ye olde bread blogge

bread, coffee and tidbits

75% rye bread with linseeds

with 16 comments

Better sneak in one of my own recipes for a change. When baking with a high percentage of rye, there are basically two options. Either bake it has a rather huge free-standing loaf with a low profile to have a big crust/crumb ratio and a stronger flavor, or use an even higher hydration and bake in a tin to get a more tame crust and an altogether milder flavor. The latter obviously being the more convenient way to master the sticky rye dough. I have only seen and tasted delicious free-standing rounds of rye breads with 70% or more rye flour in them from the best bakeries. I am guessing there is a certain technique employed after shaping. It may be a very wet dough and an extremely short final fermentation or a beast of an oven hovering above 280°C to prevent the dough from spreading too much. The same dough, after it has completed its fermentation, can still go through substantial transformations so it may yield entirely different results.

As usual with rye doughs, I was timid, nervous and shaky, so I used the tin. The bread turned out mildly sour and it has an elastic crumb. Good for lunch sandwiches with salami, cheese or with home-made jam.


Rye sourdough

  • 230g dark rye flour, Type 1150
  • 230g water
  • 40g mature rye sourdough, hydration: 100%

Let stand at room temperature for 18-24 hours, 21°C.


  • 50g linseeds (flax seeds)
  • 50g coarse rye meal or chopped rye
  • 150g water

Let stand for at least 5 hours at room temperature.


  • 150g rye flour, Type 1150
  • 100g strong white flour (here: Type 550)
  • 5g fresh yeast (optional)
  • 50-100g warm water, to get a loose dough
  • 11g sea salt
  • Rye sourdough
  • Soaker

Bulk fermentation: 45 minutes with yeast, around 2 hours without yeast.
Final fermentation: 1 hour with yeast, around 2-3 hours without.
Bake: At 250°C for 10 minutes, another 60-70 minutest at 200°C
Let cool, then rest for at least 24 hours to stabilize the crumb and let the bread develop its signature flavor. The warm crumb of an 80-Percent rye bread does not taste like much.


Written by theinversecook

17 July 2009 at 21:56

16 Responses

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  1. I remember my first experiences with rye, and not with pleasure I must say. I do wonder how you can shape a boule with a high percentae of rye.
    I have seen that you’ve indicated proofing time with and without yeast addiction, I do appreciate, thanks


    18 July 2009 at 21:17

    • I’ve seen bakers use wet hands to shape rye doughs, but it is tricky as it coats the dough and separates the folds, which open during baking. There’s also a way of handling the production by letting the dough ferment a first them then strip off pieces with wet hands and directly dump them into the hot oven.

      Those small tricks that add up…


      19 July 2009 at 21:43

      • I usually use this technique when I make rugbrød. Instead of spooning the dough in the tin, I make a log with wet hands and put it in the tin. I do it to prevent the formation of holes. I read about this technique in Halmelman’s book.


        20 July 2009 at 00:17

        • It seems to be a good way to shape rustic rye loaves. I saw it in the small opening clip on (probably a Pumpernickel style loaf that is being shaped there)


          21 July 2009 at 12:21

  2. I use a brotform or a couche cloth to hold the shape of rye breads and usually that works OK and you get some height in the final loaf. Though it is quite hard to get a big kilo of dough into the brotform without getting a crack in it somewhere as the dough is so soft to lift. I made one today that was 86 percent rye like that and it had some cracks in it that weren’t meant to be there, but….


    19 July 2009 at 02:44

    • Cracks in the finished bread? Baker Süpke once mentioned on his blog, that cracks may occur because there is not enough bottom heat. There is a tool to prevent cracks during baking. In German this way of preparing bread dough is called “stüpfeln” :-) Similar to “docking” the dough in English I think.

      Probably many more factors..


      19 July 2009 at 21:48

  3. Hi Nils, just wondering if you have a recipe for a typical german brotchen (no umlaut on my keybard) or could suggest where to look… I remember eating some very good ones in Bremen once many years ago.

    Hope it isn’t raining as much as it is here today! Best wishes, Zeb


    19 July 2009 at 16:45

    • I think it has gone through so many changes that nobody knows what it is. What’s dominantely sold today is probably very different to the one you had in Bremen; like a Frankenstein-Monster, perfect shape, huge volume, zero flavor. AFAIK: Prior to the invasion of chemical improvers it was made with pâte fermentêe and levain. I think I have seen the recipe in a German book. Will post ASAP.

      Here is an old way of transforming bread dough into rolls, with pictures. As usual including tongue-in-cheek remarks by baker Süpke. Take 1kg of bread dough, cut into 10 pieces, roll in seeds or caraway, proof and bake. A nostalgic recipe out of the former GDR, I take it. Will try it too soon.

      Edit: Added missing link.


      19 July 2009 at 22:03

  4. I’ve never dared to make a rye bread with so high a content. I will try the loaf tin method. Your bread looks yummy, as usual.


    19 July 2009 at 18:30

    • Thanks. Best as a big tin loaf IMO…to keep the moisture!


      19 July 2009 at 22:04

  5. Many Thanks for the brotchen rezept! You are so very kind to do that. I have made bread with pate fermentee and with white leaven but not put both together, so that will be something new to try. My dough cracked because my shaping technique with such soft rye isn’t very good. Quite hard to make a baton shape out of 1 kilo of 86 per cent rye and then transfer it to a form, so that is when the cracks arrived I think. I think I will put it in a tin next time, I have been having various not quite good bread experiences lately. I am being a bit slapdash. Though your 60 40 bread (still my favourite everyday bread!) works well in a brotform for me.


    20 July 2009 at 03:36

    • The 60/40 bread works well for me too and it is moderately easy to shape. Above 70%…I don’t know, things get sticky and either lots of flour, oil or water are needed. Tins come in handy, of course, but it feels like having a blind spot not knowing how to shape these kinds of braeds into batons. In German bakeries they are often sold as big rounds, so that might be a way out, big pieces of dough do not flatten out so much.


      21 July 2009 at 12:24

  6. This looks as fantastic as the last one! Can’t wait to try the recipe.


    20 July 2009 at 16:38

    • Certainly not the end of my square bread seriers :-) Thanks.


      21 July 2009 at 12:25

  7. Hi Nils

    just found your blog – great looking breads. I have just got another sour culture going, so be keen to try some recipes out.

    When in your recipe you state:

    Rye sourdough

    * 230g dark rye flour, Type 1150
    * 230g water
    * 40g mature rye sourdough, hydration: 100%

    I presume you make this up and leave to ferment for say 8 hrs while your Soaker is soaking?

    Also, the water in your soaker, I presume you drain that out?




    6 August 2009 at 05:17

    • Sorry about that, Rudy. Will add the times. I somehow forgot.

      The water is not drained out, if there is any excess water, you can do that of course, but the linseeds will soak up water about 2.5 times of their own weight.


      7 August 2009 at 17:01

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