myself a present. I deserve it, don't I???? Anything to make great bread! Give us some news if you try the rye out.